Which are the Most Popular Platforms for Online Dating in 2021?

May 5, 2021
Online Dating Platforms

Online dating is something we're all now familiar with and has a broad range of advantages.

From the safety of meeting and vetting people online to connecting with specific age groups and finding dates based on intelligent algorithms, it's now just as common to meet a date online as through a mutual friend.

However, from the best dating sites in Leeds to the top free dating Birmingham opportunities, the vast choices of dating platforms can make it tricky for singles to work out which option is their best bet.

In this guide, the dating experts at Best10 will run through a few of the pros and cons to the different online dating platforms, and in 2021 which we'd recommend to fit with your relationship aspirations!

Best Dating Apps for Modern Singles

Today's daters expect just about every business or service to have an app they can download on iPhone or Android, and most dating sites will indeed have either an app or a mobile optimised website.

This feature is excellent if you're rarely sitting still in front of a screen and is a comfortable way to interact with single men and women. However, it remains essential to know what the app is all about and what sort of relationships it has been designed for

Pros:

  • Using an app can be a proactive way to stimulate activity in your love life.
  • You can meet a considerable number of people with minimal effort.
  • Advanced apps have a large number of search parameters to fine-tune your match suggestions.
  • You can usually swipe left or right to indicate whether you're interested, making the app straightforward to use.

Cons:

  • Many dating app users are looking for hookups, so you must be sure that the app aligns with your dating expectations.
  • It is easy to get sucked into an app and miss out on real-life interactions.
  • Impulsive responses can be disastrous, so it's best to set time limits on your app usage or avoid logging in if you feel emotional.

Most Popular Dating Websites for Mature Men and Women

Senior dating sites tend to be online websites rather than downloadable apps - although some do have a separate app if you prefer.

The key to a great mature dating website is functionality.

The majority of senior daters are well versed in technology, so that doesn't mean limited features and a basic interface, but a design that makes a website simple to navigate, with the intuitive placement of things like chat buttons and feature pages to make the experience easy and convenient.

Pros:

  • Senior dating is often a far more viable way for mature men and women to meet eligible dates in their age group, rather than using generic dating apps.
  • Most sites have excellent functionality and pay attention to user-friendliness.
  • The best mature dating sites have all the same features, as you'd expect from the most advanced relationship dating platforms.

Cons:

  • Some senior dating sites are more vulnerable to spammers and fraudsters who assume mature daters will be more prone to fall for a scam.
  • Membership numbers vary widely between platforms, and some can be relatively small.
  • It's essential to check the age eligibility if there is one. Some mature date sites are aimed at members aged 50+, some 60+ and some have no age restrictions.

Virtual Dating and Speed Dating Apps

As with each of these dating platforms, there are all sorts of different speed dating apps - and it's wise to do your research and check out the reviews before signing up!

Lots are aimed at hookups and casual dating, but that doesn't mean that all virtual dating services are for short-term dates. Video dating online can be a fantastic way to meet people in a more authentic environment. Most users who are interested in attending virtual introductions or meet-ups are looking for actual dates and compatible people.

Pros:

  • Video dates are better for establishing a rapport than a text chat.
  • You can see what people look like in real life without relying on a profile photo that could be out of date or heavily edited.
  • These cyber events are fun and friendly and a great way to dip your toe into dating if it's been a while.

Cons:

  • Speed dating apps can be aimed at hookups, so they are best avoided if you're looking for a long-term relationship.
  • Security varies considerably, so it's advisable to ensure the connection is private and encrypted.
  • You may not be able to control who you are matched with, which can lead to an awkward three minutes of having a virtual chat with someone you aren’t compatible with!

Online Dating Chat Rooms and Forums

Chat rooms can be a great way to meet new people, particularly if you find dating sites too high pressure! These forums are ostensibly about finding friends and discussing topics, but there are many primarily aimed at dating.

Any online chat room will have contributor rules, and it's advisable to be clear about the aim of the service and what sort of people it attracts before joining.

Pros:

  • You can usually remain anonymous if you wish and choose a screen name.
  • Most are free to join.
  • Members can be from around the world and provide a wide range of perspectives and potential dating opportunities.
  • You can find matches based on age, gender, interests and sexual orientation, among other parameters, as on a dating site.

Cons:

  • There is little security or verification, so a high risk of fake profiles and scammers.
  • Some chat rooms can include challenging conversations, and there is potential for trolls and deliberately offensive contributions.
  • It can be hard to build a relationship online if neither account has a profile picture or you don't know much about each other aside from screen names.

Local Online Dating Sites

Finally, you can join localised dating services, which are ideal for finding the best dating sites in Leeds or other popular online dating UK cities.

Likewise, if you're after free dating Birmingham sites, you won't want to invest hours in a nationwide app that has very few members in your immediate area.

Pros:

  • Better chance of finding dates within a viable travelling distance.
  • Easier to verify authenticity since they'll live nearby.
  • More specific matches, which are likely to turn into an actual date.
  • Comfortable first date experience with choices of venues you're both familiar with.

Cons:

  • There is a high risk that you'll bump into an ex if you live in the same city!
  • Dating membership bases can be smaller than on more significant scope sites.
  • Dedicated local dating apps tend to offer more basic functionality.
  • You might find it challenging to make your profile private if you're worried about friends or family members stumbling across your account.

We hope this breakdown of the most popular platforms for online dating in 2021 is helpful! For more tips and advice and independent date site rankings and reviews, please visit Best10 UK.


Lauren Edwards-Fowle
Lauren is a freelance writer passionate about how we develop rewarding experiences, and overcoming the barriers we face to living our best lives. Lauren writes regularly about the modern world of dating, relationships, parenthood, and social dynamics.