Where to find dating sites

This week marks the biggest online dating week of the year (combined with the biggest divorce week of the year).

Whether it’s a failed relationship or the urge for a new beginning that has propelled you into the dating wilderness, online dating almost certainly has someone waiting for you. Match group now owns Tinder, Plenty Of Fish, Ok Cupid and, of course, Match, making it the biggest player in the online and app dating industry.

You can’t browse pictures or profiles – you wait to be matched by the mystery algorithm after answering the 400 questions – then you are guided through a contact process.

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Pitches itself as the site to go to for ‘serious, lasting relationships’ and marriage – which may well be refreshing to some in the current dating climate.

Psychologists and dating experts guide you through each step of the process – including messaging, which is somewhat structured and scripted – and there’s an anonomisation function for calling.

There are no compatibility filters, so once you’ve filtered by the basics, there’s no way of narrowing it down.

However, perhaps controversially, arguably this is more of a pro than a con – as the saying goes, opposites attract!

It seems unavoidable that if we have filters and tick-boxes for features and likes or dislikes, we could be cutting off literally thousands of potential suitors because of something we might have thought minor or irrelevant if we met in the flesh.

And, by the way, the tick-box that chooses whether you’re shown people with children or not can have an even more dramatic result, with 90% of the people I asked (a straw poll of 10 in the office) saying they’d chosen not to be shown people with children.

And there’s no sense in ruling someone out for reasons that may become insignificant once you’ve met in real life.

‘Only show me people without children’ ‘Only show me men over 6ft 1in’ ‘Only show me vegetarians’ ‘Only show me people who don’t want kids’ The tick-boxes on many dating sites are a common part of the structure of the sites – and people often fill them in and make their choices quickly, based on in-the-moment gut feeling, prejudice or a past bad experience.

But too many filters and rigid check-boxes can have you dismiss huge numbers of people at once – something that apps like Bumble, Happn and Tinder tried to do away with (though that brings its own set of issues).

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