Of course, free sites don't keep users as motivated to be committed and stay active.
Companies that require a paid subscription often have more sophisticated matchmaking systems and offer multiple formats for getting to know potential dates.
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Social networking takes on a whole new meaning at OKCupid, which matches members based on their profile information and answers to creative questionnaires.
It also allows users to search for matches on their own, email, chat, and even get set up on blind dates for free.
It allows new members to browse during their free trial, then unlock a whole system of matchmaking and communication tools with a paid subscription.
But it's also confronted us with a new challenge: what's the best website to use? To help you decide, we reviewed three of the top online dating websites to see how they stack up.
Finding the one that best for you can mean the difference between just meeting someone and meeting the one. Of course, there are many more sites out there, but these three represent a good range of the options you'll encounter.
Although the service still relies on a traditional model where members search profiles and contact those that interest them, features have been added in recent years to enhance the process.
Members now have the option of completing a personality test to learn more about themselves (to ensure they're searching for the right type of mate), and they can create a custom quiz for potential matches to get a conversation started.