By Marshal M. Rosenthal

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Has Valentine’s Day got you down? Is meeting that special someone proving more difficult than you ever thought it could be? Maybe it’s time to change your approach to dating.

Dating websites have come a long way since launched in the mid-1990s. And the stigma of meeting someone online is all but gone. These days, dating sites offer many opportunities to make a good first impression without the pitfalls of the dreaded “pick up.” You can be sure that the person on the other end wants to meet someone too. With all the personalization features these sites offer and the traffic they receive, the right person is probably out there somewhere right now.

Here are the top 5 dating websites that can change your dating life with just a few clicks:

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Arguably the best known of the matchmaking websites, boasts a membership of over 20 million. The site uses your profile to personalize the matches that it delivers to you. It also offers a high level of search customization; the Mutual Match function, for example, allows you to find people who are looking for someone like you. While viewing member profiles is free, a subscription is needed to contact someone (member conversations happen via email, chat and instant messaging). Membership plans range from one to six months.


eHarmony believes that a detailed member profile will result in a better match, one with more long-term potential. So a personality test, aimed at determining values, beliefs, characteristics and, ultimately, compatibility, is the first order of business for new members. You can then peruse profiles of members who have been “pre-screened.” This approach leads to more suitable choices than one in which anyone can say whatever they want about themselves. Membership plans range from a month to a year.


An open-to-all dating website, OkCupid relies on self-commentary and social interaction from those in its community. The site gathers profile information through entertaining and insightful quizzes and social networking activities, such as instant messaging, blogs, public forums and email. All this is then incorporated into the matching-up process. Users can find others based on their “match percentage” — how often and how strongly their answers match up with those of others. The site is free to all.


DateHookup avoids complicated procedures in favor of open and straightforward access. Minimal information is required to start, so new users are up and running in no time. Searching and finding others is also easy. Members can contact each other through email and participate in blogs and forums; social networking plays a bigger role here than at many other dating sites. The site expects you to exercise your own judgment as to whether the matches are valid and worth pursuing. Membership is free.

Photo Credit: Plenty of Fish


POF (as it’s typically called) relies on profiles created through a “chemistry test.” This test tracks five personality dimensions, each of which contributes to building a romantic relationship. Members can view profiles and send messages to people who interest them. The heavily used and well organized forums are there for the viewing without even signing up. Video and audio chat capabilities are also available. The site is free to use, though a paid version may improve one’s chance at a love connection.

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Marshal M. Rosenthal is a technology, gadget and lifestyle writer based on the West Coast.

Comments (8)
  1. Berry Rocks says:

    Meet Local Singles. Meet Singles In Your Area. Join Now for Free.

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    1. Nellson says:

      ok. first off, you’re 19. You have plenty of time. Chances are in this day and age, you won’t find osemone that is still a virgin, either because it was their choice or because of rape (1in4women). So you’ll need to learn to forgive that. Nobody around you’re age will want a long-term-marriage demanding boyfriend. (i’m not trying to be mean, but i’m being honest) I’m 23 and i’ve alread been married and divorced and in another rocky relationship. don’t rush it. i believe that if things are meant to be, they’ll happen, but only when they’re supposed to. Finish school, focus on getting a career, when love is supposed to happen for you it will. But there’s nothing wrong with dating a few women either. it will make you a better man. i don’t mean sleep with them, but short-term dating helps men understand women, what they want/need and appreciate. set your boundaries firmly with who you’re dating though, and if they can’t appreciate your morals they’re not a very good person to begin with. but learn from everything you do. it will help guide you to the right one’ i’m sure you’ll find her. Also, if you’re having trouble finding real friends that meet your moral standards, look online for those, or join social groups in your area. but don’t go looking for the’ female, go looking for friendships and people that can fill the void of not having osemone to relate to.

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