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Since our tester was a straight woman, her experience with online dating is weighted more toward receiving messages than sending messages.

(According to a study from Ok Cupid, the majority of women don’t send the first message in online dating conversations — but they get great results when they do.) To keep our judgments as objective as possible, we used a rubric to categorize each message: Unfortunately — but perhaps not all that surprisingly — the majority of the messages we received on traditional dating sites were mediocre or downright bad. To send someone a message, both users have to indicate they’re interested by “swiping right” on their profile.

It organizes in-person events like speed dating, happy hours, and game nights for its members to help accelerate the search for “the one,” and it works — studies have shown it’s one of the top two sites to produce marriages.

(Match.com’s user base is slightly older, too, which may indicate more people who are ready to settle down.) However, Match lacks the robust matching algorithm of Ok Cupid — it came in fourth place for good matches in our testing — and isn’t as streamlined as Tinder or Bumble. We also tested three other sites: e Harmony, Plenty of Fish, and Zoosk.

That said, the fact that Ok Cupid, Tinder, and Bumble are free definitely stands out.

We can confidently recommend Ok Cupid, Match.com, Tinder, and Bumble.

” and “What do you spend a lot of time thinking about?