There was a time not too long ago when if you wanted to talk to someone you had to go see them or call them on the home telephone. From cordless phones, to pagers and then to cell phones, our methods of communication have become less personal and more technological. Within the last 10 years the Internet has become the fastest growing form of communication, with social networking sites becoming the top rated sites on the Internet. Even these are changing quickly as the hot Black Planet and MySpace of 5 years ago have given way to the new frontrunners Facebook and Twitter. Today, so many people use the Internet to connect with each other that it seems very natural for people to use the Web to meet single people. Online dating sites have been around for awhile now but today these sites have become a primary vehicle for people to meet pen pals, dates or potential mates.
With this backdrop in mind, what about online dating for the black man? Should black men use these online dating sites or is this phenomenon reserved for others. Not to be too biased but as a black man I must say many of us have too much game to give way to a computer to find us a woman (or at least we think so). Whatever your opinion is on the validity or usefulness of online dating sites for black men the numbers say that men and women are flocking to online dating sites in droves.
According to Match.com 1 out of 5 relationships start from an online dating service encounter. eHarmony.com has over 5 million black singles. If those 5 million black singles on eHarmony are all black women then that would be reason enough alone to join! Of course this is not the case as both single black men and single black women are flocking to eHarmony and other online dating sites for the same reasons everyone else is – it is simply a sign of the times.
So now that we can agree that online dating sites are a viable dating channel for single black men we now need to decide which ones to use. There are hundreds of dating sites on the Internet and even though they all have the same basic format there are differences between them. The following is a list of top 10 online dating sites. We use the term “top 10” very loosely as everybody has their own dating criteria and measurement for what makes a good site. Where the information was available we have presented the number of black singles on each site.
The remaining lists in this article focus on specialized, or niche online dating sites. If you are looking to focus specifically on single black women check out the list of top 5 best black dating sites. If you want to date online but don’t want to pay (you’re probably already in trouble) check out the list of top 10 free online dating sites. The final 2 online dating sites lists are for interracial dating and, for the brothers who want to go skip the meal and go straight to the dessert, adult online dating sites.
Top 10 Online Dating Websites
Match.com is probably the most recognized online dating service and has over a database of over 15 million members, with 2.8 million active users. Match allows you to run very customized searches based on your dating criteria, post up to 25 photos and check who has reviewed your profile. According to Match, each year approximately 400,000 people find love through their site. Match has 3 million black singles in their database and the fee is $18/month with a 6 mo membership.
Chemistry.com launched in early 2006, and is backed by the team that built Mach.com. Chemistry.com is built around a matchmaking system similar to eHarmony. Chemistry offers a guided four-step communication process to help guide you through the introduction phase.
eHarmony started in 2000 and was the first online dating service to offer a scientific approach to online dating. With 14 million members in their database, the eHarmony matchmaking service connects people using their 29 dimensions of compatibility program. As a matchmaking site users cannot search for singles so it can be considered a passive dating site (you have to wait for matches to be sent to you). Their database has over 5 Million Black Singles. The profile takes a long time to fill out, the average age of woman is 35, and the cost is $30.month with a 6 month membership. eHarmony is generally reserved for people looking for serious dating or a long-term relationship.
Zoosk is a very popular social dating website (especially with the younger crowd), with 50 million global members. Each month over 8 million singles login to the Zoosk facebook application. If you like he way you interact wih facebook or other social networking sites you will like Zoosk.
Lavalife provides three distinctive services to its 5 million registered members:
Lavalife By Phone is a service where users can record a personal profile, and respond to other user's voice profile. If you are both interested, you can continue the conversation on the phone. Lavalife Web is pretty similar to other major dating sites where you can post photo profiles, search members, and communicate with each other by messages with video capability. Lavalife Mobile is the third option where you can exchange information with other online singles through text messaging on your mobile phone. There are 3 million black singles in their daabase and the cost is $20/month with 6 month membership. You can also "pay as you go" using a credits model.
PerfectMatch is one of the largest and fastest growing relationship sites. It combines matchmaking services via their Duet Total Compatibility System and standard searching based on your own criteria. PerfectMatch has dating advice categories for people in their 30's, 40's, 50's and 60's as well as search categories by race and religion (ex: black singles). There are 4 million black singles in their database and the cost is $30/month with a 6 month membership.
Spark.com has a unique Color Code personality test to help you to control your own online dating experience. The Color Code helps you decide who to meet on the site, with Spark allowing you to perform your own searches as well as receive matches. When you become a site members you can post your profile, read, and respond to messages all for free. Spark also requires that all members post at least 1 photo. Spark.com also offers free dating advice and safety tips. Takes a long time to setup your free profile to browse.
FriendFinder is a standard dating site but also offers additional options like letting users write blogs, join groups and chat online. There is also an online magazine called “My Magazine” where users can write articles, answer questions submitted by other members, or ask their own questions. If it's all about sex, try their companion site Adult Friend Finder.
At SinglesNet unpaid members can communicate with paid members. If you want to email a member on the site, only one of you has to be a paid member. You also don’t need to sign up with a credit card.
At Mate1 you are not restricted to one network of singles based on a category like “long term” or casual dating”. Mate 1 also offers an advanced search option, unlimited chating, free photo profiles and personalized voice greetings.
Top 5 Black Online Dating Sites
Black Scene has very interesting questions when you fill out your profile to include questions about tattoos, piercings, and belly rings. Primarily African American but you can find many Caucasian, Hispanic and other profiles on the site. Also offer video profiles. Monthly rates with no 6 month minimum requirement.
AfroIntroductions has 900,000 members (nearly all black singles) with a nice layout and easy to navigate. Free website tour. The initial free package lets you add up to 5 photos and communicate with paid and non-paid members.
Black Cupid offers 3 levels of membership - Standard (free), Gold and Platinum. Standard members can only communicate with Gold and Platinum members which may cause a problem if you find another free member that you like.
Interesting personality questions and fun ice breaker questions. Black Singles has also partnered with HurryDate.com to offer offline speed dating parties wher you can meet 20 black singles in one night.
Black People Meet offers live video/audio text chat and it takes under a minute to create a basic profile. Black People Meet is free.
Top 10 Free Online Dating Sites (As rated by About.com)
1. PlentyOfFish (one of the largest free online dating sites on the Web)
2. OkCupid (profiles are matched based on a personality test)
3. Mingle2 (takes less than a minute to register)
4. Engage (allows you to suggest matches for your friends)
5. YesNoMayB (speed dating site allows for quickly sifting through profiles)
6. WooMe (offers live video and voice sessions via your computer and webcam)
7. Collaboradate (allows you to search the entire database with one single query)
8. JustSayHi (simple to use zipcode search)
9. PodDater (allows you to upload videos of yourself)
10. Geek 2 Geek (site aimed primarily a geeks)
Top 5 Interracial Online Dating Sites
Top 5 Adult Online Dating Sites (Based on membership)
1. AdultFriendFinder.com (30 million members)
2. SexSearch.com (over 25 million members plus free adult videos)
3. Fling.com (over 10 million members)
4. IWantU.com (over 6 million members)
5. BeNaughty.com (over 4 million members)
According to Match.com, 1 out of 5 relationships today start through an online dating site.
According to an eHarmony study in 2005, 90 eHarmony couples get married every day
A recent Quantcast study shows that of all online dating sites eHarmony has the highest percentage of women (71%) and that 64% of the women are over age 35
eHarmony and Chemistry.com are matchmaking sites (you fill out an extended profile and the site serves up matches to you based on compatibility). These sites are passive, as you cannot perform searches. Match.com is a traditional dating site and can be considered active (you can search for whomever you want based on criteria you enter). You should know your preference and select the appropriate online dating site for you.
Many women on online dating sites think that the men on these sites are lying in their profile. To avoid any complications on your dates (or your conversations leading up to the date) you should be as honest in your profile as possible.
Many dating sites offer a way to show interest without communicating (sending a “wink” on Match.com, or tagging “you’re interested” on Chemisry.com). Many women do not respond to these non-verbal communications because they get too many of them. If you find someone you’re interested in, take the bold first step and send an email. You will have a much better chance of getting a response.
Many sites have automatic renewal policies. If you have gotten what you want out of the online dating service make sure you notify the company and cancel your subscription.
Always check for online coupons before signing up. Many offer a 20% or more discount on membership (ex: Google “match.com coupon codes”)
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