” ● An attempt to be personal, but falls flat: “I see you like playing Scrabble!I like mountain biking.” Good Messages ● Mentions something you have in common ● Respectful ● Asks about something in your profile ● Talks about things that are specific to your profile that aren’t your physical appearance ● No glaring spelling or grammar errors ● Funny Unfortunately — but perhaps not all that surprisingly — the majority of the messages we received were mediocre or downright bad.

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Dolor says, “When online dating, people skim through profiles, so it’s important to stand out in the crowd.

Avoid being generic with clichés like ‘live, laugh, love’ or ‘I like to laugh and have fun.’” One way for a site to help users avoid that trap is to offer lots of fill-in-the-blanks and multiple-choice questions — that way, you don’t have to come up with any clever turns of phrase.

It’s not the most important thing in the world for an online dating site to be intuitive and enjoyable to use, with an attractive visual design. Because none of our top four sites were exorbitantly priced, we didn’t take cost into account too heavily when ranking them.

That said, the fact that Ok Cupid is free definitely stands out.

We found 68, from Alikewise to Zoosk, and started analyzing their user bases, functionality, quality, and cost to find our top picks.

Evaluating the robust functionality of a full-blown website against the swipe-rightness of an app was too unfair.

All four of our top sites used some sort of algorithm to match you with people you should be compatible with and interested in — and keep those “automatic nos” out of your feed.

This is the real heart of online dating (anyone could sift through profiles on their own) and some sites do it better than others.

The actual “going on dates” part we’ll leave to you.