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This week marks the biggest online dating week of the year (combined with the biggest divorce week of the year).Whether it’s a failed relationship or the urge for a new beginning that has propelled you into the dating wilderness, online dating almost certainly has someone waiting for you. Match group now owns Tinder, Plenty Of Fish, Ok Cupid and, of course, Match, making it the biggest player in the online and app dating industry.A one step Facebook log-in process leads on to a few simple questions (the most obvious – height, kids, whether you drink or smoke), a description and a photo – then you are in. To use the site fully – sending unlimited messages to other members – payment is required.You can browse a selection of pictures and ages before logging in, anything more specific requires you to become a member. As with many free or low-cost sites, ads can be frequent and feel spammy.There are no compatibility filters, so once you’ve filtered by the basics, there’s no way of narrowing it down.However, perhaps controversially, arguably this is more of a pro than a con – as the saying goes, opposites attract!
Controversy swirled in 2010 around its lack of same-sex matching resulting in a site launched later for gay and bisexual daters called Compatible Partners, but e Harmony now offers matching for both mixed and same sex couples from the main homepage.There’s currently a 7-day free trial to communicate with matches for free until 1 January.It’s a softly, softly approach – excellent for those new to internet dating or nervous about entering the melee, or using a fast-food dating app like Tinder.Too many members with no filter can result in either hours of swiping to find someone you fancy, or hundreds of messages in your inbox that you’ll never have time to read.Here’s a guide to the sites to check out – feel free to leave your own recommendations in the comments below – and let us know if you met your life partner online or on an app and if so, which one. Has both desktop and mobile site and an app, plus paid-for and free singles events. It’s quite difficult to get any information on the price to use match.com’s full service.