Dating is a challenge even under the best of circumstances. Adding a global pandemic into the mix has made finding a life partner even more difficult. Living in a COVID world has changed the world of dating. Luckily, before 2020 began the singles scene was already transitioning from crowded social events to online dating sites and apps.

The pandemic doesn't mean you have to push pause on your relationship ambitions. There are online dating sites and mobile dating apps that can help you find companionship on the internet. No matter your gender, sexual preference, religion, geography, or profession, there is an online dating site tailored for your wants and desires.

Online dating gives you the chance to connect with more potential matches than you would in your social circle, or even in your hometown. Looking for love online allows you to be selective. You can find a potential partner with similar interests before saying "hello."

Dating sites have become so common (and safe) that approximately 40 percent of Americans have found their long-term partner on a dating site. With that in mind, here's an overview of the best dating sites that will help you find romance in 2021.

Serious Relationships: Eharmony and Hinge

arm reaching out of computer and shaking someone's hand

You have probably seen the commercials for eHarmony, and there's a reason the site is so well-known. eHarmony has brought millions of couples together. They claim that 438 users get married to someone they met on eHarmony every single day.

After you answer their extensive survey questions, their Compatibility Matching System will present you with your data-driven matches.

Another great way to find a serious relationship is with the new dating app Hinge. The reviews are good, as 75 percent of users say they want a second date with their matches. When you give feedback after your dates, the app improves your matches.

Casual Dating: Bumble

blonde girl with earbuds in smiling at phone

If you are a confident woman who doesn't mind making the first move, Bumble is a good choice. Men can't contact women unless they reach out first. When you match with someone, you only have 24 hours to make contact. Otherwise, it disappears. Because this platform insists on moving quickly, we've found it's best for casual dating.

Busy Professionals: It's Just Lunch

Busy professionals who don't have a lot of time for dating are the target demo for It's Just Lunch. When you sign up, they set you up with a matchmaker who will discuss your romantic goals via a phone call.

The matchmaker will then find you one match at a time, and they will only share first names. They will also arrange the time and place for the date, depending on your schedule. It can be for lunch, brunch, or drinks, and all you have to do is show up. After your date, you give feedback so the matchmaker can find you better dates in the future.

Jewish People: JDate

man looking at woman's face on laptop screen

Founded in 1997, JDate is the go-to app for Jewish singles. Available around the world, and it lets you connect with Jewish users in five different languages—English, Hebrew, French, German, and Spanish. JDate is responsible for more than half of the Jewish marriages that started online.

Christians: Christian Mingle

woman looking at man facing pond on bench

There are a ton of sites for Christian dating. There's Christian Cafe, Christian Connection, and Christian Cupid. But, we've found that the best results for dating Christians come from Christian Mingle. If you are looking for a "God-centered relationship," this site might be a perfect fit. They also offer a free trial before charging you the monthly subscription fee.

Catholics: Catholic Match

blond couple embracing looking at water

Catholics who are looking for a relationship with other Catholics specifically can find love at CatholicMatch. They have over one million users, and they promote "faith-focused dating." Basically, it's for Catholics looking for a long-term relationship with another Catholic.

International Dating: Zoosk

woman sketching man holding glass of red wine in front of Eiffel tower

If you are interested in finding love abroad, Zoosk features 40 million singles worldwide. This global platform is available in 80 countries and in 25 different languages. Users send more than 3 million messages per day, and the platform uses "Behavioral Matchmaking Technology" to match compatible singles.

LGBTQA+ Women: Her

LGBT Lesbian couple love moments happiness concept

Her is a dating app created by queer women that's exclusively for LGBTQA+ women. The more than 4 million users get access to communities within the app, as well as in-person events. The only drawback of this app, according to reviews, is that Her's functionality is limited unless you pay for the premium subscription.

African-Americans: BlackPeopleMeet

Tender couple touching foreheads, bonding to each other, walking in city

For 18 years, BlackPeopleMeet has helped African-American singles find love. The site has more than 100,000 users, and you can exchange flirts or emails. You can also see who has viewed your profile.

Farmers: Farmers Dating

man giving woman piggyback ride through cornfield

This niche dating site targets cowboys, cowgirls, and ranchers. According to the Farmers Dating app's spokeswoman, Madeleine Zeidman, other dating apps can make it difficult to find meaningful matches with a "certain type."

“What we know is that many dating apps offer an extremely wide net of potential matches, aimed at quantity over quality, where, ideally, endless swipes means endless opportunities,” Zeidman says.

Best Free Dating Site: OKCupid

asian girl looking at skinny white boy in blue polo with book open in coffee shop

Most of the websites we've mentioned already do have a free option, but the premium subscription is where you find the most success. If you don't want to pay for a subscription, the best free dating site is OKCupid.

It doesn't cost a dime to get access to detailed profiles and to connect with other users. It's also inclusive, as it offers 22 gender and 13 orientation options. Just remember, you get what you pay for.

There's also plenty of sites out there for those looking for hookups, sugar daddies, and sugar mommas. But, we decided to avoid most of the "swipe left, swipe right" apps because we wanted to focus on those that could help you find the love of your life in 2021. Good luck, and happy dating!

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