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We made profiles on four dating sites — OKCupid, Plenty of Fish, Match, and e Harmony — and evaluated them on the quality of the matches they provided and overall usability.

First, we looked at how easy it was to create a unique and interesting profile.

But if you’re interested in a long-term relationship, Match is worth checking out.

According to a 2013 Pew Research Center study, Match had the most long-term relationships of all the dating sites surveyed.

The key: You not only answer a bunch of multiple-choice questions about your lifestyle and preferences to create your own profile, but get to choose which answers you want to see in your potential matches, as well as how important each of those answers is.

Of the four online dating sites we tested in-depth, OKCupid is the only one to base its matching algorithms off such robust parameters.

But ultimately, it fell short of the top spot because the quality just wasn’t there.

POF has a reputation for casual dating, and it was obvious that many users weren’t trying too hard for meaningful connections.

We also received the highest percentage of messages we rated “good.” While all of OKCupid’s main features — messaging, viewing profiles, answering questions — are free, there is a paid option for those looking to get a little more out of their search.

POF’s website isn’t very intuitive, which can make finding that needle in a haystack even more complicated.

Add to that a barrage of notifications every time someone so much as looks at your profile and it’s easy to see why some users get fed up and never come back.

OKCupid isn’t just the best free dating site — we discovered it’s the best online dating site period.

It has a large user base that doesn’t discriminate, a clean and easy-to-navigate interface across all devices, and its matching algorithms gave us the best results in our tests.

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