When trying to find love, long gone are the days that involve bumping into someone at the library or coffee shop. It seems now more than ever; people want to search through hundreds of people to find their needle in a haystack. With the development of online dating websites, this opportunity comes knocking more often than you realize. That's because there are thousands of dating sites and apps available for people to meet other individuals. But, not all dating websites are created equally. For example, if you're trying to find a committed, long-term relationship, spending time browsing sites that cater to short-lived hook-ups is going to prove ineffective and frustrating. 

Before you join every dating website you can find, narrowing down the best platforms for your end goal is probably the best option. To help get you started, here are the top five dating websites for 2021:

1. Tinder: Short Term Hook-up:

As one of the original hook-up websites, Tinder is the top-ranking platform for those wanting more casual arrangements. Typically, these dating websites focus on one thing, physical attraction between two users. Users can quickly join the platform by uploading their names and photos and then swiping their hearts away. Mutual connections will be able to contact one another, with a local connection being the main matching point. 

Tinder has tried to become more fluent in their relationship dynamics, offering different relationship dynamics being searched for by people. Recently, they've added the relationship category to their profiles, allowing individuals to indicate what they're looking for from the dating website. Tinder, however, still struggles to shake the image of a hook-up platform. As such, it's a decent spot to start looking in 2021 but proceed with caution if you'd like a long-term relationship. 

2) OkCupid: Long Term Relationships:

These websites are known for their ability to connect users based on their personality or interests instead of the physical connection. That's why OkCupid takes the cake for our long-term relationship category. This platform is known for its in-depth profile development, complete with traditional and non-traditional questions. It brings a well-rounded profile to the table, including data-driven matching. 

The website does charge users for their membership, often once a match has been made. With nearly 50 million registered users, new developments on diversity, cultural trends, and inclusivity has reframed the platform. OkCupid currently offers free or upgraded memberships; users can opt for the A-List membership or A-List Premium. One of the excellent features of OkCupid is its gender inclusivity. With 22 sexual orientations, preferred pronoun sections, and 13 different gender identities, they're pushing to be completely inclusive. 

3) Sugardaddy.com: Sugar Dating Platforms:

As a top-performing sugar daddy website, SugarDaddy.com connects like-minded individuals looking for a mutual arrangement. The platform boasts men with incomes over $100,000 and gorgeous women looking for potential partners. Joining the website is relatively simple, with the opportunity to highlight your profile (for an additional cost) and send or receive messages (also an additional cost). Aside from those features, users can join for free. Profiles can be quite defined, with physical characteristics being shared along with the ability to upload photos. The customer service team manually approves every profile to prevent bots, low-quality profiles, and empty information from being added. 

All users are able to search through a variety of methods. This search functionality includes the country or city, distance from your house, zip code, age, and even online status. For users wanting to find a specific person, advanced search functionality allows a more customized approach to searching profiles. 

4) Christianmingle: Dating Websites for the Religious

At one point or another, everyone gets tired of trying to find love online. When you're adding in the desire to match with someone who similarly sees the world, it can make the process almost impossible. ChristianMingle is a website designed to help Christians looking for love. With nearly 15 million members, it's become one of the largest Christian-specific dating sites online. This website offers both free and paid memberships, with the most significant difference being the ability to message matches through the platform. Users can always join the website for free and upgrade their membership later (like when they have a potential partner). All memberships on the site are manually reviewed for content and completion before turning live on the website.  

5) Bumble: Gender Controlled Interactions

There's nothing more intimidating than a platform that drowns your inbox. If you're looking for a website that keeps random messages out of your inbox, consider joining Bumble, the dating website that allows women the opportunity to reach out first. Joining the platform is effortless, with a mandatory question requirement (these are short one or two-sentence answers), photos, and your birth date. From there, users are presented with profiles based on the user's general location and based on their unique algorithm. This algorithm connects potential matches based on their previous swiping history. 

Once a match occurs, it's up to the ladies to reach out first, with the initial contact running on a timer. If the timer elapses, users have the opportunity to restart the clock (for an additional fee). Once restarted, it again falls to the female to initiate contact or pass on the connection altogether. Joining Bumble is free, although many profiles lack needed information to make informed decisions. You'll also be able to send messages back and forth, including attachments, once the connection has been made. The website has millions of registered users in virtually every age group, making it a diverse platform for anyone looking for love.