Let me preface this with the fact that I have nothing against online dating sites and apps.
Online dating is a great way for busy people with weird schedules or those who just want to meet someone new outside of their current circle to find romance with a potential husband, wife, or friend with benefits.
So, now that that’s out of the way, when you’re overwhelmed with a tightly packed work schedule or don’t have many single friends to go out with, dating can be hard.
Naturally, an online dating app or website could potentially be the missing puzzle piece in your search for true love.
That said, there are some of the worst dating sites and apps.
The world is full of creeps and dishonest human beings, and using these dating sites is a surefire way to seek those people out.
And that’s not me trying to be judgy or harsh here — it’s just the cold truth.
Sure, a lot of sites are alright, but some are definitely more on the sketchy side than others. These are the sites and apps where you’re most likely to find guys who claim to be “nice,” 30-something males with respectable professions who, in reality, are way past their third decade and live in their mom’s basement.
Maybe that’s what you’re looking for, but it’s definitely not my cup of tea.
If you’re looking for a relationship that won’t end in heartbreak — or a whole lot of therapy — make sure you do everything in your power to avoid this list of the 13 worst online dating sites to ever exist.
(Or at least, go in with your eyes wide open and be prepared for weirdos sending unsolicited pictures in your DMs.)
Steve Harvey developed Delightful in 2014, collaborating with The Match Group to create an online dating service, which caters “primarily to women, but also to men with a womanly interest in settling down.” The site’s offerings for women include “advice columns on topics such as ‘how to become more dateable.'”
Although this seems like it’s along the lines of what you might be looking for (i.e. long-term love), the chances that you will find your soulmate on a site dedicated to making women more dateable seems counterintuitive.
2. Sugar Daddy For Me
If you want someone else to pay your bills or buy you a purse in exchange for your company, along with added but unwritten expectations of sexual favors, fine. That’s your business.
Just know that, while self-proclaimed as “The website for men who love to spoil and pamper their woman. The website for women who admire men for their accomplishments and what they have been able to achieve in life,” Sugar Daddy For Me is not focused on finding you the love of your life.
It can also be dangerous when parties have unequal levels of power within a relationship, as well as being really skeevy if the dude is married (and a lot of them are).
3. Miss Travel
Miss Travel is basically the same kind of offering as Sugar Daddy For Me, but with the added danger of potentially traveling overseas to a place where you may not know the language with a man who expects “something” from you.
It’s just not safe — especially in the times we are currently in. Maybe it’s smarter to stick to someone closer to home — who you can eventually meet in person.
4. Ugly Schmucks
If your self-esteem is low enough for you to actually consider yourself a match for Ugly Schmucks, perhaps online dating isn’t for you.
As explained on the site, “Ugly Dating is geared towards people who may feel unattractive or uncomfortable in their own skin and is designed to help them succeed in meeting others who value genuine personality over outer appearance.”
We get it — not everyone feels up to par when it comes to the competition online, but if you’re truly looking to find lasting love, not sure this is your best bet. Try learning to love yourself first, then start your search for someone to who will do the same on a platform that respects you fully.
5. Date Hookup
Even the name of this website seems like a big red flag if you’re the type of person who wants to find a relationship and not a “Hookup.”
Date Hookup caters its website mostly to college students and young adults who, like the name of the app, are most likely looking for a nice hookup just by the looks of someone.
Obviously, this type of site just isn’t dedicated to finding the kind of love that will last — it’s meant simply to find someone to sleep with. So if you’re looking for romance, this is probably not the best bet. Plus, their website is out of date and filled with intrusive ads. So is it worth your time trying to find a nice guy? No, the answer is no.
When self-proclaimed millionaire dating site Luxy debuted in 2014, they issued a press release hailing themselves as “Tinder minus the poor people.”
To elaborate, the CEO explained, “It works just like Tinder… [with] one big exception: Our app allows users to weed out the poor and unattractive.”
So, essentially, it’s Tinder with more snobs.
7. Beautiful People
Beautiful People forget that beauty is subjective, superficial, and, after a while, boring.
If all you care about is tanning, the gym, plastic surgery, and hair extensions, you’re basically just dating slightly more attractive “Jersey Shore” castoffs.
Have fun in the kiddie pool! But lasting love you will not find.
Back in 2014, OkCupid admitted to conducting “social science experiments” on users.
As reported in The New York Times, “In one test, it obscured profile pictures. In another, the site hid profile text to see how it affected personality ratings. And in a third, it told some hopeful daters that they were a better or worse potential match with someone than the company’s software actually determined.”
That’s not nice, it’s not ethical, and it completely defeats the purpose of seeking online help to find true love and help with finding perfect matches.
9. Hot Or Not
Rating strangers on a scale of Hot Or Not isn’t a great way to find love, but it is a great way to lower your (and their) self-esteem and contribute to a culture of narcissism.
I don’t have a problem with eHarmony in and of itself, but I have a problem with the old dude in their commercials because he’s so against the idea of finding love anywhere else.
Many people have met their soulmates in person. Or in prison. Who are we to judge?
11. Meet An Inmate
Speaking of meeting your soulmate in prison… Meet An Inmate is actually a great online dating site — but only if you hate your parents.
Speeddate sounds just like what the app is used for, you can speed date multiple men to see which one you like and hope that person likes you back.
However, this might not be the best bet for a dating app if you want to find “the one” — as a five-minute date, if it even lasts that long, doesn’t really tell you much about a person.
It’s simply a waste of time and money going through all these men so fast. You also have almost a guarantee that these men are talking to other women while going out with you.
In the end, it’s not worth it.
Despite being one of the most popular dating apps ever, what makes Tinder one of the worst dating sites is the number of fake profiles — up to 20% of Tinder profiles are bots.
That said, the apps EliteSingles and OurTime are known for keeping scammers and fake profiles at bay as they both have a Scam Detection System. They aren’t free, but for the extra cost you get more security and are able to see real people.
There are serious dating sites you can use that are better for real relationships.
There are a few dating websites that actually have worked for lots of people who want serious long-term relationships and those include Match, Hinge, Bumble, Coffee Meets Bagel and SilverSingles.
According to Pew Research Center, people between ages 55 and 64 are also moving to internet sites or iPhone apps for dating and the percentage has increased from 6 percent to 12 percent in only three years.
The most affordable dating sites in terms of paid memberships are OkCupid, Zoosk, and PlentyOfFish.
Jessica Sager is a writer and comic based in NYC.