Choosing a restaurant to eat at is an easy, fun task. Say there’s a new Chinese-Cuban-Indonesian fusion place that opened up on your block. Maybe you want to go there one night, because you enjoy clever fusion and you’re hungry, but you’ve never been and don’t want to waste your money on some greasy noodles. In this instance, Yelp does the legwork for you, but there’s no such great rating system for online dating sites. Like any sensible human trying out a service, you’d definitely want to read reviews before you go there, right? Look no further — we’ve done the dirty work of reviewing and ranking some choice online dating sites in a way you’ll understand — by comparing them to food.
Online Dating Option #1: OK Cupid
Food Equivalent: The $2 breakfast sandwich from the convenience store on your block.
What It Is: OkCupid is reliable, the best thing to do after a long night, but will sometimes make you feel like garbage if you’re not careful. OKCupid is different things different people. For some, it is their dirty little secret, perused half-heartedly with an eye on the TV, clutching an Olivia Pope-sized tumbler of wine. For others it is a safe, welcoming space, full of hundreds of available, socially acceptable, well-adjusted daters, with kind hearts and generous spirits. For most, it’s the last stop before bed in your nightly wanderings around the Internet, right after you’ve thoroughly hate-stalked the last person you dated on Twitter, and right before you add a blouse and a pair of earrings to your Madewell shopping cart.
Who You’ll Meet: A perfectly nice and relatively sane-upon-first-encounter dude who is generally two to three inches shorter than he looks in the pictures you passed around to all of your friends before you agreed to go on the date. Someone who could turn out to be wonderful or truly, really horrible.
Rating: Three stars.
Online Dating Option #2: Tinder
Food Equivalent: A floppy slice of pizza you buy while drunk to stave off vomiting and the extra sharp edge of a hangover.
What It Is: Tinder is your one-stop shop for unsolicited dick pics. This app is good for a quick fix, a self-esteem boost, a tiny booster shot of possibility every time you swipe right on someone who seems like they might be a good time. Tinder is what you do when you’re waiting to meet your friend out at a bar or a coffee shop, and you’ve run out of Candy Crush lives. TInder is less of an activity and more of a time filler — something we could say for all online dating sites, but Tinder more than anything. It’s empty calories, but enjoyable ones.
Who You’ll Meet: Someone who is just what you need at that moment. Someone who you can at least enjoy one to two drinks with at a bar, or who you can talk to over coffee. Someone who will maybe just want what you want — unattached, string-free sex.
Rating: Two stars
Online Dating Option #3: EHarmony.com
Food Equivalent: Plain oatmeal that is very thick with no sugar.
What It Is: EHarmony sticks to your ribs in a way that’s slightly unsettling. The site requires infinite patience, and a willingness to submit yourself to a life that is more wholesome, more pious and a little less wild than you’re used to. EHarmony is oatmeal, because it is stable, it will net you someone nice, inoffensive, bland. Someone you can take home to your parents, someone who is reliable and dependable. EHarmony won’t be the most exciting thing that happens to you, but it will certainly be something hearty.
Who You’ll Meet: Someone who wants to stick around. Someone who maybe believes in God.
Rating: Three and a half stars.
Online Dating Option #4: Match.com
Food Equivalent: Hamburger Helper, homemade beef stroganoff, or a baked lasagna.
What It Is: Match.com is that meal that you make because, while not groundbreaking or interesting, it is guaranteed to satiate your hunger. Match.com is where your long-divorced dad meets your new stepmom, but it is also where your friend who is 28 going on suburban soccer mom meets her fiancee. It’s where you meet people you might want to buy an apartment with in six months. Since it costs money to join, its members are Very Serious about this whole online dating business. It’s like buying a sensible car instead of that Mini Cooper convertible. It’s like putting Dr. Scholl’s insoles in all of your shoes, and always paying your bills on time.
Who You’ll Meet: The father of your children.
Rating: Four stars, for stability.
Online Dating Option #5: 420 Singles
Food Equivalent: Nachos that you make sometimes, with like, all of this cheese, and then ooh yeah, leftover chili, and hmm I think this might work with this avocado, and oh, add some mac and cheese on the side.
What It Is: If you want someone to debate the merits of bong rips vs. blunts, or to stand in the aisle with you at a small-town rest stop, swaying gently in front of the Combos, debating the merits of the pizza flavor vs. the classic cheddar and cracker, then this dating site comes highly(lol) recommended. If you’re hitting (lol) this site, you know already that you won’t have to awkwardly tell someone on the third date that a perfect Sunday afternoon for you is smoking a joint while watching a marathon of “Call The Midwife.”
Who You’ll Meet: Someone who used to wear a lot of Baja sweaters back in the day, and maybe still does.
Rating: Four and a half stars, for chillness.