We all know that dating can be expensive at the best of times, especially if you're going out for dinner and drinks on the reg, and these days free dating sites can be hard to come by. With so many dating sites and apps now offering (sometimes pricey) subscription schemes, it can feel like the cost of dating is just racking up.
So if you want to enjoy as much cheap dating as you can fit in, without spending any extra cash, then free UK dating sites might be the answer to your prayers - and there are more out there than you think.
Free dating sites UK
To use eharmony properly, you will need to pay for a membership - but they encourage you to 'try before you buy' for free initially. With the free trial, you can answer eharmony's questionnaire, see your matches and send icebreakers - so you can try for free and see what you think. Membership starts at £8.95 per month, but that's if you sign up for two years, with a shorter subscription bumping up the monthly price.
OkCupid works by using a whole host of algorithms to find your perfect match - and there are plenty of success stories to confirm that it works. While OkCupid does offer a premium 'A-List' subscription, the free version of the site includes everything you actually need in order to use it.
With a basic account, you can see all your potential matches, send and receive likes, get notified when you both like each other, and you can send and receive messages.
The only downside with a basic account is that the number of likes you can send is capped each day - but it's a blessing in disguise as you won't be overwhelmed with a tonne of matches to reply to.
If you do decide to opt for an A-List subscription, prices start at $9.95 (£7.60) and you'll get unlimited likes, no ads, and a preview of who has liked you.
3. Plenty of Fish
If you're looking for a free dating site that goes off more than just whether you fancy someone's pic, then Plenty of Fish's thorough questionnaires might be a refreshing change. Like OkCupid, you can pay for more features, but the free version of the site is really all you need.
With a free account, you can view other people's profiles and send and receive messages as normal. An upgraded membership will let you add more than eight pictures to your profile, stand out in searches and search for others' usernames, starting at $38.99 (£29.77) for three months - but all the essentials are covered in the free version.
4. Free Dating
OK, this one does what it says on the tin: completely free profile searching and messaging, and you can view as many profiles as you like at once. The freedating.co.uk site is specific to the UK and specialises in regional dating, so you're able to easily browse profiles based on location. Plus, they promise that it'll stay free forever.
5. Completely Free Dating
Another one that gets straight to the point, Completely Free Dating promises to be, well, totally free to use. You can search, view and message people without the need to upgrade - and it's strictly a website, unlike other sites which often have an accompanying app. It's also UK-specific, so you can quickly search based on different regions.
Fdating is totally free to access, and you can even browse profiles without making a profile of your own - but you'll need to log in to send a message. Still, once you're logged in there's nothing to pay for and the site will remain completely free. You can specify the age range of people you're looking to meet in your profile, and you can even see when potential dates were last active on the site, saving you from messaging dead accounts.
eLoveDates specialises in international dating, and it promises that all features of the site will remain 100% free. So if you're looking for your next holiday romance ahead of time, this could be for you.
On Mingle2, it's completely free to browse profiles and send messages. It doesn't all need to be romantic, though, and you can also use the site to make new friends too. Plus, profiles are monitored and you can easily block anyone you don't want to talk to.
9. Match Me Happy
UK-based dating site Match Me Happy lets you sign up, make a profile and send introductory messages all for free - and you can select your section of the site based on region. You can create a favourites list (like taking potential dates through to the next round of the X Factor) and send unlimited 'winks' as a free member - but you'll need to pay to keep using the instant messenger.
10. Fish For Singles
Fish For Singles lets you join and browse profiles for free - and all profiles are checked to make sure they're genuine. You can even filter your search by build, hair colour, characteristics and interests which, while slightly dystopian, could be the fastest way to finding your type on paper.
11. Just London Singles
Just London Singles is made for dating in the capital, where it's notoriously hard to meet people who want a relationship. The site allows you to make a profile, browse others and send likes for free, but you have to upgrade to send and receive unlimited messages and see who's viewed your profile.
Match is another site you need to pay for in order to access all the services available, but you can still use some features for free if you don't want to commit just yet. A free account will let you create a profile, browse for other singles and send likes - but you'll need a paid membership to send messages, with subs starting at £9.99 per month for six months. Still, the free option is great if you just fancy a browse.
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