Free dating sites: Find the best with Smart Shopper

Dating isn't the way it used to be when I met my husband more than 20 years ago.

Now many people meet their mates online, but most of those dating sites can be costly.

Well, I found some that are free.

One of the more popular sites is plentyoffish.com, also known as POF.

It's pretty simple to get started. All you have to do is fill out a questionnaire and you can start searching, even before uploading your photo.

You can also take a personality test and have the site match you with others who seem to fit your personality.

The site also lets you chat with other members, and you can see who has viewed your profile.

There are upgraded features that you can pay for, but the basics won't cost you anything.

Datehookup.com is another dating site, and all of the features are free.

Again, you first have to fill out information about yourself and what you are looking for.

Next, the search is on. The site also has tons of forums, and you have the option to chat online.

Okcupid.com is another free matching site.

The sign-up for this site was the fastest of the three because it allows you to skip a lot of the questions and quizzes.

Obviously the less you put in your profile, the fewer people will contact you online.

Like the other sites, you can chat online, and of course the site does not offer your personal contact info to other members.

So instead of spending all of your cash finding a date, you can spend it wooing your actual date.

Keep in mind with any online site, free or not, you have to be careful. Don't assume that everyone online is who they say they are.

Avoid offering too much personal information until you've met in person, and I'd suggest meeting in a public place.

Several of the paid dating sites offer advice to stay safe when dating online:

-  Ignore any request to send money

- Be careful about sharing other personal information, such as your full name, phone number, email and address

- Get to know the other person before meeting them offline

- Always meet in public

- Inform a friend or family member of your plans and when and where you're going. 

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