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Online Dating Agencies Reviews

The idea of online dating agencies is simple:

  1. Using a questionnaire, you describe yourself and your ideal partner.
  2. Using your data (which remains private), a computer searches for and matches you with other members.
  3. Proposals will be given to you and you can communicate with them.

Below you will find our acid tests on the best online dating agencies.

Updated : 01/2024

The Best Online Dating Agencies in the UK

For educated singles and professionals


UK members


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Academic Singles

Find educated singles near you


UK members


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Beat the odds, Bet on Love with eHarmony


UK members

48 : 52

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Matching personalities. Meeting expectations.


UK members

47 : 53

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Who wrote that?

Henning Wiechers
has been observing the UK dating market since 2007. He is among the top opinion leaders in the industry.

Any questions...?
Contact him!

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What is an Online Dating Agency?

People looking for a lasting relationship generally can’t go wrong choosing a dating agency. It is the most commonly used and the most promising way to find a partner to form a serious relationship. Chances are, you have friends or family who met their significant other via eHarmony or EliteSingles.

Online dating agencies are evolutions of the classic matchmakers that used to be found in newspaper advertisements. But today their database is much larger (market leaders count 100.000 active singles every week) and the prices are affordable.

The core of these agencies are so called matching algorithms. These are computer programs developed by scientists and will suggest partners for you. If you eventually wish to contact someone you will be provided with a safe environment to do so.

What are the merits of an online dating agency?

6 reasons why looking for a partner via an agency is so successful:

  1. The largest benefit is the large number of singles willing to engage in a long-term relationship, in contrast to most online dating sites or even offline at the 30+ party in town.
  2. Online dating platforms have millions of members, whom often are looking for flirts or some fun, but not commitment. Online dating agencies are much more serious and will help you on your path of finding a new long-term relationship.
  3. One more problem with large dating services is the amount of competition you will have to face. Without a great picture and an outstanding “about me” section, online dating may turn out to be more of a struggle, not so much an enjoyment – which it shouldn’t be! With online dating agencies, having more members directly correlates with more precise matching results, since there are more variables for the algorithms to pick from. No competition, because everyone only sees their own proposals.
  4. You will remain completely anonymous and may even decide at what point you wish to reveal your photo to your chat partner.
  5. Save time. You will only have to look at the hand full of proposals you are presented. You don’t have to sift through an entire database yourself.
  6. The self-improving computational algorithms are responsible for more and more successful matches by the agencies. Due to sociopsychological analytics you are often presented with suggestions that don’t quite match your general dating habits but may be spot on exactly for that reason.

To sum things up, with an online dating agency you may act anonymously and save a lot of time before you start dating people that may potentially be with you for the rest of your life.

Whoever is looking for a Partner for life and is able to afford a premium membership at eHarmony and the likes, will have the best chances signing up with a renowned online dating agency.

What are the downsides?

The safe environment of the online agencies does not revolve about profile pictures. If you enjoy browsing profile pictures and chatting for hours over, an online dating agency is not for you.

Also, your agency cannot simply calculate the perfect partner for you. That would be scary! You will receive an assortment of potential whose life goals, character and background converge with yours. The computer cannot calculate chemistry, love or attraction. That is your job to figure out.

And that’s where things get exciting and romantic!

Whom are online dating agencies best suited for?

Whether or not you should try out an online dating agency you may find out by the checklist below:

1) Am I serious about finding a partner?

  • Dating agencies are used by singles that are looking for commitment.
  • Quick and superficial flirts are for online dating sites and dating apps.

2) Am I too old or too young?

  • Singles just above 30 (or 25 for that matter) are definitely the predominant age group.
  • Older than 70? The database fades to mere emptiness.

3) Am I suited for this type of dating?

  • There are more sophisticated singles and academics

Was “Yes” your answer to all of these questions?

Up to our test winners

Which online dating agency is the best one in 2018?

Like with everything, there are multiple smaller providers when a new trend gains traction. Now, after 10 years, our three test winners have prevailed.

Over 75% of all those in search of “the one” populate those websites, so the matching will be very precise. Which agency is “the best” is hard to tell. It would be better to ask:

which one works best for ME?

And only you can answer that question! Though our tests might be of value when it comes to which ones you would like to give a try.

You should definitely try out two agencies free trials, before deciding on a premium membership: which one feels better? Which suggestions have you preferred? Where did you receive more messages?

How safe are online dating agencies?

The ones that we have tested and approved of, show exemplary efforts to keep their users safe:

  • All data transfers are SSL encoded
  • Certified runtimes and exceptional data protection
  • The servers are located in the UK
  • Employees review newly registered accounts to prevent fake profiles

Many dating sites have been hacked and compromised a lot of personal information – yet none of the premium agencies at the top of our list.

Your anonymity remains untouched.

With our test winners, others will only see your alias and you have 100% control over who may see your profile picture.

Online dating agencies: pricing

Compared to most flirt sites and dating apps the pricing for online dating agencies is much higher: a couple hundred pounds for half a year.

Which is why most agencies increase your chances of finding a relationship drastically. Why? Read the next section!

The current prices for premium memberships of the market leaders as well as specials and vouchers for the top online dating agencies can be found here:

  • How much does Academic Singles cost?
  • How expensive is EliteSingles?
  • What does eHarmony cost per month?

Why are online dating agencies comparatively more expensive?

On a side note, is finding the love of your life with more than 30% probability not worth more than a couple hundred quid?

With a premium-membership you generally support the reputation of your platform since 75% of the membership revenue immediately flows back into marketing!

This guarantees that thousands of new singles register for the database which is bread and butter for a functioning online dating agency!

The elevated price segment is also what guarantees success and has led to more than one million singles finding their significant other: a recent study of found that:

“The higher the price of a dating platform is, the higher the interest of the paying customer to find a new relationship!”

And this is how it works:

  • Trolls, testers and creeps of all sorts find cheap/free flirt websites more appealing.
  • Whoever is willing to pay is serious about finding a partner, will reply to mails and will not stand up blind dates.

All in all there is a really enjoyable and respectful social construct on these website that makes spending time there a pleasure, which is the backbone of a renowned and successful agency.

The study also shows that when singles are looking for a life partner, an online dating agency is the right place to search at.

“people that make random dates via flirt apps, will notice on the first date, that they are not meant for each other, while the socio and psychologically computed matches of dating agencies result in much more promising dates.”

Of course, there are plenty of dating agencies that are no good but expensive none the less. Few members, many fakes and nontransparent pricing…. Which is why we sorted those out for you.

Do decent free online dating agencies exist?

NO, there aren’t any.

With a free dating offer you are always at a disadvantage, because it attracts clients that are not serious about finding a lasting relationship. At the latest when she receives thoughtless message #286, she will leave the site to never return.

We do however expect a decent online dating agency, to offer a free trial period to new members, so they may try out the offer extensively before they have to sign up for a premium membership.

Experiences with dating agencies online

Our dating experts had varying experiences when testing different agencies online. Many were positive, but there also were some negative ones. Oftentimes users of these agencies will send us VERY detailed reviews of their experiences with the different websites, which we study thoroughly and work into our own evaluation of each website. We have included reviews of the three best agencies that reflect the opinions of the users and our own:

  • Experiences with Parship
  • Experiences with EliteSingles
  • eHarmony – Experiences and opinions

You would like to learn more about a certain agency?

In our FAQ on online dating agencies our experts share their extensive knowledge about different websites.

Particular agency needed?

1. International online dating agencies

More and more often the UK’s men and women are looking for love in different countries and ask us for a fitting international dating agency.

An overview can be found in our guide “International Dating Agencies

With many dating websites you are able to search for people from particular areas such as eastern Europe and Asia for example, that already live in the UK and are looking for a partner. Which is much easier logistically that experimenting around abroad…

2. Agencies for seniors

These play by the same rules as the international dating agencies: have a look at the three largest online agencies. Usually there are more 50+ members than even many dedicated websites may account for!

If you haven’t found anything so far you may have a look at over 100 online dating agency topics, whether it is religious, esoteric or disabled singles.

How did dating agencies develop?

The serious way of matching WITHOUT PICTURES(!) between 2001 up to approximately 2005 lead to most singles getting bored quite fast: looking at pictures and browsing what’s available at the online market is just not how online agencies work. The trick is to only present a handful, yet very promising candidates.

From 2006 to 2010 many partner agencies caught up by a lot and thrilled their clients with more interaction and curiosity features. Photos are no longer taboo.

2011 to 2024 the main focus with the top agencies was on developing even better algorithms to preset even more refined pools of potential partners to their clients, to enhance the support and also to connect the websites to mobile app.

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Online Dating Agencies in the UK: Further Information

For UK singles who would like to know more about matching algorithms and how online dating agencies can help you in the search for a partner, we have provided a list of articles. Whether thinking about it or ready to, these are a must read!

Up to the Test Winners