Dating apps offer many ways to find love, but choosing between the many services is somewhat of an illusion. Many are owned by the same handful of companies and tend to blur together. EliteSingles—a service from Sparks Network, the company behind AttractiveWorld, Christian Mingle, eDarling, JDate, and Zoosk—falls into this category. It is a dating app that asks smart questions and provides deep (if familiar) profiles. Unfortunately, EliteSingles carries a high price, and its major selling point, a focus on so-called “elite” users, is another illusion. Compared to Match and Tinder, the Editors’ Choice winners for dating apps, EliteSingles does not do enough to stand out from the pack.
EliteSingles is available on the web, as well as on Android and iOS devices. We primarily tested on the web and an iPhone 11.
The app leads with what might be its best feature. When you sign up, you take a quiz to determine a score that EliteSingles’ algorithm uses to pair you with potential picks. The quiz only takes a few minutes, unlike eHarmony’s lengthy questionnaire or OkCupid’s seemingly endless questions. However, we was surprised how deep the experience got within such a limited series of questions.
The questions are vague, yet targeted enough that answering enough of them painted an accurate picture of my personality. “I always proceed according to plan.” “I’m loyal.” “I’m interested in the arts.” You move a slider to express how much a certain trait applies to you, along with how much you value that trait in a partner. After all, just because I only drink once per month does not mean my partner cannot party. EliteSingles also asks you about the traits that you seek in a potential partner, such as age, location, and gender.
At first, we was wary that EliteSingles positioned itself as a place for “wealthy” or “educated” singles. It sounded gross and elitist, like high-end dating apps that put users on a waitlist. Fortunately, there is no actual gatekeeping here. You enter your education level, job, and salary. You do that on other dating apps, too. EliteSingles will not give you the boot if you make below six figures. EliteSingles wants to attract quality users more with marketing than anything concrete. The support staff also says it weeds out inactive and unvetted profiles, so you can trust the matches are real and viable.
Interface and Profiles
EliteSingles is a flagship service from Spark Networks, and it is an app the company is so proud of that it uses the same template across other apps. The interface weaves various bits of biographical data, from your favorite activities to your interest in having children, into slick and straightforward profiles. Spark Networks also owns Zoosk, but EliteSingles is a much smoother experience on a technical level. Like Hinge, EliteSingles lets you favorite individual profile parts alongside the profile as a whole. You can browse through approved pictures in the separate gallery tab.
You have several ways to search for profiles, depending on how much you value the matching score. EliteSingles can serve up five new matches every day. The Have You Met feature puts profiles, with all their information, into a swipe-friendly, Tinder-style interface. These Wildcard profiles may not fit your criteria—they do not even display a matching score number—but the feature hopes you will consider people you may not have thought of otherwise. If you are truly adventurous, you can search for any and all users under the What If tab, and filter from there.
There is nothing explicitly stopping anyone from signing up for an EliteSingles account, but the paywall may weed out some people. Free users can receive matches, like profiles, and send matches prefab icebreaker messages. That said, you must subscribe to see likes and visitors, like more than 20 Wildcard matches per day, and send real messages. All photos are also blurred for free users, a particularly stingy restriction among dating apps.
It does not help that EliteSingles’ prices sit toward the higher end among premium dating services. The premium subscription costs $100 for three months, $110 for six months, and $210 for a year. Match and eHarmony are pricier, but both services offer more features and wider audiences. Match also has a far more robust free tier. It does not help that SilverSingles, Spark Networks’ dating app for users more than 50 years old, offers virtually the same experience at a lower price.
What do the different membership options offer?
Social Distancing With EliteSingles
Eventually, we will be able to freely date again without having to worry about COVID-19. Until then, we must remember to socially distance while looking for love. The EliteSingles relationship blog talks about quarantine dating strategies, which is a quite a popular topic. Unfortunately, when it comes to video dating, the blog recommends using video conferencing software, such as Skype and Zoom, because you cannot video call from within the EliteSingles app.
Other dating apps offer built-in video calling, including Bumble, eHarmony, Match, and Plenty of Fish. Tinder is testing the feature as an experiment. Facebook even released an entirely separate app, Tuned, to help quarantined couples stay connected.
EliteSingles works well, and does its best to quickly connect people who might honestly like each other. Still, the app lacks standout features, which makes the limited free functionality and high price an especially tough sell. Match and Tinder, our Editors’ Choice winners for dating apps, stir true passion.
Short, thought-provoking questionnaire
Expensive, with few free features
No video chat
Questionable “Elite” branding