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The best senior dating sites offer a convenient, affordable, and safe online experience.

Forty-eight percent said Match, a paid site, but Plenty Of Fish (free) and e Harmony (paid) tied for second most popular, with 23 percent apiece.

More than half, or 53 percent, of single people have created a dating profile, according to Match's recent Singles in America study, which polled over 5,000 single men and women in December.

Today, 40 percent of singles have dated someone they met online, while only 25 percent met a first date through a friend.© 2019 CNBC LLC. A Division of NBCUniversal Data is a real-time snapshot *Data is delayed at least 15 minutes.

"Unlike shopping for a bank or a refrigerator, in the case of online dating, the refrigerator has to like you back," Gilman said.

"There is a different level of exposure to disappointment and that's captured in the poor overall scores."Once considered taboo, online dating is now a socially accepted and booming multibillion dollar business that continues to grow.

“It's a myth that some sites are better for relationships while others are more for hookups,” says Manfredi.

“There are people of different intentions on every platform; it’s more important what your intention is.” Perhaps the key factor that determines whether you’ll like a site is not the price to join but the kind of people you find on it and how they behave and communicate.

“I typically recommend Match because I’ve found it gives you better quality,” says Jodi Manfredi, who writes online dating profiles professionally.

“I’ve always assumed that putting anything behind a pay wall makes it more attractive and weeds out the casual users and trolls,” agrees Joseph Lynn, a Chicago man who used e Harmony and Match as well as a few free sites.

Although our survey found that no dating site or app sweeps online daters off their feet in the satisfaction department, Ok Cupid is rated highest overall by respondents, and Grindr, a free app for gay men, is also near the top.

Some experts argue that paid sites attract more serious users.

Overall, respondents preferred free sites like Ok Cupid, Tinder and Grindr over paid sites like Match and e Harmony, in part because of the value.