There are many websites, that you’ve no doubt read, listing the various Christian dating sites that are best for Canadians. Thing is, most of the sites they list are, in fact, not Christian-specific at all.
Below we detail the best Christian dating sites for Canadians (and, yes, these are Christian-specific sites — not any random dating service that lets you filter by religion).
Below we’ve outlined a quick summary of each of the four main Christian dating sites, followed by a much more detailed review of each. Keep in mind that while each site has their own advantages and disadvantages, they all allow you to create your own dating profile without any membership payment. Basically, if you’re seriously seeking a match that shares your beliefs, it’s worth your time to create a detailed profile on each service, and see what becomes of it. For most sites, yes, you will have to pay to take advantage of the full site capabilities, but getting your profile created and checking out potential matches is a step you can take without committing to a paid membership.
As mentioned, we’ve identified the four main Christian dating sites you should consider in your search.
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|Christian Dating For Free|
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Now, a more detailed review of each of these four Christian dating sites.
Based in Canada (yes, in the Toronto area), ChristianCafe.com is one of the Christian dating sites from back in the day (1999 to be specific). Likely its best-known differentiator has always been the extensive free trial that allows new members to try before they buy. It also touts itself as being genuinely Christian owned.
Search and matching
There are many ways to browse member profiles from Quickmatch to Who’s Online, but likely the most advantageous is the ability to create a detailed custom search (multiple of them, actually). These detailed searches can be saved for easy browsing, and can also power the new member matches received by email.
The search criteria is quite extensive, including items as granular as eye colour and fashion sense (the former likely rarely used). Of course, the deal-breakers are there as well: Location, education, smoking/drinking habits, marital status, and children. You can add on a (very helpful) layer of recency as well to focus on those who are new to the site (new since) and active on the site (online since).
Profiles include the cafe colours that are prevalent across the site. On full sized screens, photos are across the top of the profile with choice selections on a left sidebar and short answers in the main body section. Photos go through an approval process.
The long list of choice selections are mandatory, but the short answer questions are not. Short answer topics include what type of person you are seeking, personality traits, faith, activities/interests, first date settings, occupation, schooling, past relationship lessons and goals.
There are many options to customize your experience from the site defaults. These include things like hiding your city on your profile, not accepting ‘winks’, hiding that you viewed a profile. Similarly, you can exclude your profile from appearing in certain site searches (for example, those searching whose country is different from yours, or whose age is far from yours).
Based on profile of a member in a major Canadian city, with an interest in other members within a 15-year age range, ChristianCafe.com seemed a fairly active site.
When checking online members, there were usually a few online within the match criteria.
In terms of new members, the rate of new members within the criteria was decent for a niche dating site. Think 5-10 new members a week.
There’s more to ChristianCafe.com than just profiles. The forums are very active, and provide extra value for those waiting for new matches to join the site. Secondarily, forum posts can really help you learn more about someone. There is also a prayer page where members can post prayers and receive support from the community.
Look and feel
As mentioned, the cafe browns dominate the site. Overall, the look and feel is a bit dated by today’s standards but you shouldn’t make that the reason why you don’t try out the service.
As mentioned off the top, when you create your account for the first time, you’re given 7 free days to use the site (plus 3 more days when you post your first photo). The caveat to the trial is that you cannot share any type of contact information in your messages. No credit card is required for the trial. When your time is up then you decide if you wish to continue with a paid membership.
One thing to note: ChristianCafe.com differs from many other dating sites in that once your free trial has expired (or your paid membership is cancelled), you won’t have access to any part of site, even to browse. That means once your time has expired, you can’t even view profiles of the matches that are sent to you by email. A profile with unpaid time remains on the site for 180 days, unless removal is requested earlier.
Membership plan options are: 2 weeks, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months and 1 year. The longer the plan you choose, the greater the monthly savings. Membership fees are charged in US dollars, with the one year plan being just shy of $200 when converted to Canadian funds.
The one-year membership plan is unique among the Christian dating sites listed on this page. Considering you get full access to the site for an entire year, the price per month is a great deal. Of course, you have to convince yourself that you may be single for that long. More on that below, however.
Pricing per month ranges from around $45 to $13 (US dollars), depending on the plan chosen. It’s likely worth paying for a longer membership period, as you can pause/archive your membership at any time. With this, the membership is essentially on hold (and the profile temporarily removed from the site). So, you take advantage of the lower cost per month and if you meet someone you can pause your paid membership. If it doesn’t work out, simply reactivate your profile and continue on. If you’ve met ‘the one,’ we doubt you’ll complain about the rest of the paid membership that you never used.
When compared to the four other Christian dating site listed on this page, pricing works out to being the third most expensive.
Memberships are auto renewed, which is mentioned on the payment page (albeit not as blatantly up front as many other dating websites do).
Based in the UK, Christian Connection is one of the newer Christian dating sites available to Canadians.
Search and matching
The search/browse section is separated into four views: Suggestions, Newest, Recently Online and Closest. You can control what profiles are shown in these views by editing the filters. The only filter that is a bit hazy is the distance filter, which is “close to” instead of allowing you to state an an actual distance. Meaning, if you are absolutely only interested in people in the same city as you, this is likely not ideal.
One thing to note: Not all of the selectable profile answers are mandatory, it seems. There are plenty of profiles that are missing answers for what many would consider deal-breaker questions such as smoking and kids.
Profiles can also toggle between Relationship and Friendship Only, so not everyone on the site may be looking for a relationship.
A lot of the profile questions are simply free text answer, so that allows for more explanation and personalization. Of course, that also means they’re not available as filters when searching.
Photos are optional, but you can post as many as you like.
The logged in Home screen provides another view for discovering matches, but oddly with huge focus on the main profile photo. In this view, only the main photo and username are displayed (of course, you can click through to learn more). The filtering for the Home screen is a paid feature.
Profiles on Christian Connection are simple and clean – and fully viewable even for non-paying members. Choice selections and written answers are mixed together on the page.
Profile questions that typically would be selections from a list are more likely to be written answers on Christian Connection. For example, education is a written response allowing you to expand beyond a simple selection. The negative of this, as mentioned above, is that you can’t search profiles by level of education.
There does not appear to be a wait to get written answer changes live on your profile (i.e. no approval process to wait for in order to see your latest changes live). The same appears to be the case for profile photos. That said, your initial profile creation does go through an approval process.
As mentioned above, photos on your profile are optional, but – of course – recommended.
Some extra settings for your profile:
- hide your profile from searches by those who are of certain age (e.g. 20 year old women ensuring they don’t appear in searches made by 50 year old men)
- hiding site activity (i.e. not appearing in someone’s Viewed You list)
Based on a profile set for a major Canadian city – with an interest in those within a 15-year age span, Christian Connection appeared to have a decent level of activity.
Online activity (when members last visited the site) was quite good, but the rate of new members joining the site seemed lacking when looking at the Newest list. You don’t have to go down the Newest list too far to find people who were last online over a month ago.
Christian Connection has Boards (aka Forums), but they’re quite dead.
Look and feel
The site is professional looking and up to date. A very clean appearance, and a decent number of features to help you with your search.
Of note, when you create your account on Christian Connection, you get most paid features (or a limited version of them) for your first three days. That gives you a chance to try things out similar to how you would with paid membership. For example, you can send 5 messages per day during your trial (a subset of the unlimited messages with a paid membership).
Once your three-day trial is over, remaining as non-paid member means you can:
- browse profiles
- ‘like’ profiles
- ‘wave’ at members
- reply to messages (but only using one of the preset responses)
- post to Boards (3 posts per day)
A paid membership includes:
- sending messages
- video chat
- unlimited Board posting
- priority support
Membership payments for Canadian members are in Canadian dollars. Membership plans are 1, 3 and 6 months, with the 6 month being a 50% monthly savings over the 1 month. Pricing per month ranges from roughly $24 to $12 (Canadian).
When comparing pricing to the other paid Christian dating sites listed on this page, Christian Connection is cheaper across all membership plans. Considering the level of activity on the site, one could say it’s good value compared to the other paid options.
Membership plans auto renew until cancelled. This is stated well upfront, so no surprises.
Christian Connection has been known to offer extra free trials, so outside chance you can get another shot at using the site features for free.
Christian Mingle is likely the most well-known Christian dating site. Years ago, the site became somewhat of a household name due to their extensive television advertising. The site is US-based, and owned by a company that runs a portfolio of dating sites and apps.
The website has gone through many variations, and the current version is very much a pared down version of its former self.
Search and matching
Traditionally dating site have allowed users to run their own detailed searches based on the specific criteria they were looking for. It was one of the advantages of using online dating sites: That you could easily narrow down the list based on your ‘must have’ criteria.
For Christian Mingle that aspect is gone. While you can indicate your Discovery Preferences, there is no active way to conduct a search that only includes people with the traits you’re looking for. While the site does indicate the percentage match based on the Discovery Preferences, it is not possible to, for example, only have people who want kids appear in the list of matches.
Seeing how a detailed search does not exist, you rely on a few Browse listings: New, Online, Distance, Match %. LookBook. There appears to be a huge attempt to make the site more active than it is. For example:
- New includes profiles that were created (or at least were last online) months ago, although it does appear the most recent are at the top.
- Online lists many people who haven’t been online in months. In fairness, if someone actually is online they’re at the top, but that seems to be a rare occurrence. Due to it being sorted by % match, someone online yesterday can be far down the list, with many who haven’t been online in months being near the top.
- Match % does list profiles based on how much they match your Discovery Preferences, but there doesn’t appear to support any ‘must have’ criteria
LookBook is where Christian Mingle serves up suggestions and you can then ‘like’ or ‘pass’ on the profile. Mutual likes are then notified. Despite being based on your preferences, even these suggestions don’t consider your preferences as ‘must have’
There’s also a Matches section that provides system generated matches. It appears there are new matches listed there on a daily basis.
Profiles on Christian Mingle are quite smart. For example, if the profile lists a selection that you’ve indicated in your Discovery Preferences, that item will appear in bold in the profile.
The short answer section (while fairly wide open) is mandatory, as is at least one photo. This helps in keeping the overall profile quality decently high.
Likewise, any part of the profile that is not a choice selection goes through a review process (display name, photos, short answer section).
If you’re not a paying member, however, you can only view the main photo on a profile. We saw a few profiles where the main photo was not of themselves (thanks for the sunset), thus exasperating this issue.
Oddly, some profile items that many would consider deal-breakers are optional: Smoking, drinking, pets, etc.
Based on a profile with the location being a major Canadian city (and seeking someone within a 15-year age range), Christian Mingle seemed fairly quiet compared considering its brand recognition. New members in the city (within a broad age range) were not a daily occurrence, and barely a weekly occurrence. Looking at when members were last online was a bit better, but seeing someone ‘online now’ was rare. Of the matches that Christian Mingle picked, most had not been online in months. Of course, the way Christian Mingle presents profiles doesn’t help with this. If it’s difficult to see who is actually new or online (as mentioned above), it’s possible the site is a bit more active than we can decipher.
When we added a photo to our profile, and browsed the site a bit, the smiles (especially) and messages (all being a variation of ‘hi’/’hello’) came in. That’s great, except two-thirds of them were from people outside of the country (let alone the province). If you’re good with a long-distance relationship with potential (and some are!) then that’s great. We’re going to argue most are not – they’re looking to meet someone closer to where they live. About half of the messages were sent by paying members, so we could respond without paying a membership fee, if desired.
Of course, there is no cost to sign up and create a profile, so despite what you read here, it may be worth a few minutes of your time. That, and if you’re ‘ok’ with meeting someone long distance, that appears to be a valid option with Christian Mingle.
Christian Mingle no longer contains forums, so your online time will be spent just with one-to-one conversation.
Look and feel
The site is professional looking and up to date. One super annoying aspect is that you have to go through a CAPTCHA test upon each login (are you a human?).
If you don’t pay for a membership on Christian Mingle, you can:
- browse profiles (but only view the main photo)
- ‘like’ profiles
- send winks
- reply to messages from a paying member
A paid membership includes allowing you to:
- send messages (those that even non-paying members can respond to)
- see if/when your messages have been read
- view all profile photos
Additionally, there’s an add on payment option to promote your profile ahead of others.
Membership payments can be made for 1, 3 or 6 months (the larger the buy, the greater the savings on a per month basis). Pricing per month ranges from roughly $50 to $25 (US).
Memberships are paid in US dollars, and auto renewals take place (but are stated well up front and thus should be no surprise).
Christian Mingle is the most expensive of the four Christian dating sites listed on this page, especially for the longer-term plans. The one advantage, however, is that non-paying members can respond to your messages without paying. Thus, your membership payment includes paying for others to message you back – in a way.
Christian Dating For Free
Christian Dating For Free was created in 2006, just as free dating sites such as Plenty of Fish became popular. It seems very much a like a free version of ChristianCafe.com (similar features, options, and dated look and feel – but available for free) with the colour scheme of the original Plenty of Fish site. If the original Plenty of Fish site and ChristianCafe.com had a baby, it would be Christian Dating For Free. The service is based in California, and is run by a company that runs other niche free dating sites.
As the name suggests, you can use the site free of charge, but an ad-free (with upgraded features) option is available for those who wish to use the site without the barrage of ads. More on that below.
Search and matching
When searching for matches on the site, you can utilize the basic search (gender, age, relationship sought, location) or a more advanced search (which includes everything you could ever want to search for, from smoking habits and children to education level and church denomination). The advanced search also includes granularity such as eye colour, which one may argue is a bit overboard. The ability to search profiles by keyword is also included (which may be useful if there are activities or interests that are super important to you). All search preferences can be remembered to avoid having to reselect upon revisit. That said, the long list of selections appear at the beginning of the results of every search, which is not ideal.
Searching for only those who have photos (fairly standard) is possible except that Christian Dating For Free allows members to post any type of photo to their profile – not necessarily one of themselves. Thus, the ‘photos only’ filter is somewhat useless.
Viewing members who are currently online – or those who were online today – comes with the same level of basic search parameters (gender, age, relationship sought, location). Again, the filter selections can be remembered so you don’t have to re-enter them each time.
Viewing new users (although we’re not quite sure what classifies as ‘new’) also has the same basic filters.
Profiles on Christian Dating For Free are quite detailed in terms of choosing from a selection of responses, but less so when it comes to short answer questions.
Physical questions include height and body type. Other standard questions include marital status, education level, ethnicity, children (have/want) and smoking/drinking habits.
Regarding church, denomination (including denomination raised in) and attendance level are part of your profile. One oddity, Church Name is part of your profile, and is not an optional field, meaning you have to include the name of your current church (or at least provide some sort of response to that question).
You can write a headline for your profile, and there are two short answer questions: The wide-open ‘tell us about yourself’ (mandatory) and a description of what you would want to do on a first date (optional).
Non paying members can add up to 8 photos to their profile (paid members can double that to 16).
When looking at profiles, photos that aren’t the main photo are usually distorted, as the site displays them in perfect squares without cropping. To view the non-distorted photos, members need to click the image to put it in the main view.
One great feature hidden away in Account Settings is the ability to only have certain types of members message you. For example, only people within a certain age range, only people from your country, and only non-smokers/non-drinkers.
Christian Dating For Free has the advantage of allowing singles to use the site, well, for free! This helps with online activity as there are no barriers to use the site.
And, indeed, based on profile of a member located in a major Canadian city (and seeking matches within a 15-year age span), online activity was quite decent for a niche dating site. Matching members that were ‘online now’ was quite a frequent occurrence, and when looking at ‘online today’ there were 15-20 profiles listed fairly consistently.
For chat rooms, at least one of the rooms always had a decent number of participants. Forum postings were fairly frequent, but for most sections not a daily occurrence.
As mentioned above, Christian Dating For Free retains two community-type features that many sites did away with years ago – and this is not a bad thing.
Forums are fairly active, but it really depends on the general topic area. Some sections are fairly dead while others get posted to daily. Looking at forum threads commenting about the forums themselves, many members seem to indicate that there is no moderation in the forums. We can’t confirm this.
There are seven live chat rooms, usually with one or more having an active discussion (it tends to be the ‘Over 40’ chat room that is most populated).
Look and feel
Oh boy. Take original Plenty of Fish colours and put it in an outdated interface and you have Christian Dating For Free. The site is usable (and feature rich), just super out dated visually.
The real kicker on user experience though is the ads. You can easily have four ad spots in a single screen view (on a computer) – and one hides the bottom navigation unless you turn of off (and it then reappears on the next pageview). It is truly a barrage of ads. We realize some may get around this with ad blockers and such but the default experience is quite annoying due to the ads. Of course, ads are the trade off for being able to use the site free of charge. That said, many ad supported sites find a way to monetize without completely destroying the user experience.
More on the ads: We definitely spotted ads that the Christian audience would not approve of. Likely 95% of the ads viewed were fine, but some definitely get through that are not something most of this audience would be comfortable with.
Almost all of the standard features of Christian Dating For Free are, yes, free. That said, you can upgrade the experience and feature set with a paid membership.
A paid membership includes:
- no advertisements (escape the barrage of ads!)
- promotion of your profile – you appear near the top of searches made by other members
- seeing when members last logged in
- sending unlimited messages a day (honestly, we weren’t aware of a limit on the free plan, so not sure how much of a feature this is)
- doubling your profile photo limit to 16 photos (if 8 was not enough!)
- keeping all messages (typically messages older than 90 days are deleted from the site)
- seeing if your messages are deleted
- receiving notifications when your favourites log into the site
Paid membership plans available are for 1, 3 and 6 months. The price per month ranges from around $24 to $9.
If you put the paid version of Christian Dating For Free up against the three other Christian dating sites mentioned on this page, it is noticeably cheaper. For example, it’s less than half the cost of Christian Mingle’s one- and three- month plans, and around one-third the cost of Christian Mingle’s 6 month plan. Considering the activity on Christian Dating For Free, the paid upgrade seems to be great value when comparing to other Christian dating sites.
Whew, that was a lot. That’s our detailed rundown on the Christian dating sites that you should know about. Did we miss something – or do have something to add? Please do so in the comments below.