The Scoop On Online Dating Sites

Looking For Love? How About Just A Date?

If you are single, or have been in the last decade or two, you've probably thought about joining a dating site at least once or twice. According to CNBC, "40 percent of singles have dated someone they met online, while only 25 percent met a first date through a friend." 

Almost all agree that the dating "scene" is ugly. No, not the people - that is a purely subjective matter. But, the whole process, the rituals, the blind dates, the clubs. The fact is, if you don't like the way something is progressing, you should change tactics. 

You may have spent some time perusing some of the sites online. That's okay, I have too.  So, it came of no big surprise to find out that more than half, or 53 percent, of single people have created a dating profile, according to Match.com's Singles in America study completed in December 2017.

 

What Is The Best Dating Site?

I don't have a definitive answer on which site is the best dating site. Don't stop reading yet! There may be some useful information in the rest of this post.

Like appearances, experiences are subjective. We are all looking for something, but we are not all looking for the same thing. So, if you're hoping to go online and find a quick hook-up, you are probably not going to register and spend a dime on EHarmony.com. Likewise, if you desire a long-term relationship that may include a white picket fence, you may not want to spend a lot of energy or time using a free site like Plentyoffish.com.

But, I did do a fair amount of research and here is a universal finding. Cost is often the deciding factor in an online love search and on which site one puts their profile. 

 

Are Free Online Sites Better Than Ones With Fees?

Free is not always better. On the other hand, free doesn't mean something is not worth trying.

Some folks just don't want to take a chance on spending money they may never recoup in the ways of love. Others just don't have the extra money to spend on their love search. The rest, well, they are willing to pay nominal fees, and often a little more, on the chance they will find their soul mate. Many will pay because they feel sites with fees weed out the unmentionables, the unwanted, and the non-serious. In all fairness, I am positive there are good people that are of quality ilk that stick only to no-fee sites.

One drawback with free sites, besides whatever the reader may consider obvious, are that free sites are often busy with advertisements. Additionally, free sites have fewer options unless you do cough up the cash. Many free sites charge you to "find out who’s viewed your profile, find out if your messages were read or deleted, browse ad-free, send unlimited "gifts," and to increase your profile’s traffic." For these options, you must upgrade. POF, despite not making it into any of the "top 10" lists, charges $51.00 for six months, or $81.40 for one year to upgrade your account and access extra features - with no guarantee you'll find a match.

There are many free sites that do not have a bad reputation to all the relationship seekers out there. The only one to rate high in most reports is Zoosk. Zoosk  is a rare free site that also has a decent reputation. I don't have any reputable stats relating to just this site, so I can't give you more information other than it makes many of the "Best Of" lists. The reasons are never made clear as to why they receive a such high ratings. But, they have been around for years and show no signs of folding camp. They too offer upgrades with fees.

 

Which Pay Sites Make The Grade?

The reasons some sites rank highest across the board vary greatly. EHarmony, for instance, promotes it's unique algorithms used which use "29 Dimensions® of Compatibility" to select matches for it's users. They were the "first service within the online dating industry to use a scientific approach to matching highly compatible singles," which may explain their consistently high marks. 

Many pay sites also offer guarantees of various kinds. Match.com, for example, charges $17.99 a month for a 6 month subscription. But, it will give you an additional 6 months free if you do not find a match. They claim this "helps to keep the spammers away, and generally people who pay for a subscription are a lot more serious about finding love than those who don't." 

Most of the pay sites are often part of a conglomerate of companies. EHarmony is strictly for heterosexuals. But, they own an off-shoot company called Compatible Partners for "those seeking a long-term same-sex relationship." The highest ranking pay sites often offer very specific search opportunities. Looking for a mate that is Hispanic? Searching for a Christian partner? Would you like a Sugar Daddy? Desire a match that is considered "elite?" Are you young looking for someone older? Perhaps you wish to be with someone younger. Maybe you want someone your own age, of the same faith, or any other variable. Yes, there are sites for just about any taste you crave. 

The above sites all make it into the top ten of nearly every single, poll, report, and stat I could get my eyes on. Scoff if you choose, (some of the choices surprised me too) but online dating sites are running well past the 30 year mark of existence and make billions annually.

These companies have done well, in part, because their success stories are in the millions, are well-publicized, and have worked hard to build their reputations. Make no mistake, this is big business folks.  Consumer Reports conducted a study in 2016 that stated that "Nearly half, or 44 percent, of those who tried online dating said it led to a serious long-term relationship or marriage." And, Market Watch has reported that "roughly 30 million unique users, or about 10% of the U.S. population, visit dating sites every month." 

 

 Ready To Give online Dating A Shot?

If so, whichever site(s) you decide upon, read the fine print, testimonials, and fees on each site. 

Take a few chances, but, obviously, don't go to Christian Cafe or Catholic Match if you're an Atheist.

Keep your chin up if things are not going perfect right away. You are worth investing your time in!

Don't give up if you are serious about finding a match. It may take you time to understand the nuances of each site.

Here are some profile tips that will boost your odds of success.

  • Use recent pictures and at least one good close-up head-shot. 

  • Show that you're humble through a joke, a self-effacing story or a humorous anecdote, and use simple honesty.

  • Keep your profile brief. Include the most interesting facets of yourself/life.

  • Instead of a string of adjectives describing yourself, try starting off with a short ancedote.

  • Be honest. You are who you are. It won't do you any good to adjust your age, likes, or job.

Happy Dating. "May the odds forever be in your favor."

 

 

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