Friday, January 14, 2011

Online dating sites: What works?

One of my resolutions was to stop looking for love, and let it find me. That being the case, and since things are pretty good for me right now - I'm not really using the online dating sites. Still - they worked. I mean, they got the job done when I needed it done.

You can read reviews on these sites just about anywhere. What's that? You're wondering what I think of the sites I've used? Well, since you asked....

Plenty of Fish - Free online dating. You can email and IM any member with no annual charge. Although - I will say that I recently noticed that they no longer tell you if an email was read and/or deleted by the recipient unless you upgrade your membership and pay a monthly fee of $5.95. That's a reasonable cost if you want that feature - but it's also something you can probably live without. The IM feature on this site continues to allude me - sometimes, it works, sometimes it doesn't. When it does work - I like it; it's clean, easy to read and has a pop-out feature.

Okcupid - Also completely free. They will go one step further and try to match you with people - they even assign a rating to each member, telling you how compatible you are with him - at least on paper. I can live without the ratings and quizzes - it makes me feel like I'm playing a video game. "If you rank a user as 4-5 stars, and they rank you the same, we'll notify each of you...." I feel like I should be hitting a buzzer, instead of crafting a witty email. But the interface is clean, the IM tool works - and you can block other users from your feed; a handy feature when the guy who just dumped you has decided to create his own profile.

Free sites tend to have more members - which tends to increase the jerk factor (I'm no expert, but this seems like basic statistics to me). Still, I like the sites because there are more people, and after a while, it gets easier to weed through the unworthy to find those with whom you might have a connection.

That said, I didn't want to be a total online cheapskate, so I did pay for a one month membership to e-Harmony, which is supposed to be one of the best sites out there, right? Supposedly matching you based on deep, meaningful criteria, to ensure a better connection. As far as I could tell - it's just more expensive. You have to pay just to see members photos. And it's not as cheap as some of the other paid sites, either, although it doesn't appear to offer much more. The one thing the site did tell me was that, based on my questions (which you have to answer in order to create a profile), I'd be better off living in CA, where I have more matches. I had a profile for one month, met one guy - and will not ever pay for that again.

My conclusion about online dating sites? It's just like anything else. You get out of it what you put into it?

Have you used online dating? What worked for you? What didn't?

No comments:

Post a Comment