I joined Match.com right after Trooper broke up with me, as an experiment. I'd always read that the online dating experience was different on paid sites (versus free sites like Plenty of Fish or OK Cupid). Since I was newly single and looking to make a change, I figured it was the perfect time to test that theory.
Something you want to keep in mind when purchasing online-dating memberships - they will offer you several deals. Inevitably, the best one will be the one-year deal. It will have the lowest monthly rate. It will also be the biggest hit to your credit card, as the whole thing will be charged at once.
Something else to keep in mind - they renew automatically, at the same rate. So if you purchase a six-month membership for $20 a month, you're charged $120 at the time of purchase - and then they'll charge your card another $120 six months later to renew your membership.
If you decide to subscribe to a paid site, I suggest going with a one-year membership. If you're really not sure, purchase a one-month membership, but be very sure to cancel that subscription before it renews automatically at the inflated monthly rate.
Back to my Match.com experience....
I did not have a lot of luck on Match at all. In fact - I had decided to non-renew my six-month subscription in November 2012. I was waiting until just before my account was ready to renew - and then I met someone. Though he turned out to be a world-class jerk, my faith in the process was renewed - and so was my subscription.
Fast-forward to June 2013, and I still wasn't having much luck on the site. But, I was enjoying the Stir Event concept enough that I decided it was worth letting the subscription renew. Plus, I missed the chance to cancel prior to the renewal date, and since I'd already paid for the next six months, I let it be.
Since June, I've gone on a couple of dates from Match. Both were borderline disasters, as were all of the emails I've exchanged. I've yet to find a suitable "match" on Match - so this morning I pulled the trigger and canceled my subscription before it renews automatically in a couple weeks.
My feeling? It's not them, it's me. Match seems like the absolute perfect site for twenty and thirty somethings looking for their first real relationship, and/or marriage. The search screen is full of beautiful, hopeful faces looking for their happily ever after.
It does not seem that Match works for those of us who are a little older, and no longer under the impression that marriage necessarily lasts forever. Also - and this is not a complaint, just an honest observation - most of the men on Match are looking for someone younger and thin. (I know this because a Match profile actually gets that specific as to what a person's preferences are. The number of men who will "accept" a woman who is "curvy" or "a few extra pounds" is quite small.)
The Stir Events (at least locally) were mostly happy hours hosted at venues that appeal to a younger crowd. So it was just a collection of those same young, beautiful people looking for other young beautiful people. Which is absolutely wonderful - for the right demographic.
I think Match is probably the perfect site for some people seeking dates - it's just not for me. If you're a younger, commitment-minded single, I would say it's absolutely worth the membership. I would caution that while the paid subscription does weed out some of those just looking for a hook-up, or catfish scammers - it's not absolute. There may be fewer of them, but they're still there.
If it were free, or even just slightly less expensive, I probably would have stayed. But the reality is, there are other ways I can spend that money each month.