- eHarmony has the best compatibility matching system of any other online dating site.
- Match has led to more marriages than any other online dating site.
- Plenty of Fish has led to more dates than any other online dating site.
- No other online dating site has more of a global presence than OkCupid.
- No other online dating site has more of a social media connection than Zoosk.
- Farmers Only connects farmers and farmettes better than any other online dating site.
Shall I continue? Because unlike a selfish man in the bedroom, I can go all night with this. And there are literally hundreds more sites that compare themselves more favorably than others. And you, the consumer, must pick and choose and still face the frustrations in the process. Here are some of the things clients say about dating sites:
- People lie about themselves
- Search engines suck
- Online dating is just hookup central
- I seem to be recycling through the same profiles over and over
- People online are creepy, ew, nasty, etc.
But it’s not all bad and, in fact, as an alternative to the bar scene and blind dates, it can be a more informed and deliberate way of trying your hand at dating. What I get fascinated about, however, is the discussion around whether a free dating site is worse or better than a paid one. So, let’s answer a question with some questions.
- Will paying for a dating site make people stop lying about themselves?
- Will having a free dating site make the operators of the site skimpy on the search engines or other means of operability?
- Will paying for a dating site mean that no one else on that paid site will be merely looking for hookups?
- Will people who pay for dating sites use paid dating sites exclusively?
- Does the fact that someone pays for an online dating site reduce their creep factor?
When we talk about which site (paid or free) is better, it’s important that we ask ourselves these and other questions. In the big picture, I don’t believe paid dating sites are better than free dating sites and my reasons for drawing this conclusion are simple:
- 78% of people who do online dating have their profiles on multiple sites and thus the chances of finding more or ‘better’ people on paid dating sites goes out the window.
- Intentions are intentions and $34.99 a month isn’t that expensive. Translation: If we think that all non-paid sites are hookups, which has been the urban legend, we’d also have to believe that people who are strictly in it for hookups will not pay $34.99 a month to increase their opportunity for getting them. If you’ve tried paid online dating to any extent, you know this isn’t true.
- Aesthetics are aesthetics and there are people who align paid dating sites to Bloomingdales and free dating sites to Macy’s. In their mind, although you will pay more for some of the same garb, the environment and clientele of Bloomingdales simply makes it more attractive. From my perspective, I fully understand the parallel of aesthetics to comfort. But if your desired end is clear and you believe the 78% and $34.99 bullets above, you’ll draw the conclusion that your return on investment may not be what you hoped for.
- Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. Free. Free. Free and Free. And yet, they spend millions upon millions of dollars trying to keep themselves relevant, cutting edge, etc. Why? Because they make dollars by the yacht load every minute from other sources of income by doing so. Same goes for a preponderance of free online dating sites. We ought not associate free to ‘cheap’ and draw the wrong conclusion that our experience will suffer as a result of it being a free site versus a paid one.
At the end of the day, people are going to gravitate towards what they’re comfortable with. My rationale aside, if you’ve done online dating then you’ve very likely tried your hand at free and paid sites. What did you see with one compared to the other? Your intuition and experience with my food for thought are nuggets that can only help you in this maze of love.
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