I remember what I said to myself when I first heard about internet dating. “Okay. I’ll take a look, but I’m not saying that I’m going to participate in online dating just yet. I’ve heard the success stories and the horror stories about online dating. I do not have any first-hand experience to share with you on the topic.”
What I plan to do in this article is take you with me while I explore the different online dating services available on the Internet. Brace yourself and buckle your seat belt! I’m going to try something I once saw in a cartoon.
Is “Free” Too Good To Be True?
Okay, the first website I discovered says it’s a “free” online dating service. When I’m online, red flags always go up for me when someone says that magic word “free.” But let’s take a closer look.
Well, it sounds good. It says it is, “an Internet dating service that provides a comfortable and intimate environment where you can safely and conveniently search for and find the man of your dreams, while having lots of fun. Thousands of dating ads of singles that are looking for dating romance, intimacy, and friendship are available for you to browse through. Your ideal companion might be among them. (Site name retracted) brings dating to new frontiers, making the impossible, possible!”
I’m having a little trouble with the “comfortable and intimate environment” thing. They haven’t seen the room my computer sits in. Safe and convenient sounds nice though. But if the website is just a lot of personal ads, can’t I just get something like that at my local newsstand or in my local newspaper?
I think I’ll move on and take a look to see if there are online dating services that provide more than dating advice and personal ads.
What Exactly Are You Looking For in a Dating Site?
Hmm, now I find myself on a website that claims to be the biggest online dating service on the Internet. It has a big picture of Dr. Phil on the front. Almost scares me away, but I’ll tough it out and stay to see what they offer.
Here is what they say, “Looking for more in a relationship and a dating site? With over 10 years of experience in online dating and relationships, (site name deleted) is the worldwide leader in online dating and relationships. Where else can you find millions of singles looking for love, just like you? We don’t offer just online personals, we are personal in our offerings – to help you find a date, a relationship, and marriage.”
Whoa! Marriage? I said I might try online dating. I never said anything about marriage! And now I have a mental image of “millions of singles looking for love.” Wow! Millions? Okay, so they sound big, but what do they actually offer?
Well, first off, they don’t really tell you much about the services they provide. Just a lot of information about the millions who have gotten married through their online dating service. So I bit the bullet and went to the sign-up form to learn more.
How Much Does Love Cost, Exactly?
Now comes the money question. It’s $29.95 each month, or I can get discounts for longer memberships. Then there is the Dr. Phil “Mind-Find-Bind” program that costs more. Now I’m laughing because since I am checking the online dating service out while typing this article, I have evidently waited too long to make my decision because a popup just came up to offer me assistance with making up my mind.
They do have some free services, but those are basically to create a profile and look at profiles. These are just like the free services on the first online dating website. You have to pay for the ability to actually respond to any emails sent to you by other members, block members or see which members have taken a peek at your profile. That all sounds okay, but if you go for the whole Dr. Phil package, you get an online dating tutorial, a video about online dating, online dating workshops, and online dating advice. Wow!
Well, as I said, I haven’t decided just yet, so we are going to check out one more online dating website together.
Okay, this one is free. They have a patent pending on their matchmaking idea. They calculate your “matchability” in percentages. What I really want is a way to know if a man is wonderful.
How Does This Work?
The online dating method they use goes like this: “When you answer a question in our “improve matches area” we learn: (1) your answer, (2) how you’d like someone else to answer, and (3) how important the question is to you. We collect these three values for all users. Your match percentage with a given person on (site name deleted), let’s call him “B,” is based on the values of (1), (2), and (3) for questions you’ve both answered. We’ll call that set “S” later in this explanation.”
Wow! And I thought that just regular dating was complicated!
I think I’m going to keep checking out more online dating websites until I find the one that is right for me. So far, the ones we just toured have been too much like personal ads, too expensive, too Dr. Phil-ish for my tastes, or too complicated. I’m sure though, that just like finding the right date, there is an online dating website out there for me and there’s one for you too! But at least this tour gives you some insight into how some of the most popular online dating websites work.