Are you a single man or a woman searching for a reputable and decent online dating site? There are so many services out there to consider that even I feel confused and lost at times. We can categorize the best hookup sites according to tons of parameters, but basically there are free and paid services. If you want to find a good working site, set up a nice profile, and find a Prince Charming or a beautiful lady, which app to choose? Should you join the site only because it is free? And are there any 100% free sites?
In this article, we will analyze both options so that you could choose which one is the best for you.
What Are Free Online Dating Sites?
You are determined to find a soulmate and you don’t want to spend a dime on it. Then your option is to register on a free dating site. Most free platforms are actually mainstream dating services that work as social networks. Why pay for sending messages if you are new to online dating and just want to see how it works? You really don’t have, but think about the following pluses and minuses first.
The biggest advantage is it’s free and you don’t have to pay, you may write to thousands of girls. But who knows if they are girls. So now we got to disadvantages.
Bad Quality Matches
First of all, nobody checks the profiles and if this person is real or not. Nobody knows about his/her matrimonial status and so on. A pretty girl with nice pictures indeed may be an ugly man who lives in any country in the whole world and who likes to have fun online.
From my point of view, you have bigger chances to face scammers on free websites because nobody checks any information in the profiles. And, of course, don’t forget that to maintain and to support the site costs some money. The owners of the resource need to get them. As a result, you will see annoying ads or something like that. It will disturb you for sure. Dating sites are not charity projects so if they are free to use there will be something that brings money to the owners.
Poor Search Results
The main goal of any dating platform is to provide its members with a continuous flow of matches. For this, they use matchmaking algorithms to identify the most appropriate people to get into the search result. Paid services have quite elaborate questionnaires and compatibility matchmakers thus can guarantee its members good results. You can’t say that free services. They use few parameters and build up a random list of potential matches.
Irresponsive Support Team
Free sites either don’t have customer support or it does not work as it should. Good-quality dating platforms have a 24/7 dedicated support team that ensures the verification process, controls the security and helps members learn about the website’s features.
Paid Online Dating Sites
Now about the paid resources. The minus is you have to pay. But at the same time, it may be a plus. Do you know why? Agency is a group of people, it is a big team indeed, that works hard to make the site better and communication safer. They protect their clients and check members before registration. Some services even check the passport, age, and matrimonial status because they are for fair play and don’t want to see scammers on their websites. In other words, you pay for making your communication safe, private and with the real members.
Some paid websites have free functions that let members learn about the website and to check if they like it; sometimes members are allowed to start communication with other members for free. And only then they will be suggested to pay for further use. There is one more thing that should be admitted, the women feel safer on the paid sites because there are a lot of men who like to play games and have no intentions for committed relationships, these men even can be married and just have fun online. So, when a man pays for using the website it shows that he is serious in his intentions.
What Are The Major Benefits Of Paid Dating Sites?
If you are looking for serious relationships, then consider the following benefits that paid dating sites can give you. I think it is worth paying for a dating website:
Better For Serious Relationships
If you are serious about finding a relationship that leads to marriage, the paid option is for you. Otherwise, the non-paid sites appear to be more appropriate, with many of them catering to one-night stands, FWBs, and other temporary arrangements. To be fair, there are some “players” on paid sites, and it’s often difficult to sort them out. But I’ve still found that a lot of people on paid sites seem to be more marriage-minded compared to the free sites.
Because this at least proves that the people you are corresponding with have sufficient discretionary funds to date. I don’t expect the woman I’m seeing to be super-rich or anything, but being on a paid site does suggest that they are gainfully employed. My friend told me that he only joined the paid site because he wanted to minimize his chances of ending up with a gold-digger.
Sometimes you get more “perks” with paid sites, going invisible while you search, promoting your profile, see if they read your message or special algorithms that sort for attractiveness. As long as you can read someone’s messages, I don’t see these things as a huge added bonus, but others might.
See Who Likes Your Profile
For lots of people seeing who likes their profiles is a major plus. First of all, you can get out of your comfort zone and initiate a conversation with this person. Secondly, by just looking through the endless list of potential partners you can neglect many worthy candidates. And notifications when someone adds you to Favorites certainly eliminate this scenario.
More Beautiful People
There is a bigger percentage of more attractive men and women (judging by their profile pictures). Therefore, more attractive users get the overwhelming majority of communication requests, winks, nudges, etc., so inevitably the response rate is much higher for paid sites.
Unlike free sites, paid ones don’t have a fundamental demographic imbalance. For example, too many young men and not enough young women, given that most men want to date women younger than themselves and women are usually more open to dating older men than younger ones. In general, this means that in order to maximize responses to their messages, young men need to be open to dating women who are older, divorced, separated, have a child from a prior relationship, etc.
Women Are As Interested As Men
I noticed that when people use free services they are not active enough. It mainly concerns women who expect men to always make the first move. In free apps, men need to initiate the vast majority of communications or indications of interest and need to pursue things with a level of confidence to present themselves in a way that attracts women. However, when both men and women pay for using dating sites, they both should put in their efforts.
For males with a better educational background, it is important to see many women with equal education. On free dating sites most of the women are less educated (keeping in mind that only about 25% of the adult American population has a Bachelor’s degree or higher). When you use the paid app, you will meet more educated and well-established people. Moreover, there are some niche dating services that invite people only with higher education.
If a user logs in and doesn’t see other active members, doesn’t have messages, doesn’t have views, they lose interest. If they don’t see evidence of activity (and, thus, promise and potential for themselves), the site isn’t appealing. So long as a paid site can offer other users, activity, and interaction, many find it more than worth paying for.
Furthermore, the dating site can expand upon what is offered and take it beyond just other members and basic features. Scanning other members for potential matches, multimedia features, and functions, playing a more proactive role in getting members to interact with other compatible members – these are all things that add value to the experience of the user and add value to how the user perceives the site/service.
Are There Any 100% Free Dating Sites?
Why Facebook, Instagram, and other social media are free to use? They make you watch their adds. The same thing is with free dating sites – they use additional means of getting money other than from subscription.
For example, Tinder – the well-known free dating app – is actually not 100% free. It has several paid features unlimited likes and limits on right-swiping. There are some basic monetization ways free sites usually apply:
You can register the account, fill out the profile, search for the users, but your chat window is inactive. You can receive the messages but cannot open them. To get access to the unlimited communication features you have to buy credits of premium membership.
There are various ways of communication in addition to sending text messages – sending winks, emojis, and virtual flowers that count as gifts.
Just like social media, dating apps can sell space for advertisements to some third-party companies.
In addition to in-app purchases, many companies organize offline events – romance tours, speed dating, parties – to bring members together in the real world.
Privacy And Security Practices
Paid dating sites always pursue the following security practices:
They Always Use HTTPS
Using HTTPS means that all the data between a web server and your browser is encrypted.
This protects any data you send or receive from the webserver (password, credit card details, shopping orders) from being visible to anyone who could listen between your computer and your web server.
Is it likely someone would be listening to this data? Yes, it can happen when people are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Or it can also be your internet provider (like BT, Verizon, …), or even governments (China is running a big firewall, which listens to everything that goes in and out of Chinese internet networks).
Some would argue that HTTPS can also protect the identity of the webserver – for example, you know that you’re connected to your online dating site account, rather than someone pretending to be your dating site.
Dating sites collect user information such as email addresses, phone numbers, home addresses, credit cards, etc. This is needed for you to log in and to make a purchase. When you get back to your dating site, you can find yourself already logged in. That’s not only a very convenient option but also secure if the site marks these cookies ‘secure’.
I think that in life you get what you pay for. I believe this is often true when it comes to dating sites as well. It’s really worth paying if you are looking for a serious relationship for one simple reason – people who are serious about finding a partner are likely to put more effort into the whole process – from writing their profile to paying a little bit for it.
Swiping apps and free sites attract way too many people who are only on them because they are bored or need attention. More and more people use dating sites and apps in the same way they use Facebook and Instagram.
When you start paying, even if it’s just $20-$30 / month, the chances of meeting someone who is looking for something romantic are better, because that fee “filters out” all those who are online out of boredom. This latter type of person is usually not willing to pay to be on a site.