Matchmaking Services Buyers Guide
With such busy lifestyles, it makes sense that many are turning to online matchmaking services. In many ways, they can simplify your life. For one thing, you won’t have to join random groups in real life to try to meet new people or strike up conversations with people at bars (that was never a good way to find romance). Matchmaking sites expand your social circle and open up many opportunities to connect and meet new people, and find the type of relationship you’re looking for. Unfortunately, choosing which dating site to join might be just as hard as finding your significant other. Each one offers different services, features, and has a different philosophy.
Before signing up for a matchmaking service, consider these options.
How much are you willing to pay?For many, this might be an important factor. Many dating sites aren’t free, which has its advantages and disadvantages. You might find it annoying to pay hefty monthly fees just for the chance to find love, but doing so shows other users you’re more serious. If you’re willing to pay $20.00 a month or more, it’s safe to assume you are a real person who is motivated to respond to messages and eventually set up in-person dates.
A number of pay-based sites also have some of the largest pools of people out there, who are also paying, which might increase your chances of finding the one. However, keep in mind that something that costs $1,000 a year isn’t necessarily better than a cheaper dating site.
Also, remember that once you pull out your credit card, if you want to stop the service you’ll probably need to actively cancel it. Most matchmaking sites require users to physically tell them to stop the service or they automatically renew it.
What kind of relationship are you looking for?
Which site you choose has a lot to do with what you’re looking for personally. There are hundreds of options, and all of them seem to cater to a specific type of romance or group. Some sites try to be really broad and incorporate everything but allow you to search through the options while others are designed around specific groups:
• Age (40+ dating)
• Type of relationship (casual dating or long-term romance)
• A specific religion
• Income levels
• Education levels
What kind of features would you like?
Perhaps it’s hard to know what kind of features you like on a dating site without ever trying one yourself, but here are some things to consider to help you on your quest.
• Ease of use – is the site easy to navigate, search, and use in general?
• Emails – some sites let you send emails, which is a convenient way to start up a conversation without providing any personal information.
• Chats – another option on some sites are chats, which allow real-time conversations.
• False phone numbers – maybe this sounds a little strange, but some dating sites can give you a fake number that will show up on caller ID, so if you do contact someone online, you can protect your privacy in case the connection doesn’t work out
• Winks – this feature just lets someone know you are interested. It is what it sounds like, a simple wink to get their attention and put the ball in their court.
• Gifts – some sites allow you to use online currency to buy cute virtual gifts to send to people that let them know you’re interested.
• Search features – some sites have incredibly detailed search features that let you narrow it down to the color of someone’s eyes and their height, while others are more general, only allowing you to search based on major factors like distance, religion, and age.
• Matchmaking tool – maybe this one is the most important. How a dating site suggest matches depends on the tools they use.Some match people based on personality tests, others by how you interact with other users (whether you like their profile, wink at them, message them, and how you rate them), and other’s match up users based on what you’ve written in your profile.
Keeping safe online
Even the most reliable sites attract scammers. Most people are good, but there’s always someone out there who wants to take advantage of you, and probably your money. Be careful about the kind of personal information you give out. A first name and a picture don’t pose much of a risk, but don’t give out your address or any financial information. If someone asks for money, even after months of talking, you’ve probably been scammed. Report them, and run away. If you meet someone in person, make sure that you start off in public places. Use your best judgment when talking to and meeting people online. Matchmaking sites offer a service, but it is hard to guarantee whether or not all their users are just as serious about finding love, or if they want something else.