According to the Wall Street Journal, as of 2010, 60 percent of all heterosexual couples met online. It is only logical to assume that figure has increased in the last two years. Many in this economic downturn are likely in a quandary about whether there is an advantage to using a paid dating site vs a free one. Do you really have a better chance of meeting your soul mate if you pay for the search?
Fee vs free dating sites
On pay sites, a great percentage of the profiles you view are from unpaid members. That means you can message them, but to little avail. They can not answer unless they then decide to spring for a paid membership. Not so with free sites. You can browse and message other members until the cows come home, and they can respond anytime they so choose.
But that can be a drawback, too. Free sites also may draw more creeps, pretenders, scammers and predators.
Payers, less players?
Those who pay for sites probably feel they are getting a selection of more serious candidates to browse, since they ponied up for the experience. For that reason, there may be a lower ratio of creeps to sincere date-seekers.
On the other hand, those who pay for a dating site may feel more pressure to go on dates simply to get something out of what they paid for.
Also, just because somebody spends a little cash, does not mean they aren’t a creep, pretender, scammer or predator.
Some paid sites also make you jump through a lot of hoops before allowing contact. Their concern is to weed out jerks and non-matches and to keep their percentage of matches up. You might appreciate that if you want somebody to do the weeding out for you. Others prefer to make those choices for themselves, and may find it annoying that a service they paid for won’t let them contact whom they want to when they want to.
Take your time
Weeding out the real from the phony is where your own savvy comes into the picture. It is wise on any dating site to communicate for a while before arranging meetings. The longer you chat, the better sense you will have of assessing the person behind the profile.
Free to browse
Is the difference between paid and free dating sites enough to justify the monthly fees in this post-recession economy? That is a determination each dater needs to make for him or herself. The nice thing is, it costs you nothing to do your own exploration. Even the paid sites allow you to set up a profile and browse for free. If those searches serve up more interesting profiles than do your searches on the free sites, it may be worth getting out your credit card.
Top unpaid sites
Some top free dating sites are plenty of fish , OKCupid and Datehookup.com.
Plenty of Fish: http://www.pof.com/