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One Size Does Not Fit All: Choosing the Online Dating Site That’s Best for You

21 September 2009 4 Comments by Simone Grant

woman-choosing-red-backgroundLet’s start with an analogy: Why spend time shopping in a store if they don’t carry merchandise that suits your taste?

As far as I can tell, the biggest mistake that people make with regards to online dating is that they sign up for the wrong service. Let me be more specific: they sign up for the wrong service – for them. There is no one wrong service, or one right service. There are dozens of online dating service providers out there. DOZENS. And which one (or ones, as I’m frequently using more than one at a time) a person chooses to use will affect their online dating success.

Some people might consider the advice I’m about to give you controversial, but if you think about it for a few minutes, I think you’ll find it makes a lot of sense.

  • Bigger is not necessarily better. This is a market dominated by a few big players. They spend a lot of money on advertising and charge a lot of money for their services. And, they do have a lot of satisfied customers. But not all of their customers are satisfied (everyone’s heard of the guy who’s suing Match.com). Don’t blindly sign up for a service just because they have the best television commercials.

  • There are some great people out there on some of the free services. My best online dating experiences have been on free services, and I’m not alone.
  • The service that your sister, brother, best friend… swears by might not work for you if that person lives in another city. These things can change radically from city to city. A service that is popular, with hundreds or thousands of users in New York, may only have a couple of dozen users in Chicago.

The only way to know which service is right for you is a) to do research and b) to find out by trial and error. If you have friends who live in your same city or town with similar tastes who’ve tried online dating, ask them about their experiences. They may be able to save you some time and money. I’d also suggest you look around online and see if there are any niche services that cater to your special interests. One of those could be perfect for you.

Personally, I never sign up for more than a month’s initial membership for any service that has a fee. I know that paying for several months at a time is a huge savings, but I’m willing to shell out a little extra for that first month to see if the site is worth it. Then, if I have a positive experience, I’ll purchase a larger package in the future.

The most important thing I’d like those new to online dating to remember: if you sign up with a site, try it for a few months and don’t have any luck, please don’t assume that online dating doesn’t work. All your experience proved is that that site at that time didn’t work for you. Take a step back, look around, and see what else is out there. It’s a big wide web. Look to see what it has for you.

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  • Dateable Redux | Sex, Lies & Dating in the City said:

    [...] point is that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to online dating.  That my odds of meeting someone go up when I’m on a site [...]

  • 3555930 said:

    3555930 beers on the wall.

  • Mirna said:

    it will be great if you add a translation widget on your blog…

  • dames ondergoed said:

    That’s a wonderful event. How can one support it financially?