I first joined eHarmony on February 16, 2007 during a Free President’s Day Weekend event (I later found that they offer free trials during most 3 day weekends). The reasons for joining were myriad, but basically it boils down to this: I don’t go out to certain single-gathering areas and I wasn’t particularly interested in starting (plus another Valentine’s Day by myself didn’t help).
During the free weekend, I was limited to 10 matches, and I was unable to see any of their pictures. I corresponded with one girl in Florida for a bit and she seemed intriguing so I ended up joining. Now here’s where the tricky part comes in…
Recently, I’ve been fielding more and more questions about Online Dating. The most common thing I have heard is that people are scared to try it. I will admit that I was initially a little timid about the concept, but as I discussed previously, I eventually jumped into it and thus far haven’t had any regrets.
These days, there are dating sites for just about every dating preference. There’s CougarLife.com for older, successful women looking for younger men. For those with a religious preference, there’s JDate.com for Jewish singles and ChristianSingles.com for Christian Singles. And if you are just looking for a hookup, well you can always head to Cragislist.
A few years ago I realized that just waiting to suddenly meet someone wasn’t going to work out for me. Despite knowing this for quite some time, I didn’t do anything about it, until I heard about a free trial for eHarmony over President’s Day Weekend. The free trial limited me to 10 matches, and prevented me from seeing any pictures. Met someone interesting on there and decided to sign up. Later, I met someone on there who had an account on OkCupid.com (which is free), so I joined there. Last year, I saw some random web article that mentioned another free site, PlentyOfFish.com, as having received a big boost in membership due to Valentine’s Day so I signed up there. Lastly and more recently, I saw an ad on the iPod Touch for DatingDNA’s iPhone/iPod Touch app, so I got that, mostly due to the amusement of having a dating app on the Touch.
Below is a quick rundown of Pros and Cons of the various sites I have used. In order of preference, I like: OkCupid, eHarmony, PlentyOfFish, DatingDNA. eHarmony has delivered the most quality matches, and on a number of occasions I have been matched on both OkCupid and eHarmony, which is quite amusing.
- Least Work post-sign up
- When a match shows up, it shows up for both of you
- You can now send Ice Breakers which will can help you determine who has an account
- Longest Sign up process
- Very Expensive
- Continually sending emails about buying new products/services, even if you have already bought them
- No browsing
- Limited incentive to update profile after creation
- No matching quantifier/qualifier
- No way to see if your match is a paying member
- Quickest sign up process
- Match Percentage helps you to rank your matches
- Tons of user content in the form of quizzes
- Incentive to update your profile in terms of profile completeness
- Adding new pictures or updating your profile helps you show up in other user lists
- Recently they added the concept of a “Quiver”
- Match incentive based on continually added user submitted questions
- Ability to specify what you are looking for, be it Friends or a Causal Encounter.
- Poorly understood “Friend” and “Enemy” percentage
- 2nd quickest sign up process
- Very small incentive to continually login/use site
- Marginally useful searches
- No matching quantifier/qualifier
- iPhone/iPod Touch Application
- Coolest concept: You meet someone and you give them your DatingDNA number and they join and you find out how compatible you are on a scale of 1-10
- Seems to have a very low number of users
- Doubtful I would ever randomly give someone my DatingDNA number rather than my actual number
If you happen to be interested in investigating online dating, checkout OKCupid.com. It is a great, easy to use site, with a plethora of user content. It isn’t too hard to find something to do, even if you have answered all of the questions (3,864 and growing) there are a seemingly endless pool of user tests and of course forums.
If you happen to be looking for a reason to try out online dating, but aren’t ready to take the plunge, then join OkCupid and set your profile to indicate you are only looking for friends. Who knows, if nothing else you might meet someone interesting and have a new friend or two to hang out with (I know I have). As you get more used to the site, you might find yourself curious about the dating aspect, in which case you can easily update your profile to indicate that. At no time *EVER* are there any fees, so there really isn’t a downside, at least not one that I can see.