It might seem a little weird to pay for online dating, because there are so many free dating apps and services.
The person you choose changes everything. Also, paying for dating might actually save you money and time, in the long run. In terms of time, on paid sites, everyone is there to actually date, which is not necessarily guaranteed on OKCupid and Tinder. So, paid online dating is kind of a sorting mechanism. But not all paid sites are equal.
Giving a random website your credit card number is no guarantee of a good dating experience. Why is it so good? Well, first of all, it has a fantastic matching algorithm. When you sign up for the site, you have to complete an exhaustive survey about your beliefs and preferences. It takes awhile, and it might feel like a bit of a chore. This is really handy. If your preferences change over time—if you start being willing to see women with kids, and you start messaging them, for example—the site will naturally adapt by changing your search results accordingly.
And if you told the survey that you want one thing, but you actually want another, Match will still provide for you, by taking your behaviour into account. Find out more at Match. The site is all about giving you a really tailored, focused experience.
The site gives you handpicked matches every day, rather than encouraging you to go out and find people yourself. This approach will frustrate you if you enjoy browsing dating sites at random—which is understandable, because that can be a great way to waste time.
However, this feature has major upsides. It takes guesswork out of the equation, and it encourages you to slow down and be intelligent in your assessments other users. As well, once you have some matches, the process of selecting one is made easier by the ingenious profile design, which allows you to find out a lot about other users very quickly, by providing a collage of their most important attributes. To top it all off, eHarmony has an easy interface and famously excellent customer service.
Find out more at eHarmony. Rather than feeling like going to a matchmaker, it feels like playing a video game, or like checking out attractive strangers at a club. Like Tinder, the interface is pleasingly minimal. This is especially true of the mobile app, which is sleek and bug-free. Find out more at Zoosk.
Why sign up for it and not Match, then? Well, it has a different personality quiz of its own, which is really fun. Part of it involves evaluating images, and, at the end, you get a personality type, which is an amusing form of self-reflection.
As well, the site has a different feel. Additionally, there are web games to play with matches. While this sounds silly, it can be a nice icebreaker: Find out more at Chemistry. This is understandable, given that a lot of free hookup sites are awful. If this is your situation, XMatch. Depending on your preferences, this could either seem daunting, repulsive, or thrilling.