If you're unsure about online dating, your first inclination might be to try out a free site rather than spending money on a paid service. What's the difference? Here are some points to help you make your decision.
What Does a Free Dating Site Really Cost?
Many daters join totally free dating sites simply because they feel that if they don't meet anyone special, they aren't out any money. I challenge you to think beyond the money aspect, though, because while you haven't paid out in dollars, you have spent time. Your time is valuable.
What's more, some of the free online dating services may make it less convenient for you for find matches or email folks. They might not have as advanced search filters, which limit the people you can find and connect with, which takes up even more time.
How Much Effort Should You Put Into a Free Dating Profile?
By far the biggest disadvantage in using a free online dating website is your own attitude. If it's free, you might not put as much effort into creating a profile that truly shows off your personality. Many daters skimp on proper pictures with free sites, instead choosing just one headshot. A good profile needs at least three to five pictures to help matches get the full flavor of your personality.
Also, you might not put as much into the profile essay, opting for a list of attributes you think describe you (i.e., "I'm trustworthy, silly, fun to be around, up for anything") but yet fail to give a potential match any idea about what you'd be like on a date.
Daters may not give as much effort to their free dating profile as something they have to pay for, and as a result will get less qualified matches.
Quality of People Online
To that end, one of the biggest complains I hear from daters is that there are less "quality" people online. They define this as people who:
- Don't fit their idea of a good match.
- Have been dishonest about personal details in their profile.
- Give the impression that they are immature or untrustworthy.
Despite these complaints, people give a half-hearted attempt to try out online dating, not realizing that by failing to provide a good profile themselves, they may come off as someone "not quality" to another dater.
Are Free Online Dating Sites Bad?
Totally free online dating sites are really no better or worse than those you pay for. The difference is the effort someone puts into preparing a profile and doing a search. If "free" means not serious about online dating, then you're not going to put in the same effort as you did if you had paid a fee and a potential match probably won't either.
In the last few years, free online sites have become very popular with midlife daters both as a main source to meet a potential match and as a supplemental method. Since people come and go from online sites, some daters prefer to have profiles up at several different sites, and using a fee site to save a few bucks is especially helpful.
Free Online Dating Sites
If you're interested in giving free dating sites a try, some of the most popular are:
Some sites may start out free in a limited capacity, offering more advanced services for a fee. Others may allow you to put up a profile, for example, but not contact anyone unless you're a paid member. Read through the fine print and determine which option is best for you.
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