There is a lot to be said for free dating sites…and equally for paid sites, of course. I tried both in my dating years and research from book Next Time Lucky.
Most people like me who either have some reservation towards the whole online dating thing, whether it works or not, or are just tight with money, will be more hesitant to spill out the hard earned cash. Even if it is only 20 buckaroos a month. (By signing up to yearly contracts you’re suddenly looking at several hundred $ anyway. And God forbid you forget to cancel after that year. Automatic renewal.)With that in mind, I started on a freebie. I met decent, interesting people who unfortunately weren’t for me, but that had more to do with finding my way around the site first and my choice criteria. Then I also had to learn not to be too kind and answer to every Tom, Dick and Harry just because they liked my picture and took the trouble to write to me. If I want a man over 6ft, because I’m almost that tall myself, no persuasive romanticizing can persuade me to look at shorties. I just can’t get it up with them. Pardon my French. I felt people on freebies didn’t often enough respect your profile and your requirements. (Like: NO Smokers, please).
My reasoning for switching to a paid site went like this: I can cancel if I meet Mr. Right in an unexpected streak of luck immediately. Online sites LOVE a good romance story! I was also hoping to find a different type of clientele, different background, men who weren’t pictured in their under vests or had tattoos. (Am I showing my age and bias here? Well, these were my absolute no-no’s.) I simply expected people who could afford it and were willing to pay for this extra layer of comfort.
As a former matchmaker who had charged her clients about $500 for a yearlong personalized service—no internet involved, no automated computer matching, all done by the personal touch—I believe that when you pay peanuts you get monkeys – in most aspects of life.
Other criteria became more important for me. The number of clients in my area in my age group, as I was over 40 already. Their willingness to commit to a relationship and not just hook up for a date, how many people were online any given time, how well instant chatting worked and what protective layers of security the website laid out for its customers.
It would really be interesting to contact one of these upper class, high fallutin’ matchmakers, that I referred to in an earlier article, who advertise in Airline Magazines. Or the one matchmaker who only deals with Wall Street guys (and girls, I presume) and charges a fee of $10,000.
The expectations of all of us, everybody in the dating game are the same: to find that special person or to have it found for us…especially after parting with that amount of money.
Some companies, if you contact them and ask how much their fee is, don’t even give you a number straight up but a patronizing answer, “If you have a good regular job, you’ll be able to afford it and not regret it.”
So to pay or not to pay? Up to you.
Why is it so difficult to meet somebody today?
In spite of all the networking possibilities and social media?
If you are Single, Divorced or Widowed and want to get back into the Dating game, if you're looking for that elusive partner, you will be interested to hear how a pro went about it. I was a matchmaker in Ireland and had my own dating agency. I'm sharing my experience and insider views with my readers. For more info see my book's website: www.NextTimeLucky.com!
I had the honor of being asked to come on the local NBC show First Coast Living twice in the last week to give dating advice. If you missed it, you can read all that stuff in my book.