Dopers, I Want Your Opinions on Dating Websites!

Okay guys, the title pretty much says the bulk of it.
I’ve never been much of a dater. I’ve been in two relationships since I was sixteen (one was long distance, lasted seven years and was great while the last one was just one year and a total failure) and I’m ready to give casual dating a try in the near future. Since I know we have many dopers knowledgable in this area, I am looking for opinions on websites. I’ve been thinking about Eharmony and for a while now and would just appreciate general opinions, pros and cons, and whatever can come to your minds that you think will be useful to a newbie like me. Thanks! :slight_smile:

If you’re just starting out, I think you should go with a free site- like OkCupid or PlentyofFish. Once you have it down and know what you’re looking for and how to work it, if you’ve still not met your match, then step it up to a paysite. It can take some people a while to learn the ropes and you might as well get the experience for free. Plus a lot of normal and worthwhile people use the free sites, so there’s really no downside to them. If, however, you’re one of those people that just can’t stand to be alone and want to find the right person asap- nothing wrong with that, mind you- then you might want to pull out the big guns right away with eharmony. They don’t fuck around over there and you’re almost certain to have some very good matches right away.

I hate PlentyofFish. The layout is ugly.

I give big thumbs up to OkCupid. It’s been successful for me. And, in case you’re willing to fall to my level, I also give big thumbs up to Myspace.

But there are tons and* tons* of people on it, at least in my area. To skip it would be passing up a large number of other online daters.

Hey, I’m not not paying anything only to get some crap web design! :stuck_out_tongue:

The OP does not indicate gender or age which could have a huge factor on which site (if any) might be of benefit. I am a female, age 46, who has had profiles on every site in the past 2 1/2 years with no success whatsoever. My experience: - Paid Site. Seemingly now more of a hook-up site than in the past, I actually had guys ask within an email or two what my sexual proclivities were. I did have one male Sub willing to move across country to be near me, “to be my slave.” To his credit, he was a well-off engineer who had the means and interest to live in the Bay Area but I want a relationship, not a servant.

Plenty of Fish - Free. Another hook-up site with a predominance of boys looking for MILFs and Cougars. In two years, I only ever had one date with a guy who was my age. It was a first date only. It is free and you do get what you pay for. I also got scammed by two Ghana dudes.

OKCupid - Free. When I joined 2 1/2 years ago, the membership numbers were considerably higher than they are now and I had two or three dates from it (all just first dates as well), but none since. I also got scammed from this site as well - considerably worse than the Ghana scams but at least the guy didn’t get money out of me.**

eHarmony - Paid Site. I really hate the interface. You have to go through a whole series of stupid questions to get to talk to someone unless they agree to bypass that step. But you have the problem of looking too desperate if you ask to bypass the layers of questions. One date came from that site as well - also just a first date.

Yahoo - Paid Site after a week. I actually had two really good dates from Yahoo and if I hadn’t gotten so burned by the OKCupid scammer, I might have continued pursuing dating there. It has the advantage of being free for seven days and you have to pay for it after that, so it might be possible to get a date or two from that site without paying anything if you are quick.

Zoosk - Paid Site after a second contact. These guys are a little sneaky. You spend time building a profile and perusing profiles, possibly starting an email conversation, but by the third email, they block you until you pay. Needless to say, I didn’t return or give them money.

**As a middle-aged woman, there are a ton of dating scams out there; guys who entangle women very quickly into a long-distance relationship and then try and get money out of them. The guy I was talking to (for three to four hours a day on the phone!), ended up having a rap sheet in four states for mail fraud and embezzlement. I was lucky. I am also not on any more dating sites as it is more of a time-suck in fending off the MILF-hunting children.

Thanks for the tips so far, guys. :slight_smile: I’m not in a rush, this is the first time being single in a while so I’m taking it easy and slow. I’ll give the free websites a go and then pull out the big guns if that doesn’t work like **Alice **suggested. Still, I appreciate any suggestions and experiences you all have!

Wow. In almost ten years of online dating off and on, nobody’s even attempted to scam me, although there sure are a lot of MILF- and cougar-hunters out there, I agree.

When I first started online dating, I thought it was going to be like a quick shopping trip. I’d peruse a few ads, set up a few dates, and then be like, “I’ll pick that one” and boom- happily ever after ensues.

Not so much. I’ve discovered that meeting people in real life is much more conducive to dating- you already know before you go out that you’re attracted to them, they’re attracted to you, and that you *want *to be there with them. Online dating makes dating a chore to me and it really probably shouldn’t be that way.

Sorry about that. I am a 24 year old female, no kids.

I have to take this opportunity to apologise to OKCupid, as I was critical and dismissive of it in other threads some time back… and then where did I end up meting my SO? :headslap:

Yahoo! Personals shut down about a month ago, so we don’t have to worry about that.

Personally, I like the way OKC works, with the tests and questions and the way everytime people in your area do something it shows up on your home screen. It’s almost like facebook where every one is your friend. If you’re careful, you can use it to your advantage. When someone you like is online, that’s when you answer questions/upload pictures/make grammar changes etc. So you show up on their page, and they check out your profile.

OTOH, and I’ve heard that this varies from location to location, I’ve found that match has a higher class of clientele. But not by much. I’d say that match skews more towards middle-middle class while OKC skews more towards lower-middle class…with a TON of overlap.
I’m sure that has a lot to do with it being a pay site. Also, since you have to pay to be there, the people tend to be more serious about dating. You’ll find less people on a pay site looking for friends, less people that start out their profile with “I’m looking for someone to hang out with and if it turns into more then friends, we’ll take it from there.”

OTOOH, I like OKC because I feel the questions that you can answer give you more insight into a person then their profile alone ever could. I with match, would do something like that.

Anyways, my suggestion would be to join OKC and try that for a few months before starting up an account with a pay site.

Thanks, Joey. Sounds like OkCupid will be my top choice when I feel like jumping on in.

Go for it. It’s free and you can even have set up an essentially blank profile and set it so people can’t tell that you’ve looked at them. Then you can just browse around and see what’s out there. But I’d suggest not to bother emailing anyone until you fill it out and upload some pictures.

OMG would you be a rarity on PlentyOfFish. Cute 24 year olds without kids are very rare, at least in my experience there. If you can take the onslaught of emails, you might enjoy it. But you’ll probably have to be really restrictive.

I have yet to try out OkCupid, but if it’s really better than POF, then I also recommend it. There’s nothing wrong with trying out a few sites and seeing which one you like.

The part in bold is very important. I found that, on POF at least, I will get people trying to hit me up, even though my profile says I’m not looking right now. OF course, I have a picture, so that might be part of it–but I’m not that good looking at all.

You stealth-bragger you.

Thanks BigT, I’ll give PoF a go too. :slight_smile: I’m thinking I’ll create a new e-mail account for when I register for the sites.

Fried Dough Ho, I think your description of Plenty of Fish is probably accurate from the perspective of (apparently) a cougar aged woman. I think in general the site just attracts younger people of either sex, probably because it’s free. They seem to average very early 20s, so if you’re older than that you’ll attract a lot of younger people regardless of your sex. So for a 24 year old nikonikosuru, I think she’d be fine. I don`t think they’re cougar seekers per se.

I don’t really see much difference between POF and OkCupid. Same market, same service. Maybe OkCupid has a more “hipster” vibe, but it hasn’t made much of a difference to me in terms of the types of people on there.

Never date websites. True, they’ll often go down on you after coming to your place for some Java, but they may not be there in the morning, they change addresses all the time, and they won’t give you their number. And they’re always insecure.