Many single people try online dating in order to find the right one. It’s a $2 billion industry that is only expected to grow. There are various reasons as to why someone goes to the internet to find their match. There are pros and cons to the various websites out there, and I am here to talk about my experiences from most of the mainstream sites, ignoring sites that target a specific ethnic background or religion, which I have never used anyway.
Let’s just get this one out of the way: don’t try Craigslist.
I’m not even talking about the “Casual Encounters” section, which can be kind of amusing at times. But for the more serious dating ads, most of them from my experiences have “country girl looking for my cowboy” or something along the lines of that. (I live near Pittsburgh, which doesn’t explain the high number of “country girl” ads.) Some people are even bold enough to put a selfie of themselves in the ad, or even their phone number.
As can be expected, Craigslist can be pretty dangerous. It’s a good site if you’re looking for an apartment or if you broke your cell phone and need another phone temporarily until you’re eligible for an upgrage. (I’ve experienced both: in the case of the cell phone, I now pay for insurance.) But I would stay away from dating for obvious reasons.
Free dating sites
This is for sites like PlentyOfFish.com that offer some services for free, but have a firewall to protect people, unlike Craigslist. They’re pretty helpful for those who cannot afford a pay-based site, as you can at least contact potential matches on there. Yes, some services they do charge for, but at least you can contact someone for free.
The major drawback with this can be the quality of dates. A few of them are pretty decent potential dates. But a lot of them are also along the lines of the “country girl” format, or who wants to make excuses why their ex left them and their children. I’ve actually seen at least one profile where a female posted “don’t call me a crybaby drama queen, because I hate being called that”. Needless to say, I didn’t email the girl.
Sites like Match.com and eHarmony.com, to their credit, do provide higher-quality dates. They do try to match someone up based on personality. Match offers Stir events that singles can attend in their local area. I attended one in Pittsburgh last summer, based on board games. Didn’t really meet anyone out of it, but it was a lot of fun and I got a free board game out of it.
The downside of it is the costs, but it has gotten better. I don’t have any active accounts with a pay-based site at the moment strictly due to cost, although I am open to it in the future if money presents itself. Just like insurance, as more people are using online dating, the subscription costs have steadily gone down. If you can afford it, this would be the best option.
Obviously, I haven’t found the right woman yet, but it does get my name out more with my busy work schedule to try online dating. It has worked for many people, though, and it is worth giving a shot if you haven’t tried it yet. The more you’re willing to pay, the more you’re likely to see a higher-quality date. And it’s better than trying to meet someone at the bar.