What Kind of Online Dating Service Is Right For You?
We organized our research of the 350+ dating sites into 3 categories: online dating, speed dating, and matchmaking. Each service attempts to match people up in a slightly different way.
Online dating sites allow members to write a profile and then search other member profiles to find a potential date or mate.
These sites usually have some sort of free membership as well as a paid membership. The latter allows you to utilize the site to its full advantage. Often sites allow you to send another member a wink or smile for free to show that you’re interested. Since most sites are for-profit they charge for some services, such as contacting other members. The three most common ways to contact other members are through the sites message system, instant messaging, or via chat rooms.
- You can find out a fair bit about a person by reading their profile. What they like/dislike, if they can spell or write, their demographics (including physical features – height, body type, smoking/drinking habits), their hobbies and interests, what they’re looking for, etc.
- How do you know the person is telling the truth? Is this who they are or who they want to be? You’ll have to trust your instincts as well as spend time connecting with them via email, chat or IM or meeting in person before you know for sure whether you’re a fit with each other. (Read the Online Dating Safety or the dating safety tips on the online dating sites before giving anyone your contact info or meeting them.)
- Some sites don’t allow free members to read the entire profiles of other members. In order to do so you’ll need to upgrade.
For reviews of Online Dating Sites by Category – choose an option in the right menu or visit: Dating Site Reviews.
These sites take the online dating sites to a new level. Instead of finding people who match your criteria yourself, the match making systems do it for you. Once you complete a comprehensive questionnaire the site matches you with other members who are compatible with you.
- Saves you time as the system finds you the matches.
- The comprehensive questionnaire asks you question about yourself and what you are looking for that you may not think of yourself.
- The system may not find you as many potential dates as a regular online dating site because the sites matching criteria may be more stringent than yours.
- Some matchmaking sites find mutual matches meaning that you each need to meet the other persons criteria. For example, he may be in your ideal age range but you may not be in his.
- A computer matching system may miss subtleties of a person you might find attractive.
Speed dating sites organize live events that allow you to meet a number of potential dates over the course of a few hours. Usually these events are held in a restaurant or bar and are organized by a specified age range or by a specific group (i.e. professionals). Usually you can find events in your area and sign-up online.
How Speed Dating Works: You spend a predetermined amount of time (usually 3-7 minutes) with each person at the event and ask each other questions or simply chat. At the end of the event you hand in a card and indicate who you’d like to meet again. If that person has also indicated on their card that you are someone they would like to meet again the organizers of the event will give you each others contact information. After that, its up to the two of you to contact one another if you choose to.
- Events are often organized by age range. This works if you’re looking for a mate in your age range.
- You get to meet people in-person immediately, which can give you a much better feel for them.
- You can sign-up for the events online saving yourself time.
- These events are usually held in large cities. If you live in a small town there may not be any events near you or a limited number of people who attend them limiting the pool to choose from.
- Attendees must be in the age range for that particular event. If you prefer men or women who are outside your age range then you may not find an event suitable for you.
The intention of all three types of dating service is the same: to match people who are looking to date, make friends, or find a mate. If you’re a bit shy, or prefer the online medium, you may want to start out using online dating sites or matchmaking sites. If you just want to meet as many potential dates as possible right now in person consider the speed dating sites.