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What is the best paid dating website with ACTUAL results?
May 17, 2008 1:52 PM   Subscribe

What is the best paid dating website with ACTUAL results?

So it's sad to say that the dating scene for an average Joe has been virtually eliminated. Unless you have fantastic looking body (Bruce Lee's, football player, or Antonio Banderas [for guys] / supermodel or a twig-thin [for girls]), you're in for a slow let down.

Having said that, I'm diving into the online dating scene. For a few months now I've been using Craigslist, Plenttyoffish, and OKCupid sites. Not much results there either. By that I mean that 95% of personal adds on CL are carefully generated spam/email-hunters, the women that I have met for dates on Plenttyoffish turn out to have serious issues, and OKCupid has produced 0 responses.

The next step I figure is to try a paid dating website. I'm currently testing out Yahoo Personals. Anyone has any other suggestions that have worked for them and won't leave me broke?
posted by wildrain2008 to Society & Culture (25 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
I don't have a recommendation, but it's worth noting that

So it's sad to say that the dating scene for an average Joe has been virtually eliminated. Unless you have fantastic looking body (Bruce Lee's, football player, or Antonio Banderas [for guys] / supermodel or a twig-thin [for girls]), you're in for a slow let down.

is bullshit.
posted by mpls2 at 1:59 PM on May 17, 2008 [10 favorites]


I met my boyfriend on the Salon/Nerve/Onion personals network three years ago, and a good friend of mine used the same network to meet his girlfriend earlier this year.
posted by scody at 2:00 PM on May 17, 2008


I'm not being coy when I say I have no personal experience. However a current co-worker used eHarmony and found happiness, and the kicker is, so did 5 of her girlfriends. Which to me is just astounding. Like eHarmony should use them in an ad or something. So that's what I would be inclined to use just based on that bit of (true) trivia.
posted by dawson at 2:02 PM on May 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh, and in case eHarmony doesn't work for you (worked for a friend of mine, too, but there's some controversy around it), chemistry.com is supposed to work on a similar principle of matching people, but without the straights-only/religious underpinnings of eHarmony.
posted by scody at 2:07 PM on May 17, 2008


I would say that I've had luck with Match.com (I had a number of dates and am currently in a long-term committed relationship because of it), but it was neither easy nor casual to do so. It took an awful lot of rejections, false starts and ignored emails to get results, and then it took more time to actually succeed. Dating is not easy, it's something you have to put serious effort into no matter what route you choose. I'm convinced it's a question of averages — you make 10 attempts, you get 1 result. I also tried Yahoo Personals and eHarmony (briefly) but I found that Match.com, which allowed people to express themselves without getting into weird "compatibility" tests, had the volume of prospects and the ability to filter to get the best results. I have no idea how it's been since 2005 though.
posted by graymouser at 2:13 PM on May 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


A friend of mine had luck on True.com.

Apparently they run background screenings for felons and married people and she liked that feature.
posted by NoraCharles at 2:17 PM on May 17, 2008


Well you don't say where you are, but Guardian Soulmates worked for me.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:18 PM on May 17, 2008


I know many people who use online dating, including myself. I know some who are consistently successful (again including myself) and some who are consistently unsuccessful. It has nothing to do with the site, although some sites are better than others. Thing is, once you actually make contact with someone, it's all up to you. And, in my experience, there are plenty of "good quality" women (and men) out there waiting to be pursued. You have to put some effort into finding them, of course. And you have to get over the chip on your shoulder and develop an awareness of if/when a woman is attracted to you, which is likely to be at least 1 out of every 5 despite whatever flaws you might have.

I'd say that, above all else, your biggest obstacle to successful dating is your attitude/approach. No, actually, an even bigger obstacle is you being in denial about the real cause.

And, if you must ask, why am I still single? Because I'm complacent and comfortably numb. But I'm not blaming the world for my problems, the way you are.
posted by randomstriker at 2:28 PM on May 17, 2008


And, in my experience, there are plenty of "good quality" women (and men) out there waiting to be pursued. You have to put some effort into finding them, of course.

This is a great point. I did the whole online dating thing, reasonably steadily, for about a year and a half before my boyfriend and I met. The thing that struck me from the several dozen dates I went on was how many nice guys there were out there. Seriously, the good eggs easily outnumbered the jerks 10 to 1. So while it definitely took me some time to find my boyfriend, it wasn't because I was meeting bad people; it just meant that sometimes it takes awhile to find someone with whom you have mutual chemistry.
posted by scody at 3:00 PM on May 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


I am seconding Match.com ...When I was a member I exchanged emails and chatted with quite a few people and went on a few dates ... a few of them could have turned out into being more than just one time dates, I think, except for the fact I was already in love with someone I worked with and just didn't know it consciously yet... anyway, I agree that there is a lot of hit and miss, and trial and error.
I liked Yahoo Personals ok, not quite as much as Match. And eharmony didn't really suit my personality at all... but I have heard about a lot of connections happening through that one. I think they all offer some sort of free trial, try em out and see which one suits you best.
posted by fogonlittlecatfeet at 3:23 PM on May 17, 2008


And, in my experience, there are plenty of "good quality" women (and men) out there waiting to be pursued. You have to put some effort into finding them, of course.

I tried match.com for a period of a few months, and I have to disagree with this- at least as a man looking for a woman. What I met was women with issues. Women who weren't over their ex. Women who were incredibly flaky. Women who seemed to have no grasp of etiquette whatsoever.

it's a cliche, but it is true: it's easier for women to get dates. I found the women i met online were there because there was something wrong with them. Or they just wanted a lot of dates and had that kind of "kid in a candystore" thing going with all the guys chasing them.

Obviously some people do have good experiences. But I found it to be a mostly soul-crushing experience. Yes, I got women to go on dates with me. Yes, I had some temporary companionship. yes I spent a lot of money. but I didnt come close to finding someone I would have a long-term relationship with. I didnt even find one person I would want to be friends with- or who even seemed to have it together enough mentally to be friends with.

so: there are a lot of girls on match.com. try it and see what you think. My conclusion was that i'd rather be lonely than go through that crap. Maybe that's what "dating" is to some people. Maybe I just don't like dating.

it has nothing to do with looking like "Bruce Lee," but there is no magic site that makes dating easy, or even non-hellish all the time. If there was, the guy who started it would be richer than Bill Gates.
posted by drjimmy11 at 4:15 PM on May 17, 2008


Thirding Match. I haven't used it personally, but someone close to me is an employee there and I get to hear about and see success story after success story, including ones involving my friends.

Eharmony has a strict 'morals' clause and does not allow same sex couples, which should be reason enough to stay far far away from them.
posted by item at 4:16 PM on May 17, 2008


a few of them could have turned out into being more than just one time dates, I think, except for the fact I was already in love with someone I worked with and just didn't know it consciously yet

I'm not trying to be a jerk, but I think part of my point kinda sorta got proved while I was typing.
posted by drjimmy11 at 4:16 PM on May 17, 2008


Seconding Nerve/Onion/etc. (eHarmony rejected me).

However, this:

So it's sad to say that the dating scene for an average Joe has been virtually eliminated. Unless you have fantastic looking body (Bruce Lee's, football player, or Antonio Banderas [for guys] / supermodel or a twig-thin [for girls]), you're in for a slow let down.

...is wrong, not just in my opinion, but in fact. If you really believe this completely untrue thing, then you are really going to sabotage yourself.
posted by bingo at 4:26 PM on May 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


(Bingo, did you tell eHarmony you were Jewish? All but one of my Jewish friends were also "unmatchable.")
posted by astruc at 5:35 PM on May 17, 2008


A quick inventory of recent marriages of my friends - 1 pair met via match (they're on the tv commercial), 1 through OKCupid, 1 through a dating site for larger women, 1 though eHarmony and 1 pair met through "It's Just Lunch." I also know people who met through work, friends, volunteering, etc. Some of those people were on multiple sites looking for a partner. .

I met Mr. 26.2 when he was my teammate in training for a marathon. However, he was on Match.com and maybe some other sites too. I didn't do the on-line dating thing, so it's good that he wasn't relying exclusively on the intertubes to find him a mate.

nthing what everyone noted about your attitude - it's not helping. Now go cast a wide net and try to expand your network.
posted by 26.2 at 5:48 PM on May 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


We tell people we met on eharmony, but we really met on bondage.com. Now we're getting married.

He is not Bruce Lee or Antonio Banderas, and I am no supermodel. He's above-average attractiveness but not GQ material, and I'm average at best. Unless YOU are setting your sights exclusively on really hot women, as an average looking guy you should have little trouble at least getting dates, if not meeting Ms. Right.
posted by desjardins at 6:18 PM on May 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


(astruc: I probably put "agnostic." eHarmony does seem to be a Christian-oriented organization, but I wonder if there's a correlation rather than a causation at work there. It may be that Jews tend to give "problematic" answers to some of the core questions about self-sacrifice, which seems to be something that eHarmony weights heavily.)
posted by bingo at 6:53 PM on May 17, 2008


Ok - I know you said "paid" dating sites -- but there is a free one that is worthy of consideration DateHookup.com. Totally free and with all the features of the paid sites -- plus some. In particular, the forums and group discussion boards seem to make as many matches as the individual profiles -- which I might add you can customize to your own preferences. Check it out.

As to the other paid sites -- eHarmony keeps profiles posted long after subscriptions run out and actively matches folks to others who aren't still in the game. Very questionable in my opinion. Good luck on your search. Like many things in life -- it is a numbers game. Keep trying. You have to meet many to find the one.
posted by peace_love_hope at 7:00 PM on May 17, 2008


I'll say to absolutely avoid Nerve. I've used their site for close to a decade and it is absolute shit these days and gets worse and worse every week. The pictures are smaller than a postage stamp (even when you've paid for credits), the cookies occasionally fuck up your browser, they filter emails sent to you if someone includes certain keywords--they filter them into a junk folder which tells you that you have mail but doesn't let you access them and you have to contact support (apparently) to read them ... I say apparently because support doesn't answer emails, they now charge you to wink/smile at someone... in short, they fucking suck balls, but in the bad way. Please do not give them your money.

That said, I have no place to recommend as Nerve used to be my go to recommendation (over a year ago).
posted by dobbs at 8:04 PM on May 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


There's also FindMeDateMe: "On findmedateme you can contact anyone from any dating site in the world for FREE"
posted by philomathoholic at 8:49 PM on May 17, 2008


Thanks for all your advice and honest comments.
I'm going to try Match.com / FindMeDateMe.com and DateHookup.com to expand my horizons. As far as my first comment about being let down if you don't look good, let me clarify, I'm not some depressed guy blabbing about rejection, I'm just making a point that it is much easier for good looking people to get dates (not necessarily their true loves) then the rest of the people. But in no way have I given up.. just trying a different route.

I'll let you know if Match.com works for me. :]
posted by wildrain2008 at 10:34 PM on May 17, 2008


unless you're bruce lee/antonio banderas
free dating sites seem to pack people in without any consideration of the mechanics of getting people to like each other. Plentyoffish allows too much competition at any one time, and okcupid allows people to be too specific about themselves. Places like eharmony and chemistry have some actual thought into how people match up which is why they are reportedly more successful.
Attraction *is* a matter of psychology, you can't just put 50 people in a room and expect them to sort it out themselves fairly.
posted by browolf at 7:13 AM on May 18, 2008


I'm biased, because I found Match.com to be a complete waste of time for a man looking for a woman, but item's statement "... someone close to me is an employee there and I get to hear about and see success story after success story, including ones involving my friends." disturbs me.

I'd certainly not want to get involved with a site where employees seem to have no qualms about discussing their customers' affairs.

In my limited experience - and having spoken to a female colleague who was using the site - I found that the women on Match.com get so much mail from admirers that it must be almost impossible to sift through let alone reply. This is probably true for most dating sites, though. What was strange was that this suddenly changed when my subscription was almost due to be renewed when two women initiated contact by email.

There was something not quite right with these two ladies* and I got the distinct impression that their aim was to get me to renew my subscription rather than develop any relationship as with all the others I'd contacted we'd moved on from email to phone conversations after a few email exchanges whereas these two were strictly friendly emails only.

On a more positive note, I'd had limited success with OKCupid and even if I've not found my soulmate I have in the meantime made some new friends.

* and not just because they contacted me! :-)
posted by Lionel d'Lion at 2:22 PM on May 18, 2008


If you think that the pretty people get all the dates now, let me warn you that online dating might CONCENTRATE that, rather than eliminate it.

I did the online dating route off and on for the past ten years; I kept coming back because -- well, hell, I happened to meet three really great guys that way. But the second-to-last go-round I was 30; the most recent one, I was 36. And...the difference in responses was night and day. I went two years without getting a single date. It probably was for the best, as I had some personal issues to sort out, but...two years without even a single email from anyone initiating contact? Feh. And I'm not model material, but I'm not repulsive, either. However, I WAS a few years older than the average member, and I have a hunch that may have something to do with it. I finally did end up meeting someone through the old-fashioned means of "through a friend".

Mind you, I'm not trying to talk you out of online dating; no matter what, it does expose you to a larger group of people than you would have otherwise met. But it's not a magic bullet is all; the same prejudices apply there as they do in real life. The sheer numbers are what increase your odds is all.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:22 AM on May 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


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