should I pay for platinum?
August 3, 2009 4:08 PM   Subscribe

[overthinking filter] Should I pay for platinum?

So, I think I'm going to take the plunge and pay for for 6 months. Having decided that, it's a pretty nominal addition to pay for the "platinum" option that allows everyone else on the site to email you. ($22 vs $17/month).

On one hand this opens up a potentially way higher number of members, because everyone who's "just looking" can email you.

On the other, I worry that it somehow looks sorta needy. Like that if people really wanted to talk to you, they'd just sign up already.

I know I'm overthinking this. And, now I'd like your help. Money aside, which would you do? Would paying for this option send any negative signals to you? (Assume that people would know I've chosen to do this -- that's the whole point, as it lets them email when they couldn't otherwise.)

- 28 year old woman looking for men.
- looking around, about 1/10 or 1/15 of active members seem to have chosen this option.

Also, while I've read the online dating questions, I'd always be happy for general advice wading into the online dating pool.
posted by mercredi to Human Relations (18 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
28 year old woman looking for men

I'd worry about getting too much email if it lets everyone on the site email you. You'll have to sift through a lot more dreck. If it were me, I'd let them pay. A 20something woman on a personals site is a hot commodity.
posted by desjardins at 4:23 PM on August 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

I've used Match (and a few others) in the past, and while it wouldn't seem needy to me, I can say that I've never looked around seriously on there unless I've been a paying member at the time. I don't know if it's worth it. I don't know if there will be that many people who are active on the site who aren't already subscribers.

And (here we go with my over thinking!) do you really want to chat with people who aren't bothering to pay for the service, but only responding to people who sign up for the higher-priced plan? They're basically putting the burden on other people to shell out for the membership, while they poke around and message for free. Again, I know it's not everyone, and there may be some people who are "just looking" who happen to message you, but I don't know if it's worth it.

Then again, it's only $30 over the course of 6 months.
posted by AlisonM at 4:24 PM on August 3, 2009

I have had more luck with myself.
posted by digividal at 4:30 PM on August 3, 2009

Have you tried It's free, and very cool. I met my GF on there, and we've been together about a year now. I feel like dating sites that charge for a subscription have a conflict of interest; if you succeed in meeting someone, you stop using their site, and they stop making money. Why would they want to encourage that? It's in their interest to make you think you're meeting great people, but not actually introduce you to someone that will end your subscription. Just something to think about.
posted by crookedgrin at 4:32 PM on August 3, 2009

Well crookedgrin, not exactly, because a happy couple who meets on your dating site (especially if they get m-word-ed) are the absolute best word of mouth advertising that money can't even buy.

To the OP, I strongly agree that you're going to have enough trouble sorting through the ridiculous amount of mail you receive. Be glad that is giving you the option of paying less and blocking mail from freeloaders -- it's win-win.
posted by telegraph at 4:41 PM on August 3, 2009

I would say no, as in my experience putting down cash weeds out a lot of flakes and makes one want to meet people to get their moneys worth. And my female friends (and gf whom I met through match) say that the volume of email is high enough already.
posted by hamhed at 4:51 PM on August 3, 2009

yeah, don't pay for any dating sites until you've tried okcupid.
posted by rhizome at 4:57 PM on August 3, 2009

I'm finding it really, really hard to imagine a guy sitting there thinking "interesting profile... seems like we have a lot in common... wait, premium membership? AUGH! Avoid! Avoid!" (closes browser window in a panic before he gets teh desperate all over him.)

I think you're right that you're overthinking it.

But like people are saying, you might well find you're getting enough email for the barrier to entry to seem like a feature.

Good luck and have fun!

(I met my wife through She was still on her free trial membership, so I was a tremendous bargain.)
posted by Zed at 4:59 PM on August 3, 2009

No, you should not pay - I would go with one of the free options, like OK Cupid. Or, if you absolutely feel the need to pay for matches, I would go with a specialized, offline, matchmaking service. (Unfortunately, I don't know of any to recommend, but in some states they are at least licensed and come with guarantees.)

One big reason why you shouldn't pay is because of accusations such as these, where a man is suing because of the large number of inactive profiles that remain in the system - so you might think there are all these eligible guys out there, but the reality is many of them are no longer using While I think the lawsuit is a bit frivolous, it has been noted that any search on returns a very significant number of inactives.

I doubt, however, that you'd get too much mail. If anything, you would have more of an overload via a free service like OKCupid than one where a small percentage of users have the ability to send messages. Personally, though, I would rather have more options in a greater range for free, as opposed to paying for fewer options in a narrower range.
posted by lesli212 at 5:01 PM on August 3, 2009

Try okcupid for a month, see how you like it and then if you still think you want to spend $22/month on match, go for it, but keep in mind there are lots of complaints about
posted by Brian Puccio at 5:25 PM on August 3, 2009

*looks at profile*

We are demographically similar and in the same area. Try okcupid! I get a CRAZY ridiculous number of messages. After eliminating the guys who post photos of their abs or are otherwise blatantly unsuitable, it's still a lot of messages. I only signed up a few weeks ago, and I've already gone on three dates, all reasonably enjoyable.

(FWIW, I'd never done the dating website thing before and had no idea what to put so I just sort of half-assedly filled out the profile with baffling strangeness and posted a shadowy black and white photo. It seems many men here dig mystery. I skipped all the dumb questions and only answered the ones that are actually relevant, which I feel makes the match percentage more meaningful. If it's low I can assume he is against gay marriage or wants to have sex less often than every day or something else unacceptable.)
posted by little e at 6:59 PM on August 3, 2009

In response to your question, I would recommend not upgrading to platinum. Not because it makes you look needy, but for quality control purposes.

In other words, I think it would be better to only allow people who've also paid to email you. The net effect will be that all the people who contact you are a little more serious about getting value from the site.

I also wouldn't worry about it limiting your responses. What my friends have told me matches all the other posters: women get a lot of responses.
posted by dualityofmind at 9:36 PM on August 3, 2009

Assuming you're staying with match, I recommend paying extra for the platinum account. I don't understand the reasoning that people who pay for a match account represent a higher-caliber dating pool. After all, anyone on OKCupid (or Plenty of Fish, etc.) has chosen not to pay -- would you say that OKCupid users are thus inferior? Of course not. In fact, I agree with many other Mefites that OKCupid is the best site out there, so clearly "paying" isn't synonymous with "cream of the crop in the online dating world."

It's important to think of people not in terms of websites or accounts, but as whole human beings. Any particular guy out there who's using online-dating is quite likely to have accounts on multiple websites. Maybe he's paid for one of them but not the rest. It would hardly be economical to have several paid accounts going at once. So let's say he's paying for Jdate but has a free account on match and Yahoo Personals. He's the same person no matter which website someone is using to look at his profile. The woman who happens to get through to him on match is no worse off than the paying member on Jdate who contacts him at his paid account.

Admittedly, someone with a free match account isn't trying as hard at as people who pay. But why is that the standard? Why should your goals be driven by people's connection to that particular website? The website matters only insofar as it connects you to someone who's right for you. Nothing else matters. If you can get connected to more rather than fewer people, you'll increase the chances of finding the right person.

I know the CW about how women are flooded with messages. Well, that's a good problem to have! If the most tedious part of the dating process for you is having to delete lots of messages as you narrow things down to those few outstanding guys, you'll be very well set. You should hope that you get "too many" messages! After a slight hassle, all the bad ones won't matter to you at all, and you'll have a better chance of ending up with a good match.
posted by Jaltcoh at 7:07 AM on August 4, 2009

I know the CW about how women are flooded with messages. Well, that's a good problem to have!

No, not only because it's a hassle to sort through them, but because someone you WANT to date can easily get lost in the shuffle. There were times that I just deleted my whole damned inbox because 90% of the messages were "O HAI UR SEXY IM SEXY 2 WANT 2 MEET????!!!" Most of the rest were decent at first glance, but if I responded, it quickly turned into "O HAI..." So, the flood of emails gets really discouraging really quickly.

I met my husband online (again, not on, and it was partially because I started blocking emails from free members. The "UR SEXY" emails slowed to a trickle. If I hadn't done this, there's a good chance his email would have been deleted along with the rest because I really wasn't in the mood to bother responding.
posted by desjardins at 8:57 AM on August 4, 2009

No, not only because it's a hassle to sort through them, but because someone you WANT to date can easily get lost in the shuffle.

Oh, I'm not denying that that's possible. I'm sure there are many anecdotes about people meeting each other after looking only at paid members, but there are also people with anecdotes about meeting through free accounts (including anyone who's met through OKCupid or Plenty of Fish, etc.). It's all a matter of likelihoods, and you increase the likelihood of the best possible outcome with a larger pool. One ancedote or even 100 ancedotes don't negate this. Women -- and, for that matter, plenty of eligible men -- can get pretty good results with sub-optimal strategies.
posted by Jaltcoh at 9:23 AM on August 4, 2009

I second trying out Okcupid. You're young enough, there's a big 20-30 something crowd on it. has a lot of profiles that aren't technically used but remain up in order to present a facade of lots of people doing it.
posted by Groovytimes at 11:14 AM on August 4, 2009

If he's not into you enough to pay for a membership himself just to contact you, then he's just not that into you.
posted by Jacqueline at 6:30 PM on August 4, 2009

I would not pay for it, but it gives you this message when you e-mail someone:

"XYZ PAID for you to reply back to him/her for free".

Women get more responses than men anyhow, so you really shouldn't have to pay.
posted by abdulf at 8:09 PM on August 4, 2009

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