As time goes on, online dating has become more and more socially acceptable. Gone are the days where you vow to keep your online dating as a dark skeleton in your closet. I admit, I think online dating is a great avenue to meet others. Times are tougher once you hit your late twenties and early thirties. Gone are your meat market bar days when you could strut in and get the number of any 22-year-old man in the bar. Once you hit the age of 27 or 28, the times have indeed changed. You find yourself checking for rings. You feel like one of the “old” people at all the bars you used to frequent – because you are. Lots of people your age have settled into married life. Online dating is a great way to meet people that you would have otherwise never encountered. With a variety of online dating sites, which one should you choose? Note – do not use all of them at once. If your photo is found on all four it looks desperate and sad. Try one at a time. If you decide to go with two, do what I did and leave a photo off one. You wouldn’t believe how many people I saw on multiple sites.
Plenty of Fish
POF is a free site and features tons of profiles. The old saying “you get what you pay for” holds true with Plenty of Fish. This site is chock full of men with bad facial hair wearing flat-brimmed hats, driving four wheelers, posing with Hooters girls and wearing long chain necklaces. I browsed it once a few years back, but never found anyone worth my time. I did meet Charlie the Lug on Plenty of Fish. He was a cheap ass. If you are meeting someone on a FREE site, there’s a good possibility they are a cheap ass. Lesson learned. There are options for “no commitment.” If you aren’t looking for long term, this is probably a good site to try. It costs nothing and if you are a man, you’ll probably find women with lower expectations than you would on an expensive online dating site. It’s a perfect environment for hooking up, but the odds of meeting your one and only are not in your favor. Verdict – Good for a dirty, skeevy hook-up. Not good if you have obtained any degree above an Associates, are bothered by incorrect spelling and don’t mind that your date’s primary mode of transportation is the city bus.
I’ve never used OkCupid. I’m too old. However, that doesn’t mean I’ve never looked at the site. It’s another free one and the “you get what you pay for” adage sticks. However, if you are under 25, this isn’t a bad site. Seemingly less creepers than Plenty of Fish, but there are still more creepers than not. The site asks you child-like questions such as “Would you rather be normal or weird?” or “Would you find a nuclear war to be exciting?” (HUH?). This site is less trashy than Plenty of Fish and is bursting with artsy types of guys whose crowning moment was making a twenty minute indie horror film or receiving a standing ovation at the local coffee shop for the poem they wrote on a bar napkin during another night out alone. This site doesn’t have as many options as Plenty of Fish or Match. From a woman’s perspective every man on the site was undateable. Really. Verdict – great if you are between the age of 18 and 25 and majored in theatre or art history. Also ideal if you aren’t bothered by a lifetime spent in your spouse’s parents basement. Knowledge of video games like Skyrim or Charles Bukowski’s writing ensures you are indispensable.
eHarmony.com is the most expensive of the online dating sites. It’s something like $60 per month. eHarmony is the most discreet because only paying members can view your profile, which is good. However, you are unable to browse profiles. Their “matching system” sends them to you based on questionnaires that take you hours to complete. Their “matching system” does not take physical looks into account, which is terrible if you are a vain asshole like myself. I used the site about three or four years ago and met some great people. However, this time around (maybe it’s just Cleveland…) my daily matches were comprised of profiles that never even signed up for the site in the first place. There were no photos, no information filled out in their profiles… I was matched with people who couldn’t even communicate with me a solid 80 percent of the time. These people couldn’t see my profile either. This is a recent phenomenon. eHarmony used to be a quality site to meet sincere and successful people. Not anymore. If I’m paying this much money, I expect to be matched with men who have also paid to communicate with me. Instead, I received a bunch of “dead” profiles for upwards of $60 a month. Most of the “matches” I received looked like trolls. On a bright side, the men (if the profiles are valid) on the site seemed to be more successful and intelligent than ones on other sites. Almost all have college degrees and are career oriented. I met a few men on the site – doctors and an investment banker. I dated the latter for a month or so. That was all. I went MONTHS without receiving a remotely decent (attractive) match and was thrilled to cancel my account after my six months were up. Verdict – Good site if you are not a visual kind of person. Also, don’t plan on being picky…. There is little to choose from.
The problem with Match.com is that anyone can sign up and it’s impossible to differentiate between paying and non-paying members. That being said, have fun sending out tons of emails and getting no response. Half of the people on the site are voyeurs, not paying members and CAN’T respond. Cheaper than eHarmony, Match.com is a bit pricey, but what can you do? When it comes to online dating, this is as good as it gets. Due to the payment barrier, the men tend to be higher quality than POF or OK. From tractor driving country boys to surgeons, a wide variety of people use the site. Although it can be tough, there are actually some decent ones lurking on Match.com. Flip through about 80 pages of losers and you are bound to find at least one worth emailing (just better hope he’s a paying member.) I met quite a few cool men through Match.com. Not all worked out, but I had some very nice dates thanks to the site. It lets you browse all the profiles you want unlike eHarmony. Verdict – Sift through the lame gang signs, flannel shirts, flat-brimmed hats and matches with multiple children and you might get lucky. This site is your best chance in the online dating realm.