Dating Site Reviews


Match.com
Match.com is a real heavyweight in the online dating world, and very good on every level. In most geographical areas, there is a wide selection of datable guys and gals. There are plenty of choices, from your twenties, right up into the sixties and seventies.

Similarly, Match.com is good for just dating, say if you’ve just gotten out of a relationship – and it’s also good for seeking long term relationships and marriages. I know plenty of married couples who have met on Match. Match also provides a bunch of articles and resources, generally geared towards dating with the possibility of long term commitment. There’s a whole lot of Dr. Phil advice here – which you can read and take what you feel is valuable. For $7 more bucks a month, you get access to dating advice videos and workshops from Dr. Phil. Up to you.

The free membership lets you create a profile, search other members and send ‘winks’. Winks from men are annoying. It shows a lack of effort and imagination. A wink from a woman? Well, I don’t like them. I like women who have something to say! But there are plenty of men who would welcome a wink from a woman. It can be fun and coy and playful – very traditional flirting behavior. Plus I do understand that many women are not comfortable with being so forward as to make the first move with a detailed email. Let the guy make the first real move. And a wink might wake him up to the fact that you are on the site.

Match.com is, to me, the best bargain overall – and their 6 month guarantee can’t be beat. The user base is high and the site design is clean and has very few ads to distract you with. Match.com’s services are pretty basic but they’re well implemented. And their customer service is great.

They have recently launched a new service called…

Chemistry.com

Which is their answer to the eHarmony marketing machine (more on eHarmony below).The truth is that most sites will send you, if you request it a “Your Matches” email every few days. That’s the site matching up various preferences you each have entered and alerting you as to who is out there. Chemistry.com says it uses “Scientific” methods to do this kind of matching. Although I haven’t used it, I say, “why not?” It’s worth a shot. Any help is useful, and they may actually come up with a perfect match for you! But don’t rely on ANYONE to do your work. Use this as a tool. And always remember, you don’t find love, you create it minute by minute.

Go Here: Match.com

YahooPersonals.com
Yahoo is another of the supersites. Lots and lots of people of all ages, sizes and colors.

Their free profile is a misnomer. You can’t really do anything with it. Basic Profiles and searches are available for members only .

YahooPersonals also has personality tests to help you meet people through the site. I’ve never really used them. I think those lists are not really very helpful. Better to look for a man who can express his authentic feelings, has a clear sense of purpose and doesn’t take himself too seriously. It is my experience that a quick read of his “Favorite Books” column – they have it on Match.com – is much more instructive than checking off boxes saying he is thoughtful, loving, spiritual etc. Too broad and too banal.

Be careful to deselect the option to receive newsletters when you’re signing up. If you’re like me, you get enough spam already!

You don’t need all that.

As far as signing up, it’s a bunch of clicking through to input information. It’s not as ridiculous as eHarmony, but it’s longer than some – but probably worth it. Rates go down below 20$ a month when you sign up for several months at a time. A good deal.

Go Here: YahooPersonals.com

Lavalife.com
If you are in any way a technophobe – stay away.

If you don’t like spending money – have a close look, because it’s the only site that’s sort of “pay as you go.” If you’re new to online dating and are hesitant to make a big investment, LavaLife is for you.

It’s a little more complicated that the standard sites, though not impossible to figure out at all!

LavaLife operates on a credit system for starting conversations and chatting with other singles, which as far as I know, is the only site that does this. So you can keep your costs down to a minimum if you choose. But frankly, if you are online and really looking for an intimate partner, who cares about 20 bucks a month?!!! Besides, being able to pay once and communicate all you want will make you more open and friendly and talkative. You will take more chances, which is a good thing.

Profiles and searches are your basic Internet fare. Anonymous e-mail, chatting and instant messaging are all available. I like the fact that it has IM options. That’s a fun way to have some fun flirting or getting to know a guy online without having to jump right into a phone call. Not all sites have IM.The site can be confusing at times. There’s a supposed divide between the intimate, dating and serious relationship sections, but they really don’t seem all that different.

The site design is a bit cluttered with advertising, which can be annoying if you’re on a slow connection or if you just hate ads.

Benefits: cheap. Big user base. And if you don’t want to use a credit card online, LavaLife also has a convenient 900 number for buying credits. Much appreciated given the state of net security on many users’ computers

One final thought – and maybe Lavalife should think about the marketing value of this – if you’re so concerned about a few dollars per month to get a free pass on another site, what kind of cheapskates are signing up for this site? And who wants to meet them?

Go Here: Lavalife.com

AmericanSingles.com
Though it sounds like Kraft cheese, it’s really just an outgrowth of Match.com, offering pretty much the same interface and functions.

It does offer ‘hot list’ features, similar to popular social networking sites like Facebook and Myspace.

For extra money — the.Premium membership — you can communicate with other members via e-mail, instant message and chat rooms. It’s a nice benefit. As with the other sites, check out the selection with the browse function before you sign up.

Go Here: AmericanSingles.com

Cupid.com
Free membership lets you create a profile. ‘ Full membership lets you initiate conversations by e-mail or instant messages with both free and full members. You will also get access to the Cupid Chat Room.

In addition to the online dating services, Cupid.com also hosts live speed dating events in cities across the U.S. You can keep updated with local events via your profile page.

Again, I think it’s always good to utilize both online and offline resources, so I like that feature. Funny thing about online sites – they can become a little community.

Tip: If you go to a speed dating event, make friends with some of the good guys and women you like and suggest you all get together by a hotel pool or other gathering space in a week – and tell each person to bring a single friend! Be proactive and expand your circle using online dating resources as a seed.

As far as membership numbers, since Cupid.com does not release their membership statistics make sure you create a free profile to check for local users before making a big investment. Pricing is comparable to other dating sites with a significant savings for year long memberships.

Go Here: Cupid.com

Date.com
Like Yahoo and Match and Matchmaker and PerfectMatch.com, Date.com is a good general site.

It has a pretty straight forward profile and search system. Premium membership will let you communicate with other members via e-mail, instant message and chat rooms. The site also has numerous articles by the well known dating advisors. David DeAngelo for men, and Christian Carter for women – both of whom are very good friends of mine and SMART on dating.

If you travel a lot… this site also features Date Mobile, a convenient and way meet singles locally and across North America.

Despite not posting their membership numbers, Date.ca seems pretty packed and you shouldn’t have a problem finding people close to you by entering your area code. As always, look before you leap.

Go Here: Date.com

PerfectMatch.com
Pretty much like Match.com etc. except I’ve been told that they mostly market to women – so there is a surplus of women here. Wrote one woman:

“I sent close to 20 ‘icebreakers’ and got not ONE response. I’ve used other sites and always had a response, so I know its not me. I pitched a fit, called them a scam, and they refunded my money.”

Well, if that’s not enough to dissuade you, here’s some other thoughts…

It does offer a patented ‘Duet’ system, which works differently from a lot of other online dating profiles. The focus is less about what job you want your dates to have and more on true/false questions such as ‘If I am deeply attracted to someone immediately, I will trust my emotions and I am willing to start a serious relationship right away.’

Again, I don’t necessarily find this very helpful. People often say what they think is the “right” answer.

I learn much more about someone by their favorite books, movies and music if I’m interested in doing quick read of their data.

There is also a similar ‘icebreaker’ system for getting your first few conversations with other members started. If you’re a bit shy this can be useful.

Free membership here only gives you one ‘sample’ search, so to make any good use of the site you’ll have to pay for a membership. The Duet system is pretty fun to take by itself and there are plenty of personality/relationship tests to keep you occupied while browsing through other profiles.

But beware. All those tests and articles can be time taken away from actually TALKING to men on the site!

Overall, I would choose Match.com in a heartbeat.

Go Here: PerfectMatch.com

eHarmony.com
The guys at eHarmony are marketing GENIUSES.

They claim that their scientific methods are unique. Their matchmaking services are based off their ’29 Dimensions of Compatibility’ to help ensure a good long term match – or so they say.

But I’ve had intellectual friends set up with truck drivers. And Scientific American just ran a damning piece demonstrating that your chances of finding a good match are just as good elsewhere.

Now, that all said, take advantage of the marketing. It attracts men who are seriously looking for a relationship, not players or serial daters.

So pay the extra money eHarmony wants, fill out the interminable profile form and take your chances. If there really are lots of men here looking for serious relationships, and that’s what you want, then put it to work for you.

EHarmony offers some unique services – THEY control who you get to see much more than the other stes.

They have a number of features such as ‘safe calls’ where eHarmony lets you call members without revealing your phone numbers. They also have a way of guiding your communications with other members to help take some of the strain off the dater. This isn’t for me, personally, I don’t like the constraints, but I have heard from plenty of people who like the guidance.

The sign up process is lengthy, mostly due to the detailed personality questionnaire (which is surprisingly accurate). Site design and service implementation is top notch. Free memberships are extremely limited but a full membership gives you those unique tools to help find that special someone.

Despite not publishing their membership numbers, a national TV ad campaign almost guarantees a huge user base, regardless of your location. This site is recommended for daters looking for long-term relationships, only.

Go Here: eHarmony.com

Friend Finder.com
The Friend Finder network is one of the largest on the web and Friend Finder although I’ve never used it.

Gold and Silver members get access to some advanced search options, a vast array of messaging tools and higher priority in other members’ searches. Video chat, instant messaging, e-mail and chat rooms are all available for both Silver and Gold members. Silver and Gold members show up in all searches more then free members. Gold members also have full access to the advanced features along with priority access to new members.

Sounds pretty undemocratic, huh? But there is a secret advantage. At least you know that if you meet a Gold or Silver member, he’s probably not living out of his car. And he’s willing to make an investment to meet women. Of course, that doesn’t guarantee he character, but a nice dinner beats Carls Jr.

The site design is clean and easy to navigate. Setting up a profile is quick and simple. Services are well implemented and shouldn’t have any technical bugs to frustrate you. Compared to the other top long term dating sites, pricing is relatively cheap. If you’re looking for dating and serious relationships without a serious monetary investment, Friend Finder might be a nice choice.

Again – be sure to browse the men in your zip code to see what the selection is like in your area.

Go Here: FriendFinder.com

DemocraticSingles.net
Go Here: DemocraticSingles.net

NICHE SITES:
DharmaMatch.com
DharmaMatch is a dating site designed for people who hold their spirituality as an important part of their life. So it pre-selects, which will cut out a lot of the noise of the larger sites.

Here, you can create a free profile, upload a photo or two, and let people know who you are and what you’re looking for.

The site is respectful, doesn’t spam, and I know of a lot of success from this site.

One oddity – in Los Angeles, there seem to be a whole lot of scientologists on this site. Maybe it’s their site of choice. But there are plenty of others as well.

Go Here: dharmaMatch.com

Spiritsingles.com
Similar to DharmaMatch.com, this appeals to spiritually oriented folks. I’ve tried DharmaMAtch myself and thought it was pretty good. SpiritSingles allows for some good free search so check this one out too, if the concept appeals to you.

Go Here: Spiritsingles.com

Yogamates.com
Well, it’s pretty simple: if you’re a yoga gal and you like yoga guys – this is not a bad place to meet.

Go Here: Yogamates.com

Dancepartner.com
I like this site! It’s for people who love couples dancing and is a great way to meet people with the same passion. It’s my impression that there are more women than men. But if you love dancing – what a great service!

Go Here: Dancepartner.com

JDate.com
I swear, this has to be the king of marriage making online dating websites. I have heard of MANY marriages on this site. It’s full of all types – Israeli and Russian immigrants, players as well as sincere men looking for relationship and marriage. The interesting thing is that because it tends to be more about serious relationships than most online dating sites, it attracts plenty of non-Jewish people. So even if you aren’t Jewish, and if your own religion doesn’t make a match impossible, JDate is an interesting place to go.

Plus, it has IM and now video IM. I think IM is great. Video IM may be too much too fast. A little mystery before meeting isn’t a bad thing!

Go Here: JDate.com

ChristianMingle.com
From the reviews I’ve heard – if Christianity is an important part of your life, then this site of all the Christian sites has the widest selection, which because it is a niche, is very important ot your success.

Go Here: ChristianMingle.com

Beliefnet’s Soulmatch.com
Beliefnet is a terrific all-in-one site for articles on religion and spirituality of all kinds – and I do mean ALL kinds! Mainstream and way fringe stuff.

They created a dating site for people who have a spiritual bent – but so far, membership seems pretty small. See if you can browse for your locality and make your decision then.

Beliefnet has a good budget so this site may be growing quickly.

If religion or spirituality is important to, might be worth it.

Go Here: Soulmatch.com

The Onion Personals
The Onion is one of the sharpest, funniest magazines out there. It tends to attract a hip, smart young crowd. Their site is for every kind of social contact: flirting, dating, serious relationships, making friends – whatever.

If this sounds like your crowd, again, it’s good pre-selection. Obviously, a much smaller selection than Match.com and the like, but attracts like-minded folks.

Advantages: You can maintain complete anonymity on The Onion Personals. You have the power to reveal as much or as little as you want about yourself, then decide who you want to reveal it to.

Nerve.com
A very good site for intellectual types.

Go Here: Nerve.com

Millionaire Match:
Well, I have a personal prejudice against this site but only because it’s not my style. If you are a very attractive woman and you want to find a guy who identifies himself with the level of his spare cash, then this might be the perfect place for you.

The odd thing is, not every guy is a millionaire here – they don’t care.

I have seen friends of mine with very attractive dates from this site and they do have a large and growing membership.

LookBetterOnline.com
Just trust me on this one. For around a hundred bucks, maybe a little more, they will send a PROFESSIONAL photographer to your home to take photos that will make you stand out from most other women online.

I recommend this service to everyone who online dates. One GREAT photo will create more response that a few ok ones. It also shows a certain level of self-regard and professionalism.

They are in hundreds of cities now, so don’t assume you are too far out in the sticks!

I happen to know the founder and she’s great and honest and kind of brilliant for creating this.

To contact them and get a photographer to your home, go here:

Sites for Finding Sex (not Serious Relationships)
I add these two so that you don’t sign up thinking you will find your husband here!

Go Here: LookBetterOnline.com

AdultFriendfinder.com
If you are looking for a swinger or sexual relationship, then Adult Friend Finder is your place.

Go Here: AdultFriendfinder.com

SexSearch.com
Um, once again – for swinging or purely sexual contact, both paid and unpaid, this would be your keys to that kingdom.

Go Here: SexSearch.com