The three main differences between dating sites have to do with:
• Pay vs. Free
• The initial ability to initiate/interact with someone you are interested in
• The amount of demographic and personal information displayed on the site
Let’s start with Pay vs. Free. Some sites will tell you that you can join for free - Match included. But the reality is, once you are on there - you cannot actually interact with anyone unless you pay a fee. So if you are ‘window shopping’ /checking it out, that may be fine. But at the point youwish to actually message or talk to anyone, you must sign up. Some are totally free - with extra options and nice amenities, that can be purchased for additional fees.
My entire philosophy is that you are online to MEET someone. With 10+ choices out there,
you need to figure out which site will place you in the best position to meet someone you are interested in dating. There are pros and cons to all of the sites. It’s not a one size fits all.
ABILITY TO CONNECT:
On some sites, you scroll through pictures and profiles and contact the person on the site itself - via an email …..while on others, you cannot even contact the person at all unless they also saw you and liked you back (it’s mutual).
On Bumble, only women can initiate - not men. On Eharmony - neither can initiate, the site itself pairs people directly. Coffee meets bagel gives you ‘bagels’ or matches, at a set time each day to say yes and no to…
So it’s important to have an understanding of what you are comfortable with and which environment is best suited for your style.
DEPTH OF PROFILE INFORMATION REVIEWED OR REQUIRED:
Some sites require a minimum amount of words, and photographs are reviewed, in order to even communicate with others (Match). On other sites, you can throw up any pictures and write nothing (Tinder). Many are in-between. As you can see from the chart above, the combination of Mutual and Minimal = Tinder. Tinder has a reputation as a hook up site. The traditional theory behind this is: the less the person invests - money wise or time wise, the less commitment minded that person is. So there has been a connotation with free sites being for hook ups and paid sites being for serious minded people. I do not always find this to be the case. Many serious minded people like Tinder, for instance - because of the mutual aspect of communication. For instance, a woman receiving 100 emails on Match from 99 people she is not interested in - will only receive communications on Tinder from men she has already liked.
Conversely, men spending lots of time on Match drafting and sending emails to women, only to never get a response, are more assured of a reply on Tinder - as the woman has already expressed a mutual interest.
BASIC SUMMARY OF EACH SITE’S TYPICAL USER BASE
MATCH: GENERAL/RELATIONSHIP ORIENTED/ALL AGES
BUMBLE: GENERAL/UNDER 40
COFFEE MEETS BAGEL: GENERAL/UNDER 40
E-HARMONY: GENERAL/MARRIAGE MINDED/UNDER 40
FITNESS SINGLES: VERY FIT/ALL AGES
JDATE;JSWIPE: JEWISH;JEWISH ‘TINDER’/
OK CUPID: GENERAL, INTELLECTUAL/
POF: GENERAL/ALL AGES
TINDER: GENERAL/CASUAL/ALL AGES
ZOOSK: GENERAL/UNDER 30
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER:
REAL LIFE EXAMPLES
Michelle’s True but Politically Incorrect Unbiased Advice
AGE + LOOKS = VALUE IN MARKETPLACE + END GOAL = best site for you
Being honest - your age, level of visual attractiveness, and being on the right site - all play a role in which site you will have the most success on. Understanding both your end goal and your value in the marketplace, is the first step in choosing which site to utilize.
What do I mean by this? The reason I can quickly help people market themselves online, is because I start with stating the cold hard reality of the online world. I help my clients have an understanding of who they are, and who they seek and who the “competition’ is. Only when you can honestly assess these factors, are you in an optimal place to choose your best dating site. Because the bottom line is: if you are not getting noticed or finding matches - no one will ever get to know your true, authentic self!
If you are a woman over age 40 - your value in the marketplace is diminished. At 44 even more so and by 49, considerably….An older woman might best be served on Tinder, or conducting searches herself - on Match…..
For example - if you are a divorced 51 year old woman in amazing physical shape - looking very young for your age, hoping to date and have fun - you might be better suited for Tinder or Fitness Singles than Match. This is because on Match, men typically search based on increments encompassing 5 year age brackets (40-45; 30-40, 40-50) - and your profile at age 51 might never come up as a match. But on Tinder, age goes from 49 directly to 55+ - so you are more easily still captured and displayed to others. On Fitness Singles, like minded fitness enthusiasts are much more open to viewing age as irrelevant, than on more mainstream sites.
If you are a man under 5’9, your value in the marketplace is diminished. The most fantastic guy in the world, if he is 5’8, is going to have a difficult time on traditional sites with height filters (Match, OK Cupid etc). Women typically search/want men over 5’10…..However - on Tinder or J-Swipe, there is no height filter…..[better choice for him]
On the other hand, if you are a never married 5’10, 39 year old man looking for marriage and family - [HIGH MARKET VALUE] going on Tinder does not offer you much in understanding the values, background or compatibility of your match. It’s not that you can’t find a woman you might like the look of - and she could be wonderful - but you have minimal information to go on. Match would offer a lot more information and additionally, it has the reputation of attracting serious minded people. Additionally, the very qualities that are most desirable in this man, will not be evident on Tinder (height, marital status).
OK Cupid was bought by Match and is free - so I might recommend to this client to go on both free sites, for instance. And if after 30 days he is not finding quality matches, then consider a subscription to Match….This is often why you might see people on both free and paid sites, or multiple sites.
GENERAL ADVICE ON CHOOSING A SITE:
My best general advice when starting out, is to find a site that requires at least, a
Look at my chart above, visit each website - and take the time to explore the interface of each site. Look at the people who are on it. Think about your age, your height, your looks - how do you compare to others searching for the same type of match?….The core of who you are is unfortunately, not obvious when people are looking at a photo - so you must ensure you are at least placing yourself on the appropriate dating site to reach your target audience.
Ask your friends which sites they have had success on. There are no right and wrong sites. The best site will uniquely place YOU in a maximum marketing position to attract your desired match.