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Free vs Paid Dating Websites
Aug 15, 2018

Today, there are literally thousands of dating sites on the Internet.  And the number is growing.  There are two general categories of dating websites: free and paid.  This article will help you decide whether to choose a free site, a paid site, or possibly both.

Free Dating Websites

Unfortunately, it is necessary to distinguish between 100% totally free to use dating sites and paid dating sites that offer a free trial.  A site offering a free trial isn’t really a free dating site, but many of these companies promote themselves using the word “free” to attract you to their site.  This makes it important to always read the fine print to determine if free really means free, or if means a free trial followed by a paid subscription.

Likewise, most 100% totally free dating sites do generate revenue for their owners.  The sites that support free subscriptions do so because they sport related advertising content.  Clicks on the advertising content are used to pay for things such as web hosting fees, domain name fees, and the other expenses associated with operating a website.   Interestingly, many totally free dating sites spend tens of thousands of dollars each month on advertising to reach new users and attract them to the site.

Obviously, the best thing about totally free dating sites is that you don’t have to pay anything to join and there are no monthly fees.   This creates a situation that may not always be apparent to everyone.  You can signup with as many free dating sites as you like and it still costs nothing.  By signing up with lots of free dating sites you can substantially increase your chances of meeting someone that you really like with the obvious drawback that you might have to communicate with a larger number of people. You can use this technique, however, to increase your online socializing.

The demographics of non-niche market, free dating sites typically suggest that the education level is slightly lower than it is for average paid dating sites.  Thus, the chance of meeting college graduates is somewhat lower.  This can mean that the average income of members at free dating sites is lower than it is for paid dating sites.  Also, free dating sites tend to have more members that are 65 year of age or older.   None of this should be considered a rule especially when it comes to niche market, free dating sites where the demographics can vary substantially.   Consider using a site like Alexa.com, which offers demographics information on a per website basis to determine if a particular site matches your interests.

Some people say that free dating sites may not contain dating leads that are from people who are serious about finding love.   The converse argument is that people who are paying for dating leads must be desperate.

Some free dating sites may not offer all of the features that are typical of paid dating services such as: chat, dating forums, email, newsletters, and dating advise so be sure that all of the features you desire are offered before joining.

Paid Dating Sites
 
Paid dating sites charge members anywhere from $10 - $40 or more monthly.  Consequently, the members of paid dating sites are often higher income earners who can easily afford to have a service working 24/7 to provide them with dating leads.   Often, the better quality paid dating sites offer introductory free trials where you can preview your matches before joining. Some paid dating services sponsor events such as dances, dinners, or even group trail hiking.

The large revenue enjoyed by paid dating sites enables them to build customized features to make finding your match easier to do via automation. These sites also employ specialized dating consultants to offer guidance, advise, and tips for getting the best results from their service.  Well-designed automation can save you time when making your dating selections.

Don’t fall into the trap of making a false assumption that paid dating sites are more secure than free sites.   Unless a paid service specifically says that it certifies that background checks are being performed on all subscribers, expect that your security rests fully in your own hands.

If you can only afford to join one or two paid dating services be sure to Google for dating site reviews before joining.  This way you can greatly increase the chances that you will end up selecting a service that is best suited to meeting your individual requirements.


Dating Safety

 
Whether you choose to use paid dating sites, free dating sites, or a combination thereof, there are several safety tips you should always be sure to follow:

-       Protect your identity by never sharing your real name, home address, place of work, or email address.  Don’t post such information in your profile.
-       Spend some time getting to know the person online before agreeing to meet them offline.
-       Always meet in public places until you really know someone.  Always be sure a friend or family member knows where you are going and when to expect you back. 
-       Don’t drink or do anything that could impair your judgment.  Don’t leave your drinks unattended.  Always ask for a fresh water glass if you have to leave momentarily.
-       Trust your instinct.  If something seems to good to be true it probably is.

 


Sarah Connor is the publisher of the free online dating site Free-DateHookup.com. She holds a B.S. Degree from the University of Maryland. She is widely consulted for her dating advice and expertise. Sarah is an advocate in favor of the Internet Dating Safety Laws, which have been enacted by several states.