• Victoria Nachos

The Definitive Guide To Online Dating Sites

Updated: Oct 27

From pay sites to free sites, I explore all the pros and cons of online dating sites. Is it worth the money to pay for sites like eharmony or match.com? Will free sites like plenty of fish get the job done just as well? Is there another alteranative for when you hate both types? I'm just the experienced dater to let you know.

I'll be assessing each site based on 5 main qualities: attractiveness of the men, attention I get from men (as a plus-size woman), quality of the responders, site aesthetic, and my overall satisfaction with the experience.




FREE SITES Plenty of Fish


Attractiveness of Men

High - There is a large portion of physically attractive guys on the website. Just as with life, there are also lots of not so attractive dudes, but this website, especially in relation to others, is heavy with the hotties.


Attention from Men

Moderate - on average I get about 2-5 messages a day (it's higher when I'm online more and lower when I'm online less, exposure helps I guess). That being said, there are days when I get 10 and others where I get nada. Generally 3 of those daily 5 get deleted right away because I'm not even close to interested, 1 out of the remaining 2 usually gets a response but I quickly find out is an idiot (sometimes 2 out of 2) but I have messaged with several men who have made it past this initial stage.


Quality of Responses

Moderate to low - I've still only met 2 guys in person, but I have another date this weekend and hopefully another one with another match following that. Not a whole lot of super witty and definitely not a lot of super intelligent unfortunately. Also, I get the feeling I settle for more ridiculousness than many women because:

  1. I have very little patience and thus often take less then I deserve because I'm not ready to wait it out (basically I want to go on dates now so I'm willing to settle a bit)

  2. Because I'm looking for fun and dating and not a long term relationship, I don't judge as harshly as others might

  3. I am trying to be more open and less judgemental (in order to go on some kick ass dates!)


Site Aesthetic

Moderate to low - nothing in particularly unique about this site. You can't search for guys that are interested my body type (plus-size or fat women), there's no fun or neat stuff, but the saving grace is that the site is free.


Overall Satisfaction

Moderate - Unfortunately, it really is a best of the worst type of situation. While this site may get the job done, I'll most certainly be dropping it as soon as a better option comes along.





Lavalife

Attractiveness of Men

Low - So far it's been mostly old guys (seriously like 48-68 year olds...gross you're practically my father, plus not only is it creepy, it makes them idiots...do they seriously think a 28 year old would be interested in them (without monetary reimbursement lol!)???

Attention from Men

Moderate to Low - I've only been on a couple days, but responsiveness seems fairly low and add to that, the responses I am getting hold little to no interest. Honestly there's only been one guy who sent me a "smile" that I'd be interested in, so I smiled back and we'll see.


Quality of Responses

Low - Honestly, the messages have not been good (read: from old and delusional men). Don't get me wrong, I'm not "just" about looks but here's the thing I always say. "You can dumb and hot, or smart and not attractive, or funny and not attractive, or rich and unattractive (this ones sort of a joke lol), but you can't be all the negatives - dumb, not funny, not rich, and not attractive) and so far that's what this site seems...plus add "old" to the mix.


Site Aesthetic

Deceptively Moderate but actually Low - Site appears really cool with lots of neat features like sending "smiles", instant messenger, and online speed dating though in an experiment with speed dating (the first one is free) I signed up only to find I was the only one signed up for that night (they have one session a night)...oh wait...there was one guy signed up who wasn't actually online at the right time HUGE TIME WASTE.


Overall Satisfaction Low - I know I've only been on the site a couple of days but there isn't even a single person I'd consider meeting yet, so it's not looking good for lavalife, guess a cool website doesn't make up for a lack of quality dating pool. Honestly, the whole site seems like a scam. I haven't closed my account yet, but I'm definitely not considering the pay option, and if things don't pick up I will be closing my account. (side bar: I started writing this yesterday before the speed dating disaster and have since closed my account).  This site does have a pay option but I'm certain it wouldn't make any improvements.


Match.com OkCupid


In order to save time and not have to write the same thing over and over again...these websites sucked (for my demongraphic--area, age, etc.).  To be harsh, they were just chock full of unattractive fellas (which not only makes me upset because I don't want to date any of them...but then I start to wonder if my pic is ever giving this same impression to fellas...bad path to go down...moving on...taking a right turn at confident and beautiful!)  So though they have potential to not super suck, I've come to realize that for most of these dating sites, the most important factor is the gene (I mean dating) pool that they are working with.







PAYSITES


Eharmony


Attractiveness of Men

Moderate -  Overall the guys are fairly decent, not mega-babes like on plenty of fish and not the bottom of the barrel like lavalife. Also, add to that, the fact that the majority of the men are highly educated and have pretty kick ass profiles and attraction goes way up!


Attention from Men

Low - This site doesn't allow you to do your own searching.  That being said, it's been an entire week and they send me approximately 7 matches a day. I've been keeping really open-minded and not closing communication with anyone they send me, and still, I've yet to have any "dater" initated contact from ANYONE. Also, I've since learned that eharmony never deletes any member accounts and every couple of months they have "free weekends" so people sign up, then realize the site is bullshit and never come back but their profile remains and eharmony continues to match them with people.


Quality of Responses

Lower than low - What responses????


Site Aesthetic

Moderate to High- If I was actually getting some love on this site, I would think it was pretty cool.  They match you (aka no work for me), communication is guided (when making first communication you send them 5 questions that you've selected out of a possible 20 or so), the personality size-up they give you is actually pretty interesting (truth be told I'll be saving a copy so that when I discontinue I will have it just for interest sake, it's pretty accurate and neat).  Plus the profile is guided so again, though you still need effort to fill stuff in, at least it helps you with what to write.


Overall Satisfaction

Low - This website sucked cost/benefit analysis wise.  It was $60 for the first month (uber-high because I wasn't willing to sign up for a package which is good because I've already discontinued the automatic renew, after the month I'm done).  This website might not have sucked so much if  A. It was so expensive and B. I was actually getting some dates out of it.  Part of why I'm giving this blog review is because of this site.  After I had signed up (read: paid the moola) that's when I came across all the reviews for eharmony saying it was total crap etc.etc.etc. if only I had read it before, so here's me, hoping to save someone else the 60 bucks.





*originally published 19/02/2010*

 

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