Online Dating Help

Help me, I'm online dating!

Learn from my mistakes experiences!  Lots of folks ask me about the different online dating options and although I know there have been countless stories of couples meeting, falling in love, marrying, blah, blah, blah, I thought it would be good to answer some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to finding love on the internet.  G-rated love.  Okay, PG-13 rated love. 

Although it may seem that I am ridiculously hateful to all forms of online dating, I must say that they have provided me with the opportunity to meet some new people that I would have never had the chance to do otherwise.  If you're interested in online dating or shopping around for the best place to make the monthly monetary commitment, check out my completely unprofessional and uneducated opinions of those most popular sites:

eHarmony is unique among online dating sites, their commercials aren't lying.  They require that you fill out a 400+ questionnaire before you are matched with anyone, assessing every tiny detail of your personality and your likes and dislikes.  My problem with that is that I filled mine out over seven years ago, quite possibly after a drunken dare in a friend's living room (see, I really don't remember, so alcohol was probably involved) and you cannot redo the particular part of the process if you re-enroll with the same email address or name.  It's frustrating because that could really explain why I never got any decent matches!  Also, eHarmony allows you the least control.  Your communication is guarded like Fort Knox, your profile is very structured and oftentimes you can't even see a photo until you've reached a certain level of communication (if that member so chooses that feature).  I know that physical attraction shouldn't be a "make or break," but it's usually nice to have a face there on the screen while you're communicating.  Also, this site is by far the most expensive, sometimes costing $60 a month, depending on their specials and rates.  There is no browsing with eHarmony until you become a paying member. is the site that I have returned to the most as a member.  But, sometimes it tends to have a meat-market-type feel.  Profiles are wide open for you to write whatever you want (which is good and bad), and they match you based on keywords in your profile.  You can upload dozens of photos and communicate instantly.  They will email you weekly matches based on criteria you provide them, and you can get updates and access to your account on your mobile phone at no additional cost.  There is even a "wink" feature if you're lazy/inarticulate/shy.  The cost is doable, usually averaging about $30-35 a month, with the option to do special add-ons, like read receipts for emails sent.  You don't have to be a member to browse or even wink, but no emailing until you pay up.

Ahhh....Zoosk.  Well, my experience with Zoosk has been completely through Facebook and completely without becoming a paying member.  You can sign up for a free Zoosk account directly through Facebook and add it as an application, viewable when you log in.  It is one of the easiest sites to use if you're not a paying member and lets you get pretty far into the process.  You can even purchase Zoosk coins and do certain things like open emails without becoming a member.  But, in my opinion, it is one of the sleeziest online dating sites that does not include the word "booty" in it's title, and I think it has to do with the fact that you can do a lot without paying.  Paying on a monthly basis would at least get people who are serious enough about the site to commit money that could otherwise be spent on, say alcohol or other fun things.  Poke around Zoosk and look at some of the screennames and you'll quickly agree with my sentiment.  Now, there may be some respectable folks looking for real relationships on there.  I believe it's about $19.95 a month. is one of a slew of religious-based online dating sites, but the only one I've tried myself.  They get very specific, asking you to identify the parish that you are associated with, whether or not you can marry within the church (a big deal in Catholicism) and other denomination-specific questions.  Communication is about the same as it with and obviously by its religious connotation, you're going to find more relationship-seeking folks.  The cost is amazing compared to other more mainstream sites. will run you about $35 for a six-month membership.  The same membership with eHarmony is upwards of $175.  The downside:  not a whole lot of members and search capabilities are limited.  You can't be as discriminative as you would be with Match, simply because they don't track that information.
My newest online dating attempt at success.  They're so new and so non-mainstream that they don't even have a logo.  Their membership is completely free and it takes about 5 minutes to set up your profile (if you have one on another site, this one makes it easy to copy and paste with no restrictions on word limits).  You can communicate freely and easily with their "Quick Message" feature, but wimps need not apply. There are no "winking" features on this site.  So far I haven't managed to discover how you search for people and if you really do.   They have a pretty cool feature where you can tell them that you want to go out on a date, say this Friday.  It will give you a list of profiles in your suggested mile range that also want a date on Friday night.  As I learn more about the site, I'll update this post!
Get in while the going's good, Singletons!  Recently, I received an invitation to join from the founder of is their new site specifically designed for people looking for long-term relationships and/or marriage (which in turn tells you what people must be looking for on Plentyoffish!).  To build their website, they're currently offering subscriptions for absolutely free (no credit card needed) indefinitely.  The email did say that the website would eventually be fee-based, but those that enroll right now will never pay a subscription.  Looks wise, it's a bit prettier than Plentyoffish's basic design, and they ask you more style questions before you can set up your profile, unlike Plentyoffish.  But, there are only about 10-15 questions (unlike the 100's on other sites), all easy to answer, that help them find better matches for you.  So far there is no shortage of men available on this site, so I'd assume that the same is true for women.  Again, as I peruse this site, I'll keep you posted!

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