Mainstream Dating Services- Part 1

Online dating is a rapidly growing phenomenon. With an overwhelming number of online dating services, estimated to be in the millions, it becomes increasingly difficult to choose the right one. There are many factors to consider, some of them are crucial to your online dating success.

Niche Service vs. Generic Service

First, you need to consider what type of relationship you are looking for, marriage, friendship, sex. The generic service does not focus on any specific demographic, so it may have a larger database, but how many of those who join everyday are really a match for you. If you are a person who is greatly concerned about race, religion or sexual orientation, you would probably be better off with a niche service. If you are looking for something that is not considered main stream, there is probably a dedicated service for you amongst the millions available services. It is my personal opinion that niche services are much more efficient than generic type services. Searching a database where most of the members are already qualified in some respect creates a more efficient and less frustrating experience. If you are still interested in using a generic service, send an email to the service in order to see if they cater to your special need. Some websites require you to sign up and sometimes pay blindly before they allow full search capability. It would be a shame to pay a fee, only to discover that very few match your need.

Local vs. National or International

It only makes sense to choose a service that caters to your local geographical location. You are going to filter all other people in your search anyway, aren’t you? Maybe the hopeless romantic in me does not want to limit something as significant as love and relationships to a geographical area. Or maybe I am just curious to see if other singles look different, based on geographical location. Part of me always wanted to move, and signing up for a local service, just forces me to admit it. I just like to keep my options open. If these are your thoughts too, then a national service is for you. However, if you are more realistic, have two feet on the ground, and are definitely not the type who is cut out for a long distance relationship, you should probably sign up for a local service.

Paid Vs. Free

If you can get the service for free, why would you want to pay any money, right? Not necessarily. Is it the same service with the same quality? I can’t tell you for sure. However you need to be aware of the pitfalls associated with free dating services. I don’t want to resort to cliches like “you get what you pay for”, but it seems to be true for online dating. There is something about a person who pays his hard earned money to find a match that makes me feel he is more serious than the one who chooses a free service. Also, the fact that a person gave his credit card number indicates he is more serious, reducing the chance of a fake profile messing with your heart. Few people will pay to be a fake.

Free dating services are notorious as places for lurking predators, spammers and prostitution services. And since they are free, the web masters will likely have less staff available to insure quality. So if you can find a match there, it could be after the effort of reducing all the noise, and filtering all the fake/promotional messages, greatly reducing the pleasure you derived from the experience. In addition, it is hard enough to put yourself (your profile) out there. You certainly don’t want to be the subject of laughter or abuse from a group of bored teenagers, who had their afternoon off and didn’t know what to do with their time. Some free services can be good, but finding a good one will be a challenge, since all will tend to be subject to these pitfalls, just by virtue of what they cost. Often people choose to overlook these disadvantages because the service can sound so good, and very often these same people have bad experiences and decide to switch to a pay service anyway.