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  1. dating sites... free or subscription?

    Missy Ce [sign in to see picture]
    • Rank: Captain
    • Posts: 23
    • Joined: 17 Jul 2015

    Zoosk is a huge con, at least 50% of profiles are fake to entice you in. Match.com is meant to be the best but Eharmony is one I'd recommend if you're looking to match based on personality and interests. Free sites tend to be full of players. Like a few commenters above I've had tons of weight related hate, but the most hate has been for my wheels. It's demoralising and depressing, but I'm thinking of joining a subscription snipe to maybe wheedle out the assholes. Good luck and please let us know how things go!

    LilMissMardyBum [sign in to see picture]
    • Rank: Field Marshall
    • Posts: 1515
    • Joined: 22 Jun 2013

    the free sites i feel dont really attract those that have a huge interest in finding the one,most are simply in an unhappy relationship and want some quick fun and others just want a causal fling,those that are really serious tend to go to the sites you pay for as you are paying for something shows just how much they want to pursue and relationship and have put a lot of thought into it :)

    Minkish Minx [sign in to see picture]
    • Rank: Brigadier
    • Posts: 153
    • Joined: 20 Nov 2014

    I once worked as a dating consultant for a local matchmaking company and part of my job scope was to coordinate dates on our local version of eharmony (non-uk, not sure if things are run the same way). I have to say that having interacted with the members there, I found that they were a lot more genuine and decent than people that I've seen on free dating sites. We actually call the members when they first sign up and have a chat / casual interview with them. There's a lot more scrutiny and moderation of the people that you'd get to interact with.

    I think free dating apps like Tinder are pretty decent too. My good friend met her bf on that app and they're approaching their one year anniversary now. Granted, she had to weed out many jerks along the way (who did the whole I'd date you if you were 2 dress sizes smaller shit), but she did eventually strike gold. It helps that there's some form of moderation so there's some mutual interest and you get to weed out the shady people from the get-go.

    I think jerks lurk everywhere and it's sad that a lot of them use dating sites / apps as their hunting grounds. I'd think that subscription sites are a safer bet since I doubt that trolls would pay good money. Some of those subscriptions really don't come cheap!

    Zerlina [sign in to see picture]
    • Rank: Lieutenant
    • Posts: 41
    • Joined: 4 Jun 2011

    I met my partner two years ago on OkCupid, and I know several other people who met their partners there. I think the bigger, free sites have a far wider range of people there, so there are more possibilities, as well as more weeding out to do.

    Yes, as a woman you are going to get annoying messages, sometimes fairly unpleasant ones. I'm bisexual, which I think increases that a bit, even though I was firm in my profile about not being there for casual sex, not interested in threesomes and looking for a monogamous relationship rather than a poly one. Weirdly, I got a few homophobes contacting me. Just ignore any messages you don't like, it's not worth trying to talk sense into them, and report them if they're harassing. OkCupid are excellent at dealing with that, you'll find the offending account is gone the next day.

    I was a bit nervous about signing up, as I'm severely disabled which puts a lot of people off and makes some aspects of a relationship harder, and my previous partner had been abusive and particularly unpleasant about my being disabled. So my confidence wasn't the best it's been. But it turned out fine, and I didn't get hassled about being disabled. (Indeed, if someone is going to be a dick about that, then I don't want them anywhere near me, so it's a useful screening process.) Despite that and being 35, nice-looking but not exactly a model (I freeze up dreadfully in photos), I had plenty of conversations with people. I had some nice dates with pleasant folk, made a good friend, and then met my partner. It probably helps that we're both good writers, as that makes it easier to get a good sense of yourself across, and we got on very well from the first message.

    Dating profiles are notoriously hard to write and it's easy to sound like a noodle by mistake. If you're struggling with that, there are guides around. Things it's good to avoid include being apologetic or boastful, if you can. If you get an urge to start your profile with "I don't know what to say", resist it! Also resist the urge to list all the things you want in a partner, that never comes across well either, though of course you need to think about it. Think about exactly what you're looking for, whether that's casual sex, a long term relationship, friendship, and be upfront about it. It's nice, it means you go in knowing what people are after rather than lots of vague guesswork. Casual sex isn't something that works for me, for instance, so I said that, and since I signed up not that long after my previous relationship, I initially said I was looking for friends for the time being but would be interested in a relationship once more time had passed. That worked out fine for me, and I got together with my partner 11 months after the end of my last relationship. Say something that shows you read their profile when you message them, things like that.

    I can't remember how other sites work, but on OkCupid you can answer lots of questions, which help you clarify your positions on things and how important it is that other people share them. They're very useful, you can get a reasonably good sense of whether you are simply going to clash like hell or whether you have loads in common. Some of the questions are about sex, and it's up to you whether you want to be discussing that publicly. I didn't, although I answered a few questions to help screen out the rapists. (Oh yeah, read a bit about pick-up/PUA and game if you don't already know about that, you'll want to be ignoring those tossers.) I think my partner and I were discussing music and writing a lot when we first got chatting, and hey, we turned out to be fantastically sexually compatible!

    Meet in a public place, and it's a good idea to text a friend or sibling to let them know you're safe. I confess that I never bothered with the texting, and with both my partner and the friend I made on OkC, they were visiting my home after we met up for the first time, because we'd been chatting loads by that point and they were clearly safe. I generally met people for coffee, it's nice in that it's not too pressured. Actually, I've always had a habit of asking people out for coffee even before online dating, I find it is nice when you have no idea whether this will be going towards dating or friendship (and dating is less likely, after all). I met a few people for dinner as well, and there was a nice picnic in the park where the chap I was meeting made strawberry sorbet and brought it along.

    I found I had to devote quite a bit of time to using OkCupid, there's a lot of trawling the site to be done, and you have to be in a good headspace, where you are feeling friendly, maybe even flirty, and also resilient enough to cope with reading lots of profiles that don't appeal at all, as well as coming across the odd tosser. So I'd set aside a few hours when I was in the mood.

    MJminx [sign in to see picture]
    • Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
    • Posts: 13
    • Joined: 28 May 2015


    Thanks for your incredibly well written response. I have to say I signed up to a couple of sites but am getting no interest whatsoever.

    I didn't expect to be inundated with offers but I thought someone might at least start a chat. I have messaged a couple of guys whose profiles have appealed to me but had no response. I seem to get quite a few "views" but no follow-up from any of them. I have refined my profile blurb to try and make it interesting.

    I am so down-hearted at the moment. Due to my previous circumstances, I don't really have a social circle of friends (my best mate lives 75 miles away) so don't get to go out anywhere to meet people face to face so had hoped online dating might at least get some conversation going and eventually lead to a date or two, but it doesn't look like that is going to be the case for me.

    Dali256 [sign in to see picture]
    • Rank: Major General
    • Posts: 337
    • Joined: 1 Mar 2010

    Ive tried quite a few over the years and they do vary a lot. I would give a few a go on the free plans and see what happens before handing over any money.

    It can be a long slog to get anything more than just a one night stand though so try not to get too down hearted.

    MJminx [sign in to see picture]
    • Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
    • Posts: 13
    • Joined: 28 May 2015

    thanks Dali :)

    Dr.Mr&Mrs [sign in to see picture]
    • Rank: Lieutenant
    • Posts: 4
    • Joined: 8 Jan 2015

    As a guy I would reccommend trying out some new sites/apps that are women friendly - I think Bumble is a good example but there are quite a few from what I've read.

    They'll allow you to be in control - decide who messages you, who can see your photos, limit what they're looking for etc - they're all designed to stop the creeps sending dick pics and sending explicit messages off the bat. Plus any guy signing up to a women orientated dating platform is most likely going to be a genuinely interested bloke.

    Don't listen to the sad individuals who are throwing abuse about - they're just insecure in themselves.

    MGW03 [sign in to see picture]
    • Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
    • Posts: 22
    • Joined: 5 Aug 2012

    I tried both a paid site and a free one.
    I paid for 3 months membership on Match and only had one date from there, had fun and we stayed in touch as friends but he wasn't the one!!
    Was also on plentyof fish for about a year which is a free site (you can chose to be a premium member but can send messages without having to pay).
    I actually found the mojority of guys on Match were also on POF so wondered why I bothered paying!! Even had one guy messaging me on Match asking if we could take the conversation to POF because his subscription to Match was about to run out and he didn't want to pay again!!!
    Had lots of dates on POF, of varying success, some were only 1 date, a couple of 2/3 dates a couple that lasted 2-3 months and then I met the guy I'm currently with and have been with over 18 months and am very happy with!!

    Yes there are some players on the free sites and there are some oddbods! But as long as you're sensible, take your time chatting to them, be sensible if you meet them then you can have lots of fun and maybe even find the one!! Remeber there is always a block button if they seem odd or send you a dodgy message!! You can also report dodgy profiles and admin will delete them.

    It does take time though, so try to relax and enjoy it! When I first signed up I was really keen to move on and would get disheartened when nothing much happened. Then I learnt to relax and enjoy it a bit and just see what happened. It did highlight to me how rubbish some guys are at maintaining a conversation!!! Oh and if you do get chatting to a couple on there be prepared for it to almost take over your life!!!! I used to find the messages and contacts ere like buses!! Nothing for a few weeks then 2/3 guys messaging you at once!! In total I was POF just over a year so be patient and have fun!!

    Friday13 [sign in to see picture]
    • Rank: General
    • Posts: 666
    • Joined: 19 Feb 2015

    I think who the site is aimed at is more important than whether it is paid for.

    I like okcupid because of the questions (it gives you a compatibility score but you can also read the other person's answers which I find helpful) but it is a real mash of people looking for love and people looking for sex.

    It's a long time since I used it but I remember plenty of fish being more of a causal sex site.

    Guardian Soulmates is disproportionately Guardian readers (more teachers, people working in the charity sector, more "arty" types).

    Tinder is fun but it is shallow. There are people looking for relationships but mainly I think it is people looking for fun or casual dating.

    I'd suggest trying out a few, including subscription based sites when they have free trials, and then choosing one or two that you feel more suit you.

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