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Are you a singleton looking to give online dating a go? There are so many dating sites out there to choose from that it can sometimes feel a little daunting and confusing. However, there are basically only two types of online dating sites, free and paid.
So, if you’re looking to set yourself up with a charming dating profile and meet some special people, which type of site should you use? Should you pick a site because it’s free? Or should you invest more via paid dating sites?
In this blog, we take a look at both types, to help you understand what each offers.
Free Online Dating Sites
If you’re looking to meet other people without it costing you a penny, then use one of the many free online dating sites available. It can also be a good place to start if you’re new to online dating, to see if it’s right for you.
However, free dating sites can bring some drawbacks…
- Quality – Because these sites are free and open to everyone, you may find that it attracts a large range of different people who are not necessarily looking for a serious relationship. For example, you may find people who are not single but want someone to talk to. There may be people who sign up because they have free time and want to have a bit of fun. There may be people who sign up out of curiosity, or to see if they can find someone they know. Or you may come across people who are just looking for something casual. All of these people will come up in your search results. There will be people who are serious about having a relationship in return, but finding that special someone through all the others becomes trickier and more time-consuming.
- Search Results – Free sites are often more limited in their functionality compared to paid-for sites, simply because they are not receiving money from subscriptions. Matches are commonly people who live close, rather than on interests. You will therefore have to spend time trawling through all the results to try and find someone that has more in common with you, or matches what you’re specifically looking for.
Paid Online Dating Sites
If you’re looking for a more meaningful, serious relationship, you may want to consider subscribing to a paid site. Although these cost money, investing more into online dating brings many advantages:
- Quality – Because people have invested in these online dating sites, the people you find are likely to be more serious about finding someone for a date or a serious relationship. This makes paid online dating site results higher quality. Another advantage is that because you provide your payment card details to subscribe, it is less likely that there will be any scammers, compared to free dating sites. Each user can easily be identified and found via their card details and so it makes for a much safer online dating experience.
- Search Results – With paid sites, you can often not only search for people via location, but also via compatibility, age, religion and much more. People are also more likely to be active on their account (making sure their profile is up-to-date and responding to messages) due to them paying a subscription, so searches provide better results than free sites, where many unused profiles will appear.
So now you know the story from both sides, it is likely that you’re wondering what site would be best for you. With both types offering a wide selection of people to choose from, it’s up to you to decide what you are looking for.
If you’re not sure if online dating is for you, then a free site might be a good place to start. Or, many subscription sites, such as Guardian Soulmates allow you to sign up for a free account, where you can browse users and get a feel for the process, before deciding if it is for you. If it is, you can upgrade to a full account later, where you can see people’s full profiles and contact your chosen dates!
In general, free sites tend to have more people who are not necessarily interested in dating. They may be on the site for fun, or looking for something more casual. However, for paid sites, as both sides have invested into finding someone special, they are more likely to have quality and up-to-date profiles and be looking for a more serious relationship too. Paid sites also have better search filters, making it easier to narrow down your search to find Mr or Mrs Right!