It’s been a few years since I’ve used online dating sites, and the scene has certainly changed. However, one constant is that Match.com remains a leader among sites that help you find that special someone. In fact, the site is now better than ever. By using a 72-hour free trial, I was able to dig into Match.com to see first-hand the significant improvements that have been made to the site in the past several years.
How It Works
The sign-up process is fairly simple. Choose a username and password, and then enter basic information about yourself. You will have the opportunity to write as much (or as little) narrative as you want. Next, upload a variety of photos (the more, the better) and you’re ready to post your profile.
- Search Options. The search function is broken down into four different categories. There is the “Go Search,” which allows you to perform a quick search based on the preferences you provided at sign-up. Next is the “Custom Search,” by which you can narrow down your search results based on specific characteristics you are looking for in a partner. The “Reverse Match” function provides search results of people who are looking for someone like you. Finally, you can use the “Mutual Match,” which provides profiles of people who are looking for someone like you, and closely match your desired characteristics.
- Matches. Two different options appear below the “Match” tab. The first one is “All Matches,” which provides a list of profiles of people who are compatible with the information you’ve provided. The other option is called “Daily Matches,” which is a “best of” list for that particular day.
- Connections. The “Connections” tab offers multiple options in the drop-down box. With this feature, you can view all the people who you have connected with in the past, as well as people who have “liked” you, “winked” at you, viewed your profile, made you a “favorite”, and those who you have marked as a “favorite.”
- Messages. By clicking “Messages,” you can view all of your received and sent messages.
- Profile. As a user of Match.com, you are free to edit and adjust your profile as often as you like. The preferences that you choose will determine your matches, so be sure to put some thought into this part of your profile.
- Account. Like your profile, you can manage the details of your account anytime.
Match.com offers three distinct plans:
- Full Price. If you just want to sign up for Match.com for one month, the cost is $35.99.
- Standard Plan. You can choose from two distinct standard plan options. The three-month standard plan costs $19.99 per month, and the six-month standard plan costs $17.99 per month.
- Value Plans. There are two value plan options as well. The three-month value plan is $23.99 per month, and the six-month value plan costs $19.99 per month. The value plan offers additional benefits, such as notification when a member reads your email. Furthermore, your profile will be highlighted on the site.
- Search Results. Though you may find success with a free dating website, you’ll simply find more matches on paid dating sites than you will on the free ones. Using Match.com, I narrowed my search to within five miles of my zip code and received 267 matches. When I did the same with a free site I use, I got only 18 results.
- Guarantee. You’ll need a six-month subscription to qualify for this, but if you do not find that special someone during this time, you will receive an additional six-month membership for free. However, there are a great number of qualifiers that you need to meet before becoming eligible. For example, you need to either contact or respond to at least five unique people each month, and the only time you can apply for the additional six months is in the last week of your original subscription. There are additional rules, so be sure to read the terms about the guarantee.
- Popularity. The Match.com website boasts more than 20 million members, so you’ll certainly have a variety of profiles to choose from.
- Free Trial. You have the option of a three-day free trial. Just be sure to cancel your subscription before the trial ends, or you’ll be billed for a subscription.
- View Profiles for Free. You don’t need a subscription to view profiles, but you’ll need to sign up if you want to contact members.
- Cost. I suggest avoiding the one-month plan, since it’s not very cost-effective. You’re better off going with a three- or six-month subscription. On the other hand, there are plenty of dating websites that are free to use, so if money is an issue, you may want to opt to use a free site. However, you may find that you get what you pay for. Match.com costs money because it is one of the best dating sites online.
- No Live Chat. Several free sites offer this as an option; however, Match.com does not.
- Scammers. Although Match.com is popular and reputable, scammers do occasionally pop up. Keep this in mind, and beware once you start searching for matches. If at any point, someone asks you for money for any reason whatsoever, stay away. Also, keep in mind that users can write whatever they want on their profile and post outdated photos if they choose. So don’t fall hook, line, and sinker for some romantic, well-written profile with an attractive pic. The real deal may be something completely different.
Match.com has done a great job of upgrading the site over the past several years. The site features some great search options and the pricing is competitive. If you want to look at as many potential partners as possible in your local area, then going with Match.com is a great way to achieve this and view a plethora of people who you may be able to go on a first date with.
Have you had any personal experience with Match.com? Would you recommend it to others, or do you prefer another dating site?