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Are Free Online Dating Sites Worth Your Time?

Aug 17, 2007
It used to be that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Then along came the internet and free became almost an automatic expectation.

The expectation of free stuff has but pervaded the internet, online dating included. Add to this that some people-including some of whom should know better- cannot quite distinguish between a true internet dating site and a chat room. Whatever happened to "you get what you pay for"?

So, do free dating sites exist? If so, are they worth your time?

The answer to the first question is yes. But wait, not so fast. There is a price to pay. To answer the second question, I will ask you this; how much is your time worth? Or should I ask, how much is time spent on finding your soul-mate worth?

You see, while it may seem enticing to use a free dating site, you could end up investing so much time that it will cancel out at best. Most likely it will not be worth it. You will find yourself spending lots of time on poor quality websites that don't work efficiently. Read frustration and agitation. And this is just for starters.

Next is safety. Background checks and/or verification are most likely inexistent on free sites as they just will not spend much time or (duh?) money on this. What this means is that you will most likely be contacting a person who is not whom they claim to be. Read potential disaster.

In contrast, a paid dating site usually requires the use of a credit card, or other verifiable form of payment. This leaves a trail that can back to the subscriber. A person who can be traced is less likely to engage in crooked activity.

Another important thing is quality. If the site is not making money from subscriptions, it must be getting its revenue from somewhere. The most likely source is advertising. Prepare to be bombarded with ads, pop-ups and offers. Most Spy ware and Trojan infections sneak into a computer through "free" services and downloads.

Caliber of potential prospects also matters. What kind of person will not commit a few dollars to finding the perfect mate? You can be sure that many lowlifes, losers and practical jokers will find a haven in free sites. Is a wonder that most online dating nightmare stories seem to originate from free chat rooms?

In contrast, a person who is willing to pay a subscription fee is already demonstrating commitment, and can be taken seriously.

Finally, free sites will be likely to cut corners in order to keep operating costs as low as possible. This means that features will be limited. You will also get very little useful information about your prospects. Site improvements will be few and far between if any at all.

The bottom-line still is: you get what you pay for. If you want quality you must be willing to make the commitment. If in doubt get a free trial membership with a reputable dating site, then decide if it is what you want. If so, go with it. If not, move on.
About the Author
David Kamau is webmaster of http://www.e-datecentral.com. Find reputable dating sites that offer free trials at:
Free Trial Dating Sites
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