When it comes to popular dating sites, few are as popular as Match.com. Match is one of those that everyone’s at least thought about trying at some point, even though it does require a paid subscription. Why, exactly? Because it’s popular. It’s a simple fact that in order to find the best dating matches, it makes sense to join the site with the largest pool of members.
I don’t necessarily equate popularity with quality, but the site’s promise of million members piqued my interest, which is why I signed up. So, how does the site stack up to its supposed popularity? Let’s get a few data points out of the way first.
Match.com isn’t a site that attempts to play towards a given niche. It aims to draw in both men and women of any age group and any racial/economic background. Most of its members do happen to fall within the age group of 35-44 years old and are Caucasian, however. Membership numbers are fairly spread evenly between both men and women which is ideal. Current numbers even show that slightly more women sign up on the site.
While most members are straight, the site does have decent options for GLBT folks. The site’s search options also make it easy to search for other like-minded members. The site is also slightly skewed toward the Christian audience, however religion doesn’t play a huge role in any of the site’s features and/or advertisements. Match advertises that it caters to all audiences including the Jewish community, the gay community, the black community and more.
I tried using the custom search function, filtered ‘Faith’ to Christians and found out that the site mostly delivers on its promise as my search produced a decent enough number of Christian singles (although I wasn’t really planning on restricting my searches to just Christians. I just had to see to believe).
As one of the original, pioneer dating sites of the Internet, www.match.com was founded by Gary Kremen and Peng T. Ong in 1993 and began its beta journey in 1995. The site became fairly popular right away among those in the technology industry and was profiled in Wired magazine in 1995. The site is owned by IAC/InterActiveCorp which powers a myriad of international dating sites through Yahoo! Personals and other affiliated partner sites. Its influences are certainly noticeable worldwide.
The site boasts having over 6 million active members and counting. While this number undoubtedly includes members who sign up for the 3-day free trial membership, it’s still obviously quite an impressive number compared to most dating sites.
The site has a trial membership that’s free and lasts for three days, but you will have to enter your billing information to begin the free trial. After the three days are over, you’ll start paying your membership fees immediately. The fee recurs automatically which can easily surprise you if you’re not careful. To stop the fee, you must cancel the membership online before your first three days are over.
There are two different types of paid memberships. The first is the “Best Value Plan” which costs $12.49 a month if you purchase a 6-month membership plan or $14.99 per month for a 3-month plan. The Best Value Plan gives you extra bonuses including a highlighted profile, the ability to check to see if members have read your messages and Match.com’s First Impressions feature which sends your profile out to new members who are a good match.
Alternatively, there’s also the standard membership which costs $19.99 per individual month, $11.99 per month with a 3-month membership plan and $9.99 a month with a 6-month plan. Both of the 6-month plans are incentivized with the help of a lower membership fee, of course, but upon choosing a 6-month plan you’re also given Match.com’s guarantee. This guarantee comes with quite a few stipulations, but the basic gist is simple: If you haven’t met someone after 6 months of having a detailed, complete profile as well as having sent out/initiated at least 5 messages per month, you may get an additional 6 months of membership time for free.
You know how most online magazines and blogs have suggestions for other articles related or similar to the one you just read? Well, Match has that sort of feature, too. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that in other sites (‘If you like Anna05, you’ll love xoMariaxo’) and it’s both amusing and helpful. After you press wink on someone’s profile, you will be directed to a page suggesting other members for you to look at.
Match.com has all of the features you’d expect from a solid dating site including a simple-to-use site interface that experiences few technical difficulties, the ability to upload up to 26 photos, room for a detailed profile, favorite lists, advanced search options, a messaging system, an ice-breaker system, an instant message system, the ability to see who viewed your profile, an extensive matchmaking system and a mobile app that lets you search possible matches with ease.
Personal Experiences and Review
As someone who’s been on possibly every free dating site out there, there’s something immediately impressive and comforting about Match.com. The site’s extremely streamlined and professional looking. All of the free sites out there have some silly gimmick that encourages you to pay money or see ugly ads or have your search options restricted. If you do choose to pay money on a free site, you’ll likely still be bombarded with ugly ads and restrictions due to the fact that the site itself is coded with those free ads and restrictions in mind. On a pay site, there are no such gimmicks.
The members on Match.com are also similarly gimmick-free. Free site members are often flaky, not active enough and unsure of what they want out of a relationship and/or dating partner. Match.com members know what they want and are secure with what they want. For the most part, they won’t hesitate to tell you what they’re looking for upfront. Most of the men and women I spoke with seemed genuine and confident. These two qualities are somewhat lacking on most free sites. As someone in a smaller U.S. city, the sheer number of local candidates was also encouraging. It seems popularity really does matter.
While many singles have tried Match.com in the past and have complained about the site’s membership plans and the fact that you automatically get billed upon the completion of your 3-day free trial, this type of membership setup is frankly nothing out of the ordinary. It pays to do your research before signing up on any dating site– especially when it asks for your billing information upfront. But I don’t need to tell you that, right? That’s why you’re reading this review before registering.
All in all, Match.com is one of the best dating sites out there. If you’ve been feeling like you’ve been banging your head against the wall at freebie sites and/or small, niche sites, you owe it to yourself to give Match.com a try. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the genuineness you find.