I have a lot of clients that venture into the online dating world. Some people are just new to Austin and some others are newly single or divorced. Either way, online dating tends to come up a lot and having experienced it myself, I have some thoughts that might be helpful to you. Below is part one of the series.
Which service is best for you?
Everyone knows that Craigslist tends to be a little gross. It’s “casual encounters” section will likely keep anyone that meets on there from ever claiming it as the place where they met. Plenty of Fish tends to be the next step up from Craigslist but it tends to feel a bit less classy than it’s competition. It’s online interface has been very dated for years but they announced that they have updated their iPhone app. The improved user interface should help interaction but the site doesn’t do a lot to find good matches. It tends to be primarily based on looks.
Match.com comes up pretty often with clients but it has a really poor matching algorithm which seems to be centered around things like “you like blondes and she is a blonde!” Match doesn’t go into any depth in matching you with people and they tend to keep around inactive profiles for way too long. Chemistry.com is also owned by Match, but they are also a bit pricey when you consider that OKCupid offers the same thing for free.
OKCupid tends to be 20-40 somethings and it makes the process of building your profile enjoyable. It also does a decent job of matching you based upon your interests. The negative to most dating sites is the girls on them tend to be flooded with emails. OKCupid’s strength is in their iPhone app and how it makes dating fun.
eHarmony has a solution for the problems faced by OKCupid as they control who is matched with who and they will only give you 6 matches per day. They do this via a pretty extensive personality test. It seems that they try to look at it from a scientific perspective of trying to match like complimentary personalities. If you are outgoing, they will likely match you with a slightly introverted partner with similar interests. Dating on their site is preceded by some structured back and forth questions which allow you to get to know the person a bit before really conversing with them so you can rule out any deal breakers early. eHarmony tends to attract people that are more serious about finding a partner. Their upfront fee, the personality profile, and three layers of screening questions to matches up’s the investment and thus makes it the most serious dating tool on the market.
All of these dating sites require dedicated time and effort to build profiles, searching for partners, screening partners, and communicating with them. If you are newly dating again, it also takes time to become confident in ways to “bait” for new mates. Online dating involves being able to market and sell ourselves a bit and a big part of that means paying attention to what helps us attract the types of suitors that are the best fit for us. This is something we frequently discuss in counseling. If you feel that you need help with dating, you can read about dating and relationships counseling on our dedicated page or contact us to make a counseling appointment.