5 Paid Dating Sites That Are Actually Worth The Cash
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Much like you don’t need to buy the cow if you can enjoy its milk for free, it might seem a little weird to pay for online dating. After all, there are so many free dating apps and services, so why should you subscribe to an expensive monthly service that can’t guarantee success? Ask the experts, and they’ll be the first to tell you that if you truly want to fall madly, deeply, truly in love, put your money where you want your heart to be.
You can probably spend a little money on creating that life you always dreamed of, and hey, it’s probably worth the money you’d spend on a couple of fancy brunches, or a bottle of your preferred liquor. Also, paying for dating might actually save you money and time in the long run, which, as you know, means more than gold.
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In terms of money, finding better matches means you’ll buy fewer expensive meals for people who turn out to be terrible, incompatible, or downright strange. In terms of time, on paid apps, everyone is there to actually date, which is not necessarily guaranteed on easily accessible apps that are free. A lot of people sign up for those just to check people out, browse, or to get a little ego boost now and again. This means you end up messaging a lot of people who aren’t interested in responding to anybody at all. One way to think about paid online dating is viewing it as a sorting mechanism: you pay for dating services if you’re serious about finding the right person, and in return, you get to be paired with other equally serious people. It is a win-win that could ultimately lead you down the aisle.
But not all paid sites are equal. You don’t need us to tell you that giving a random website your credit card number is no guarantee of a good dating experience. Much like when you’re scoping out the scene for a match, being diligent and picky will do wonders for your experience. We know you can handle it, but in the interest of making your life easier, we’ve assembled a list of a few top quality paid dating apps out there.
Best Paid Dating Apps
Match is the one of the oldest online dating services out there, but that doesn’t mean it’s obsolete. It’s still around for good reason, and it’s continually improved upon its already great original design.
Why is it so good? Well, first of all, it has a fantastic matching algorithm. When you sign up for the site, you have to complete an exhaustive survey about your beliefs and preferences. It takes a while, and it might feel like a bit of a chore. But all of this information is crunched by the geniuses at Match to give you an optimal selection of this site’s huge user base.
What’s even cooler, though, is that the matching algorithm adjusts to your behavior as you continue to use the site. This is really handy. If your preferences change over time — if you start being willing to see women with kids, and you start messaging them, for example — the site will naturally adapt by changing your search results accordingly. And if you told the survey that you want one thing, but you actually want another, Match will still provide for you, by taking your behavior into account.
Find out more at Match.com
eHarmony is another titan of online dating. It’s a bit more expensive and a little more time consuming than Match, but it’s worth it. The site is all about giving you a really tailored, focused experience. When you sign up, as with Match, you fill out a very detailed personality questionnaire that tells the site who you’re compatible with. However, eHarmony is different in that there’s no such thing as a search function. The site gives you handpicked matches every day, rather than encouraging you to go out and find people yourself.
This approach will frustrate you if you enjoy browsing dating sites at random (understandable, especially since that can be a great way to waste time). However, this feature has major upsides. It takes guesswork out of the equation, and it encourages you to slow down and be intelligent in your assessments of other users. As well, once you have some matches, the process of selecting one is made easier by the ingenious profile design, which allows you to find out a lot about other users very quickly, by providing a collage of their most important attributes. It’s a very focused experience that feels completely different than more casual sites.
To top it all off, eHarmony has an easy interface and famously excellent customer service. It’s a very thoughtfully designed product, and it’s clear where your money is going.
Find out more at eHarmony.com
Zoosk is basically the opposite of Match and eHarmony in every respect except quality. Like those two services, it’s well-run and well-designed. But it also has a fast, fun, casual feeling.
It’s for those who prefer to flirt with a lot of people, rather than relying on an algorithm. Rather than feeling like going to a matchmaker, it feels like playing a video game, or like checking out attractive strangers at a club. When you sign up, it can instantly build your profile off your Facebook; there’s no long questionnaire, and you don’t end up with a long profile. You’ll be browsing in minutes.
Like Tinder, the interface is pleasingly minimal. There aren’t a ton of bells and whistles, and the focus is on being able to browse efficiently. This is especially true of the mobile app, which is sleek and bug-free. In terms of the user base, Zoosk generally attracts a younger crowd with less traditional values, although it’s immensely popular, so you’ll definitely find all sorts of people. Also, it’s basically popular worldwide, which is an advantage in and of itself, because it’s great for travel. If you’re in another city and you want a fun date — which you do, obviously then it’s a great resource.
Given the fact that signing up for Zoosk is so easy and fast, and that you can browse for free before putting any money down, it’s worth a try for just about anybody.
Find out more at Zoosk.com
Chemistry is a sister site to Match. Why sign up for it and not Match, then? Well, it has a different personality quiz of its own, which is really fun. It’s similar to getting assessed by a wacky psychotherapist. Part of it involves evaluating images, and, at the end, you get a personality type, which is an amusing form of self-reflection. This makes it worth your time to sign up for the site just to try the personality test — as with other websites, getting to the point of browsing is free, although you’ll need to pay to communicate.
As well, the site has a different feel. It’s very Facebook-like, in fact, offering a feed of updates from people you’re interested in. Additionally, there are web games to play with matches. While this sounds silly, it gives you something else to do on the internet with somebody before you take the big leap and meet up with them.
It all adds up to a buzzy, social feeling that’s refreshing. It’s not quite as carefree as Zoosk, but it’s definitely not as serious as eHarmony. The only notable drawback is that it’s got a smaller user base than the other sites. However, it draws from a different crowd, and if you’re serious about finding a partner, getting access to multiple swathes of people can be a great strategy, this could be the perfect site to have in your quiver.
Find out more at Chemistry.com
Maybe you want the quality of a paid app, but you’re primarily out to get laid. This is understandable, given that a lot of free hookup sites are awful. If this is your situation, XMatch.com is probably the place for you.
The word that best describes this site is probably “explicit.” It’s filled with erotic images — if you’re in the mood for that sort of thing, it almost doubles as a porn site, with a bunch of live cams — and it offers a hotness ranking system that locates you on the hierarchy of the site immediately.
Depending on your preferences, this could either seem daunting, repulsive, or thrilling. Additionally, as you’d probably expect, the focus isn’t exactly on personality. There’s no personality algorithm to speak of. Instead, the filtering is done by sexual preferences and tastes. This ensures sexual compatibility, allowing you to find people who you want to get naked with, and make sure that you’ll want to do the same things once you’re disrobed.
There are a lot of fun side features, too, like Sex Academy, a set of quizzes about intimate matters, which provide you with badges that you can display on your profile. It’s a great naughty site that could easily lead to your next casual encounter.
Find out more at XMatch.com
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