Are you willing to pay for a dating site?
Don’t worry, it doesn’t say anything bad about you if you waver on the question. There are few legitimate studies done on the differences between the two and, even between those, they seem to only measure the success of the site on the likelihood you could find a soulmate. Perhaps the likelihood of decent conversation or sex might be a bit too taboo for funded studies to tackle…?
Unsurprisingly, the pay sites find that people are there for something longterm. Dating or marriage. The idea is that if you put money on it, you are putting yourself out there briefly to get the return of a partner. It is the old idea of the sexes coming together as a business arrangement. In this case, both profiting off of ending their monthly subscription fees if nothing else. It is right there in the names: Match.com, eHarmony.com, Chemistry.com. These are the soothing notions that it will be okay. There is someone out there that is your match, you will have a shared chemistry and you will live in harmony.
In contrast, all those free sites seem to be good for are for shorter-term interactions: casual dating, sex or weeks of writing each other back and forth without ever meeting. They tap into the idea that there are countless people out there looking for someone so why settle? Sample them all and decide which you preferred when you die! The best of their names are OKCupid, Tinder and Plenty Of Fish. A diapered marksman assaulting you to find a fleeting love until your chest is punctured again. A flammable substance meant to burn away and a concept that there is no soulmate. Then a euphemism meaning there are too many people out there for such a thing as a soulmate. These names do not soothe, they are meant to tell you it is okay to be desirable and desire others in turn.
So what else can your dating site say about you?
If you choose the free sites, you are not only carnal but poor. It is seen in the profiles if not studies done about them. How many profiles of women do you have to go through before finding that ever-present notion worded in so many ways but summed up as, “Must have your own car! I am not your taxi service!” It doesn’t matter if you the woman is there looking for a one night stand or a sexual lifemate, a car is needed everywhere but the most bustling of cities. And on the men’s profiles, how many state that they are willing to go out and split the tab? Being gentlemanly is taxing when women can get a date every night and cut out the cost of groceries simply by signing up for free online dating.
If you choose the paid site, you are not only exclusive and well-off but you are okay with being boring. You can state your religion without having anyone pass over your profile for it being displayed. You are ready for the societal norms in life: a house, dogs, children. You are mature and that maturity is displayed in your willingness to give someone money to cut through the crap— if they are paying, they are serious as well. Either that, or you are tired of dating men without cars.
Whatever it is you are looking for, this epoch has allowed you to find it digitally. Don’t get discouraged, just think about what it is you want out of a dating site. Then decide if it is something you are willing to pay for….