To Pay Or Not To Pay

24 Apr

To Pay Or Not To Pay… now, that is the question.

Paying for dating sites is a dilemma I’ve been faced with recently. As  you may have noticed its not something I like to do.  I had a free three month trial on My Single Friend last year and recently had a free week’s trial (ah, the perks of a dating blogger), but other than that I’ve spent most of my time on free dating website Plenty of Fish, which for the sake of my sanity, I recently decided to call it quits.

Money talks: Is paying to get dates the only way forward?

Call me cheap if you like, but personally, I like to think of it that I just prefer to spend my hard earned cash on other things. Saving up for holidays, buying clothes, eating out at nice restaurants, socialising with my friends… now that’s the stuff I don’t mind spending my money on.

Also, there’s a part of me that still can’t quite get my head around the fact that my life has gotten to the point where I have to PAY to find a date.  What happened to being able to get dates the ‘normal’ way? Things are really that bad that I have to pay to find someone who wants to go out with me? These feelings aside, unfortunately, my lack of meeting guys in the flesh has confirmed that although I think online dating sucks, recently it’s been the only way I’m able to get dates.

So, as a little experiment for myself more than anything, I’ve just signed up for 3 months membership on paid-for site eHarmony. I’ve heard many good things about eHarmony and I want to see if it lives up to the hype. Previously I’ve always been put off eHarmony because, at £35 a month, it’s one of the more expensive sites out there. Also the fact that the sign up process requires answers to pages and pages of questions AND the fact they don’t let you browse photos ahead of signing up were barriers to me. I mean, paying before even getting to see who is on the site – isn’t that like going into a shop and shelling out your cash on something before knowing what it looks or feels like?

Nevertheless, what’s that popular saying? “You get what you pay for?”. Well, maybe I need to accept that in this day and age paying to get dates is something I have to embrace, and if that’s the case, why not go all out and pay for one of the most successful and internationally known dating sites? Watch this space!

Disclaimer: I actually used the eHarmony 3 months for the price of 1 deal they have on at the mo, but whatevs 😉


16 Responses to “To Pay Or Not To Pay”

  1. decidetodecideetc April 24, 2011 at 12:17 PM #

    You get what you pay for. Plenty of Fish = plenty of frogs. I just love the men who join dating sites for their free 3-day weekend and hope to find ‘the one’ in that time. Unless you’ve got tons of friends, belong to a church, a biking group, a ski club and a scuba club and your parents do the same, unless you work at a law enforcement agency as the only women, unless you go to bars every night – where else are you going to meet men if not online?

  2. MoneyMaus April 24, 2011 at 10:25 PM #

    Agree with decide’s comment above – if you aren’t part of a bazillion activities (and have friends to do them with!), then where do you meet people?!

    I’ve tried everything from POF, OKCupid to paid sites Match and eHarmony. Way to go on the 3-for-1 deal! I’ll probably eventually join a dating site again now that I’m in a new city…but I’ll give chance a shot for now. 😉

    Good luck!! 🙂

    • TheSingleFilez April 25, 2011 at 2:09 AM #

      Yep, its not like being in school/college anymore. As you get older and your friends settle down, it becomes harder and harder to meet people.

      I’m keen to see if a paid site can do a better job than a free one can.

      We’ll see eh?

      • el April 25, 2011 at 1:43 PM #

        Hello! been following your blog for a little while. I seem to have done the opposite thing: I am completely new to internet dating and chose a paid trial with eHarmony as my first option. I’ve been on the site for about a month now, and its been slow progress, so I’d like to know how you go with it. In particular, the site has a few options to contact your ‘matches’:
        a) ice breaker questions like a ‘wink’.
        b) sending 5 multiple choice questions
        c) sending a message (the person you want to message seems to have to grant permission before allowing the message?)
        I’m not which is the best way to elicit a response: I tried direct messaging a few but I wasn’t successful. I then tried the 5 multi choice qns which seemed a little better but I’ve seen on some profiles that guys don’t like being contacted this way and I shouldn’t bother?
        What seems to work for you?
        thank you for this blog and for giving hope to the single gals in London out there!

        • TheSingleFilez April 25, 2011 at 2:35 PM #

          Hey El! Thanks for reading and thanks for commenting too.

          It’s early days for me on eHarmony, so I still have a lot to learn. I became a member just a couple of days ago, so I still have to find my way around the site and figure out the best way to get the most out of it.

          I’ll be sure to keep you updated 😉

  3. The Blonde April 25, 2011 at 5:43 PM #

    I think that people who pay for dating sites tend to be more serious about finding a match..but I don’t necessarily think that the pay sites have better quality men. 🙂

    Just my opinion. You never know. I like this one person I met on the free site ten times more than anyone I’ve met on the pay site. Maybe that changes with my next round of matches, though.

    xoxo The Blonde

    • Pudding Taster April 25, 2011 at 8:43 PM #

      For straight males, like me, the problem with paid dating sites is that the “Free Members” cannot respond. But those sites DON’T inform is which of the profiles belong to paying members, and which ones to free members!
      So 9 times out of 10, if not more, we spend a lot of time composing a good introductory message…. which will never be replied to. Depending on the site, we’re lucky if a woman even gets to *read* our messages!
      That is my reason for not paying for dating services anymore.

    • TheSingleFilez April 25, 2011 at 9:42 PM #

      …and it’s a good opinion my dear. Like you said, you just never know. I’m testing out eHarmony to see if my personal experience is different on a paid site compared to a on free site. It may be or it may not be any different. Who knows?

      Good luck with the person you met on the free site. Got my fingers crossed for you!

  4. singlegirlie April 27, 2011 at 7:44 AM #

    I’ve heard it both ways. Some say people on paid sites are more serious about finding a mate, but then I hear others say they get just as many flakes and weirdos on paid sites. I guess it works for some and not for others. I’m sure a lot of it has to do with timing, as well.

    Did you ever read this article by the CEO of OKCupid on Why You Should Never Pay for Online Dating? It’s pretty enlightening. He wrote it BEFORE acquired OKCupid, then removed the post after the acquisition. Hmmm.

    Luckily, the article was cached somewhere, and I found it, heh-heh.

    But, there ARE people who have fallen in love and gotten married because of eHarmony, so who knows? And at three months for the price of one? Hell, I’d do that!

    Looking forward to hearing what happens – good luck!

  5. Kristabella April 28, 2011 at 1:47 PM #

    Just wanted to say first of all – I love your blog! I can relate to so many of your stories – it’s scary!!

    Secondly – & maybe I’m biased because I met the most amazing guy through eHarmony, but I think it’s a terrific site.
    Like everything in life, meeting someone special has alot to do with timing. But I have to give it to eHarmony – my boyfriend & I have very similar values & ideas about the important things in life. Things that can make or break a relationship.

    Also, I have to say that I’m a fan of the guided communication – if a guy is willing to take a little extra time in getting to know you, & is happy to respond thoughtfully to questions that go a little deeper than simply skimming the surface – then to me that’s already an indication of a man who’s willing to make an effort & might be genuinely looking to meet someone for the right reasons…

    My advice would be to ask the questions that you really want answers to straight away – if they shy away or don’t respond, well, better to find out sooner rather than later!

    Have fun, & good luck!!

    • TheSingleFilez April 29, 2011 at 11:17 PM #

      Hey Kristabella,

      Thanks for reading, and for commenting too!

      So far I’ve been too busy to devote proper time and effort to having a look around eHarmony, but it’s really motivating to hear from one of the site’s real life success story, so thank you 🙂

  6. Evan April 28, 2011 at 10:56 PM #

    I’m lovin’ the blog. Always nice to get a woman’s perspective on dating! One thing I’ll say about online dating is this… you pay for what you get. If it’s free, you’re attracting me that can’t be bothered to pay a couple of bucks a month to meet a quality woman like yourself.

    Also eHarmony has been rated the worst online dating site… repeatedly. If you want to have success in online dating it’s like anything else… you need to pick your spots.

    Keep writing!

    • TheSingleFilez April 29, 2011 at 8:41 PM #

      Hey Evan, thanks for reading!

      However, I’m kinda sorta confused. You said ‘you pay for what you get’ and then you say that paid-for site eHarmony has been rated the worst online dating site.

      So, share your insights, in your experience which paid-for site is better? I’m always looking for tips 😉

  7. Natalie April 30, 2011 at 10:05 PM #

    Well…based on the many comments and emails I’ve read, while it isn’t a guarantee of avoiding shady sorts, you have better quality opportunities on paid dating sites. Free dating sites are the home of the unavailable looking for an easy time without much commitment. The more effort there is to sign up the less likely a lazy, on the lookout for a shag, ego stroke, or money from your bank account type person is going to join – too.much.effort. Trust me, put the effort in. You’ll avoid all those ones that want to shop around and try before their by and dodge the system.

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