July 12, 2010

709 words 4 mins read

Ask me about Online Dating

Recently, I’ve been fielding more and more questions about Online Dating. The most common thing I have heard is that people are scared to try it. I will admit that I was initially a little timid about the concept, but as I discussed previously, I eventually jumped into it and thus far haven’t had any regrets.

These days, there are dating sites for just about every dating preference. There’s CougarLife.com for older, successful women looking for younger men. For those with a religious preference, there’s JDate.com for Jewish singles and ChristianSingles.com for Christian Singles. And if you are just looking for a hookup, well you can always head to Cragislist.

For a more generic (read: much larger) dating pool, I recommend (and use) the following:

  1. eHarmony

  2. OkCupid In the past I have also used:

  3. PlentyOfFish

  4. DatingDNA

  5. Geek2Geek

The list above is in chronological order. I started using eHarmony awhile back, during a free President’s Day weekend and to date, it has had the best quality of matches. However, it is the only paysite on this list. Thus far, I would say it has been worth it. I’ve only had one less than exciting experience, and that was with a woman who was severely geographically disinclined.

OkCupid has been the most enjoyable to use. They have a great method of getting you to spend more time on the site. Rather than you having to answer hundreds of questions up front (as eHarmony does), you are able to answer them over time and new ones get submitted by other users. Plus, you can compare your responses to prospective matches (presuming they have answered the question publicly). They also have quizzes (created by both staff and users) which cover all sorts of topics, from your personality (with comments on what your match’s personality) to which Thundercat you would be. I’ve met a few people from this site and have made a couple of really great friends through it; you can look for a wide variety of matches, be they casual encounters, relationships (short or long term), or just friends. Lastly, they also have a great free iPhone app.

PlentyOfFish doesn’t really do it for me. I never really got into the site and the one time I met someone from the site, we didn’t really have much in common. I still have an account, but rarely login to check it. The site is poorly designed and searching leaves a lot to be desired. When looking at the people who have viewed your profile, you are only shown pictures and thus have no idea where they are from. Seeing that a bunch of women in SoCal have checked out my profile doesn’t help when I am in Northern Nevada.

DatingDNA has an interesting concept, but seems to have biffed it on the implementation. Basic premise: you meet someone at the bar and give them your DatingDNA number (rather than your phone number). They then sign up and you compare your scores, thereby removing/minimizing the influence of alcohol on choosing your dating partners. I have not now, nor do I ever plan to give some girl my DatingDNA number (I never bothered to memorize it anyway). They have a free iPhone application that offers some very basic functionality. Initially they gave you access to everything, but then they decided to create a paid version to give you full access to the site. Regardless of which you use on your iPhone, you can go to their website and access all the features there.

Finally, we come to Geek2Geek. As I mentioned before, horrible site, don’t use it.

In conclusion, I fully recommend that anyone curious about online dating check it out. OkCupid is probably your best place to start since it is free and easy to use. Be warned though, females inevitably receive unsolicited requests for fornication/naked pictures. Mark the message as spam and OKC does a pretty good job about taking care of it. eHarmony helps prevent that by not allowing users to send direct messages to other users without some other form of communication first.

Lastly, if you have any questions about dating sites, online dating, or well, anything in general, feel free to post it here and I’ll be happy to respond.