The net dating effect

30-something Canadian recounts paid vs free dating site trial

When one considers online dating as a viable option, the next hurdle is deciding whether to throw a little capital at the venture or dip one’s toe into the shark infested free dating service pool, first.

For one unfortunate Canadian thirty-something, it soon became apparent that all that glittered were certainly not goldfish as shoals of fishy dates flooded his inbox. With Spanish aplomb, he’d cast a net and caught way more than he’d bargained for.

Although the young man was apprehensive about dating online at first, following some extensive investigative research he finally made the decision to swim with fishes at a paid, well-known online dating agency, first.

(That’s the last of the sea puns, promise)

Like so many of us, working full time in the suburbs of a large city environment leaves precious little time for dating in the conventional manner, as we try to build our careers, keep up with our daily ports of call on social media sites and try and find time to eat and sleep in between.

Based on the theory that a paid service would offer a better class of online partner, and the relative reviews confirmed as such, he decided to shell out a cool CAN$137.85 for a three-month membership.

The whole process of shelling out for the privilege, filling in the extensive questionnaire about his own likes and dislikes and offering very little in the way of his ideal match took a whole hour. given the scant information submitted for a potential partner, the plucky guy expected to yield between 30-40 responses for the effort.

He actually got almost 10 times that amount, with 296 hopeful dating partners responding to his initial posting!

During the first week, he managed to whittle a whole one percent of those into date material, going out three times; none of the three materialised past that initial liaison, however. The remainder of that first month went swimmingly, with more ever-hopefuls responding, but, by the end of this period, his ‘matches’ dried up, with the dating site offering ‘flex’ matches – sort of close, but no cigar-type potential online partners.

After a month of these requests by the dating site, this guy from Toronto stopped accepting even those.

It was at this point he stopped using the site; after the four-step process of guided communication, leading up to an off-line date, he felt getting to know someone utilising a matchmaking software template felt ‘abnormal’.

Not to be disheartened, the next challenge was a free dating site, to see if he faire any better on that platform.

In contrast, it took about two minutes to register, and the exposure was instant, with matching profiles from his area festooned over his dashboard. There was no hand-holding by the free site and it felt more like ‘meeting someone in a public place’. Of course, this does lead to a decline in the level of security, which in his summary the young Canadian does point out.

But the upshot is, he had two fantastic dates from the free dating site compared with the more well-known matchmaking website; what’s more, he is still dating the second of those acquaintances in a real offline romance.

The nett effect is, free dating sites give what you put into them; there are potentially more profiles to sift through, but, as with his experience in the first dating site, splashing the cash is no guarantee of quality.

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