The common downsides of the free online dating service

There are one or two things you should watch out for if you opt for a free dating site, which make their money mainly through advertising. There is often little left in the pot to stretch to on-site security and vetting of sign-up members as a direct result. You should never give out any sensitive information on dating sites, anyway, but on free platforms this goes double as the person to whom you’re chatting may not have been checked out at all. Things are getting better, but until there is a uniform minimum level of dating site security, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Another ingenious way a few free dating site webmasters have found to top up their income (these are the exception, not the rule, we believe) is by selling their ‘list’. That list being anyone who has signed up for their dating site since they started up or as long as they can legally hold on to that information. If they’re immoral enough to sell their list, it is also likely they’ll plead ignorance to any charges of holding on to your data past the legal time limit.

This may be of little consequence to you now but, in a few years time when you’re perhaps with a partner who was unaware of your dating site history, it may cause a whole load of hassle between you and your partner when you start getting bombarded with e-mails asking if you’re still ‘up for a one-night stand’, or whatever you disclosed to the site in the past.

And if you’re looking for long term relationships based on in-depth compatibility studies, you’re best off looking to upgrade to a paid matchmaking service who have gained their brand and reputation by being able to deliver whatever it is you’re looking for (there are different horses for different courses). You may only encounter people who are only using the free service for a bit of fling, chat or giggle and not in it for a serious, long term commitment, so it’s best to be aware of the site’s inclinations before you expend time and energy on a lost cause from the outset.

So, in a nutshell – free dating’s great for learning the ropes and a quick scout of who’s dating in your area, but not exactly secure and populated, in the main, by youngsters getting the hang of online dating and perhaps not into relationships seriously enough to go the extra mile and stump up a few quid to find a partner online with whom they’re truly matched.

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