Free or Paid Dating Sites Which To Choose

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Getting out there and meeting somebody can be hard. Some people may be too shy to initiate conversation, while others simply don't have room in their schedule. In fact, most people don't have the time (or, often, the desire) to go meet people at the local bar. This is why online dating sites have recently become so popular.

When choosing a dating site, or perhaps even multiple ones, to use, there are plenty of options available. Some are free, and some are paid - meaning that you have to pay a monthly or one-time subscription in order to use their services. You may be wondering whether it's worth it to pay for a dating site, or whether you should stick to the free services. Both free and paid dating sites have their pros and cons, so it really boils down to what it is you're looking for.

Free Dating Sites: Pros & Cons

Free dating sites are typically people's first choice, especially for when you decide to create an account on the spur of the moment. But, depending on what you're looking for, free dating sites may not be what you're looking for.

The most popular dating sites include Match, Tinder, Okay Cupid, Plenty of Fish, and Lifewire. The main plus side to these sites are that they're free, so they don't require any investment, and are great for individuals on a budget. Other pros include:

  • Free sites tend to have a larger, more active community base. This is because the service is free, and anybody can join.
  • There is no risk in joining a free dating site, and there are no contracts involved. This means you can pick it up or leave it as you want, with no fear that you'll be wasting money.
  • Anybody can join, which means you don't have to fit into a niche, or make a certain amount of money. For the average joe, this works out for the best.

Of course, there are downsides as well. The main issue is that these sites don't have the security measures paid sites do. This can lead to an abundance of spam, and stalker-type behaviors from other members. While you can block people on free sites, they tend to be a lot less safe than those you pay for. Other cons include:

  • Annoying popup advertisements. This is one of the ways that free sites make their money, and it can slow down your load times (besides just generally being irritating).
  • Most paid sites only offer so much contact or so many features for free, before you have to pay for an "upgrade" or "premium account" anyways. This pretty much defeats the purpose of a free dating site.

Paid Dating Sites: Pros & Cons

This kind of matchmaking sites usually come as niche sites, which means that they are targeted towards one certain type of people. While there are some general paid dating sites (like eHarmony), most are geared towards finding someone within your own group. For example, Christian Mingle is designed for Christians to find one another. Elite Singles is designed to help pair together well-educated, business professionals. Our Time was created for seniors to meet one another. The list goes on.

Just like free ones, paid sites also have their pros and cons. One of the major pros is that there is more security. Individuals have to supply more information to join, and profiles are more thoroughly searched to weed out spammers and fakes. A few paid dating sites even require background checks, for additional piece of mind. Other pros include:

  • No (or less) annoying advertisements.
  • Better customer service, and timely responses to issues. These include issues pertaining to the site and to harassment issues. Unfortunately, those issues tend to go unresolved.

Paid dating sites have their downsides, too. The biggest downside is the fact that you have to pay. Other cons include:

  • Niche dating sites, which are the most common form of paid dating service, tend to limit your dating pool to a select few people. This can severely restrict your chances of meeting someone, as the more options you have, the greater the ability to find someone you are truly interested in.
  • You're set up on a contract plan, which means you have a commitment to continue paying the subscription. This commitment may range from one month to a year subscription, and you are forced to pay it even if you discontinue using the site.

Free or Paid Dating Sites: Which To Choose?

As you've already seen, both free and paid dating sites have their pros and cons, so it really boils down to what you're looking for. If you're looking for a hook up, or something to pass your free time, a free dating site is probably your best bet. If you're looking to build a substantial relationship, are afraid of online dating, or are looking to meet someone in a specific group, paid dating sites are probably your best choice.