OK, I’ll admit it, I’ve tried the online dating thing. And I don’t want to brag, but I’ll tell you that I’ve experienced a pretty consistent degree of success. And by consistent, I mean a regular finite amount. And by finite amount, I mean, none.
Now, if you happen to be reading this and I happend to meet you through an online dating service and it didn’t happen to work out: I’m sure that it was me and not you, the chemistry just wasn’t there, I wanted to take a break from dating, the distance between us was too great, difference in our values is too much to overcome, etc., blah, blah, yadda-yadda. Please don’t be offended, I’m just trying to help others. (In other words, I’m asking you to please don’t slash my tires. Again.)
I am by no means an expert, I haven’t tried all of these services, but I’ve been around the block and thought I might share some observations I’ve made as a service to those who are considering taking the plunge:
- e|Harmony.com – From the ads, you would expect this service to be the best. From the price you pay, you would expect personal concierge service with every date. With their advertisements strategically aimed at the sitting-at-home-alone eating-ice-cream-demographic (I saw these ads on Baby Story once. That’s just evil.) and their patented “29 dimensions of compatibility” claim, you would expect their offices would be filled with dozens of server rooms crunching submitted user profiles and a team of Ivy league educated psychologists analyzing the results. As best I can tell from the matches I get, the only factor used in selecting matches is based on a complicated algorithm called, “round-robin.” The other thing I hate about e|Harmony (other than the smugness of Dr. Neil Clark Warren and the pointless use of the “e” and the “|”) is the fact that you can’t be proactive in searching yourself. You’re at the mercy of the
computer, um, league office, and you just have to sit and wait for your turn at bat.
- True – This is a relatively new service, they also claim to have a matching service based on 99 “relationship factors” (that’s 70 more than e|Harmony, and that must be better!!) but they also have an added gimmick: CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS. From the site: “All members who contact you are screened through the largest database of criminal records on the Internet.” Awesome. But that’s not all…they will PROSECUTE MARRIED PEOPLE if they find out that you’ve signed up for the service and you’ve lied about your marital status. Now, I may be wrong, but if you’ve signed up for this service and the threat of potential legal action played a major factor in you signing up, chances are you might have some trust issues. May not be the best place to go looking for a soulmate. (Especially if you’ve done time and didn’t get that prison marriage annulled.)
- Yahoo! Personals – Hmmm. “We’ve got a search engine, let’s do a dating service.” I think it’s based on the same platform as Yahoo! Autos and Yahoo! Horoscopes. I for one will wait on Google to get in on the action, I can imagine that service would have one button “I’m getting lucky,” press it and a satellite image of your soulmate will appear with directions to her house, important telephone numbers, sexual history, and credit report. Since they already know this about you anyway, it wouldn’t be that much harder to implement.
- Match.com – The dean of online dating services, and my favorite. They make no pretext about it– as says in the title, it’s just a matching service. There are no claims of scientific analysis, you’re responsible for seeking people out, you can get out of it what you put into it. They also keep adding new tools to find people, just a few weeks ago they added a “Who’s been looking at me” feature where you can see who has seen your profile. I like to call ths “stalker mode” but it lets you know who has been poking around in your profile. Great stuff, really.
Now if none of these mainstream sites appeal to you, or you’re looking for someone very specific, there are hundreds of other specialty dating sites out there. For example, MillionareMatch.com (for the wealthy), AbundantLove.com (for the portly), LDSmingle.com (for the Mormons). You get the picture.
I guess all I have left to say is good luck. (And be sure to check out my profile at MatriSearch.Com, the best Indian Matrimonial site I’ve found so far.)