Even after testing seven dating apps for PCMag, Karl Klockars remains happily married to his wonderfully understanding and awesome wife, Nora, and lives in Chicago. He is the author of Beer Lovers Chicago, runs the guysdrinkingbeer.com site, writes for outlets including AskMen, Chicago Magazine, and Thrillist, and recently entered the world of voic... See Full Bio
Matchmaking websites take a more scientific approach than search-driven online dating sites by hiring notable consultants to create compatibility or personality questionnaires. Users must fill out one of these before they can create a profile. Typically, the pairing up is done for you based on your answers, though some matchmaking sites also allow users to search profiles for themselves. Generally, matchmaking websites are considered a better route for singles looking for a long-term relationship since users must be more invested in the process to join.
When you're a free member, potential matches are sent to your inbox, but reviewers and users warn that many of the matches are inactive members, and you can't find out who is an active subscriber until you sign up. Additionally, more than a few past users report getting a flurry of matches in their inbox after canceling when, as subscribers, they got very few. There's no certain way to know how many members are inactive, but in 2012, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit alleging that more than half of member profiles were inactive or fake. A more recent class-action lawsuit alleging Match.com creates fake profiles to entice members was dismissed in 2014. Match.com screens its subscribers against national sex offender registries and provides several safety tips on its website.
Unlike a lot of online dating sites, when you first sign-up for Match.com, you’ll need to carve out some time (preferably with a glass of your go-to beverage) to answer several questions. Here is where being specific and honest about your hopes in dating become more important: Match.com sends you recommended singles based on these responses. And beyond their algorithm, it’s reasonable to conclude the people who are on Match are looking for something serious, meaning they’ll actually take the time to comb through your page.
Chemistry is the name of the game here, and profile building is no joke. This isn't a quick five-second set-up like other apps, but that's only because POF truly wants you to dig deep so that they can give you the best quality matches. Multiple questionnaires cover everything from psychological assessments to sexual needs and tons more, going significantly more in depth than many of its competitors. Only one of the tests is required and will take you 20 minutes just for that part (it's 100 questions), so you can skip the others if you're feeling lazy. That said, POF suggests filling out as many as you can to help them fine tune their pickings.
The experts say: This infamous dating site claims to have no unattractive members and is known for deleting members who gained weight. Aspiring members have to pass a 48-hour peer vote to be accepted as one of the ‘beautiful people’. They regularly host members’ events where allegedly you have to look as attractive as your profile photo otherwise entry to the venue is refused. This is the ideal site for those who want to bypass the usual filtering of profiles based on looks and focus on getting to know people they know they will be attracted to.
Depending on your personal preferences, some sections of the user base may be less active than others. This can be frustrating if you are looking for quick matches. The website does require users to pay for a membership subscription before they can see the last active date for members, which is a downside since you won’t know if the matches you’re interested in are active until after you pay.
User-generated matches: Unless you are using a site specifically meant for a casual or very serious relationship, it has become an industry standard to offer members the chance to whittle down their potential matches. Dating sites do this based on preferences such as income, smoking and drinking, if the match has kids and whether he or she has ever been married.
Did I like using it? I decided to try OkCupid because I know five different people who are now in long-term, happy relationships with people they met on OkCupid. And I'm really happy for them. But, personally, this app gave me carpal tunnel. Just kidding. But it was a lot. And it made me realize that maybe I'm not quite ready for the intensity of breaking myself down into a profile to find a potential suitor. Which kind of goes against the whole reason I joined dating apps in the first place, right?? But this app definitely gave me more "marriage" vibes, when I was looking more for like, "Let's get high together, cuddle, and watch tv for longer than a night."
If you're willing to pay for it, The League is a dating app that does all the work for you. You’ll need active Facebook and LinkedIn accounts to log in, and you'll be assessed based on the information you've provided on these profiles, like your education and professional career. On top of that, you have to fill out an application and then are placed on a waiting list for an undetermined period of time that varies by the city you live in. Once you’re a member, you’ll have access to a personal concierge who does a lot of the work for you and helps curate your profile.
No, I’m not particularly kinky, but in the spirit of embracing new things, I’ve positioned myself on Feeld with a persona. Without going into too many details, my profile is advertising for a certain kind of mate, short or long term. On a regular dating app, I’m just a lady amongst many other ladies; people are judging my looks, maybe my sense of humor, and whether or not I’m into The Office.