You can’t browse pictures or profiles – you wait to be matched by the mystery algorithm after answering the 400 questions – then you are guided through a contact process.
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A one step Facebook log-in process leads on to a few simple questions (the most obvious – height, kids, whether you drink or smoke), a description and a photo – then you are in. To use the site fully – sending unlimited messages to other members – payment is required.
You can browse a selection of pictures and ages before logging in, anything more specific requires you to become a member. As with many free or low-cost sites, ads can be frequent and feel spammy.
Some find this a barrier to join, fans say it weeds out the casual chancer from those truly looking for love – and means you don’t have to wait to broach tricky topics.
Pricier – it’s £44.95 for a month, but that drops to £12.95 per month if you sign up for a year.
Too many members with no filter can result in either hours of swiping to find someone you fancy, or hundreds of messages in your inbox that you’ll never have time to read.
Here’s a guide to the sites to check out – feel free to leave your own recommendations in the comments below – and let us know if you met your life partner online or on an app and if so, which one. Has both desktop and mobile site and an app, plus paid-for and free singles events. It’s quite difficult to get any information on the price to use match.com’s full service.
It seems unavoidable that if we have filters and tick-boxes for features and likes or dislikes, we could be cutting off literally thousands of potential suitors because of something we might have thought minor or irrelevant if we met in the flesh.
And, by the way, the tick-box that chooses whether you’re shown people with children or not can have an even more dramatic result, with 90% of the people I asked (a straw poll of 10 in the office) saying they’d chosen not to be shown people with children.
Yet many friends of mine who had previously ruled out anyone with children on a dating site are now happily dating (or married to) single parents they met in real life.
With judgemental tick-boxes they would have filtered out the very person they are in love with now.
There’s currently a 7-day free trial to communicate with matches for free until 1 January.