Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Internet dating 2014: still a mixed bag

Every six months or so, the topic of Internet dating is raised by our women Champs. Here's what four have said about Internet dating.

Karla, "Dating sites vary from region to region, as do people. For example, a former friend in Texas had great success with Plenty Of Fish (a freebie), but I later discovered he was a very strange man. I tried Plenty of Fish in southern California and found the quality of men to be very low. I unsubscribed within a few days.

"I met a wonderful man on Chemistry.com. We had a long-distance relationship for six months and are still friends. I met him the day I signed up, and being a one-at-a-time woman, I cancelled my subscription after it was apparent we were a match. I felt it was a good site and may give it another try.

"I think Match.com probably has the most men to choose from, but I had two 'meets' and they were both duds. One never stopped talking, and the other expected me to only order a 99-cent plain coffee from Starbucks. He also had no sense of humor.

"Eharmony was one of the worst sites (for me) of the paid sites. Not only is it expensive, it doesn't accurately interpret one's personality created from their endless questionnaire. Example: Question: Do you ever drive over the speed limit? Answer: Yes. Interpretation: 'You live in the fast lane.' Not true! I wasn't matched with anyone I'd care to meet.

"I wouldn't use a free dating site again. I feel if a man or woman is serious about finding a quality match, they should be willing to pay for it-sort of a 'good faith' thing. Otherwise, the word 'cheap' comes to mind."

Lillian, "Bob and I will be celebrating our 4th year of marriage in June; we met on Match.com. Using the internet for meeting a partner is not for everyone. But it worked for us."

Daryl, "As our readers know, the dating websites seem to offer an opportunity to choose people you might like to meet. What the readers don't know is the dirty little secret that Match utilizes to swell the statistics, which appear to offer so many choices of men.

"I took a membership in Match three years ago. Having been a part of corporate America for many years, I got into the habit of keeping copies of the people I had sent messages to. At the point of where I had over 100 profiles I had sent notes to, with only ONE response, I contacted the Match help line (yes, they actually did have a person to talk to) to ask what was going on.

"He looked over my profile and made almost no suggestions, but then he let the cat out of the bag. He said, 'Not all of the men you sent notes to are still active members.' 

"I said, 'Excuse me, do you mean they don't receive my carefully crafted messages?'"

"He said, 'Well, they dropped out for any number of reasons: found someone but it is new, or didn't pay to re-new, or just decided to take a break, etc., etc.'

"By the end of my membership period, I had (and still have) the profiles, photos and messages I sent to over the 100 men. How many responded? THREE. I telephoned the 'actual person' at Match at the end of my six months membership and told him I wanted to be removed from the site. He assured me he would.

"But guess what? This week I got another 'So and so is anxious to meet you' email. What happens is you click on and they attempt to sell you another membership. Whoever the guy was, the Match person thinks the guy didn't hit the mark with his message to me. Guess I'll attempt to call them again and try to get them to take me off of their books-fat chance, why spoil their statistics?

"Your readers should not assume that their messages are even going to a live person, or that their message was not received well-because it probably was NEVER RECEIVED."

Gale met the man she married in 2001 on Match. She said, "Match.com was very rewarding for me. I suggest caution for anyone using these sites, until they are absolutely sure who/what they are dealing with. Unfortunately, there are many unstable people out there (both men and women)."

When I published my book, "How 50 Couples Found Love After 50," six years ago, more than half of the couples had met online (including Gale above), and nearly 75 percent of them had met on Match.com. So meeting a mate on the Internet can work for some older people.                                     

However, if you're going to play the Internet dating game, be prepared for lots of glitches, lies and bumps in the road. Even the Internet dating sites are not always totally honest. Our Time is a relatively new senior dating site, owned by Match.com, but I've heard mixed reviews on that site as well. Remember, all of these sites are in business to make money, even the free ones, and that is their top priority.

I'd like to hear other Champs' recent experiences with Internet dating. From those responses, we will do a 2014 version of what's happening in online dating.

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