To Join or Not to Join… Online Dating Sites

I’ve received numerous emails from men and women asking me to comment on the online dating services I’ve used and which ones I’ve liked.  These are my experiences. Yours will certainly vary.

MATCH.COM – is the biggest online dating site, so it’s a great place to start. With over twenty million users, it will most likely have the biggest pool of potential matches in your area.  Match claims that it facilitates 500,000 meaningful relationships each year, but alas, not for me.

You will find a wide variety on Match.com.  However, quantity doesn’t always mean quality. I’ve seen profiles of guys with mullets and gun racks, as well as the occasional CEO and everything in between.   A recent search in my area came up with a 42 year-old man who posted obviously doctored pictures showing himself to be missing his two front teef. His profile name was “NotTheDateFromHell”.

The first guy I met in person was an insurance claims investigator who suggested a Hawaiian themed restaurant (It’s an Odd Feeling…).  He was waiting for me when I arrived and was wearing a Hawaiian shirt.  I wondered if he actually waited tables there and was on his break.  No, he just liked Hawaiian shirts and theme restaurants.  He talked the entire time and I can’t remember one thing he said.

Others were quite fascinating, like the architect I dated a few times (When You Leave the Door Open) and through a series of mishaps we ended up in Vegas one evening, staying at the condo of an SNL alum.  Twice I went out with a film distribution executive who offered to watch the last film I produced.  He didn’t care for the movie, and told me nothing would come of it, but gave me a few leads, that led to us selling the film, after it had won some major awards. I also met “FBI Guy,” who I’ve become friends with and still talk to occasionally.

Because there are so many users on Match.com, you will typically receive more emails on this site than you will on others.  There is a huge inventory, so it can become a numbers game.  Some men and women send out as many emails or winks as possible and wait to see what comes back.  Then they prioritize which dates to pursue and whittle down from there.  But, as we all know many online daters have a distant relationship with the truth when it comes to writing their profiles, so you must become an expert at examining photos and reading between the lines.

Match does not have instant messaging or chat rooms, nor do they verify age or income; and like most dating sites, they don’t check profiles for validity, so don’t believe everything you read.

Lastly, the one thing that sticks out in my mind about Match.com is that most of the men who emailed me were 5’10″ or shorter.

MILLIONAIREMATCH.COM – My favorite website by far is Millionaire Match. You don’t have to be a millionaire to be on this site, but those who are, can verify their income and net worth and many members also verify their age.

The first thing I noticed is that 90% of the men who emailed me were all tall.  At least on this site, there’s definitely a correlation between height and success.  Besides, where else can you meet a guy whose name is legally changed to “Rock Star“?

There’s a live chat that I rarely used, but if you log in, you will most likely be chatting with men from countries around the world.  You can perform your own searches, see who’s clicked on you and/or made you a favorite and respond to winks and emails with a basic membership.

I met the most men off of this site.  However, many of the men who emailed me do not live in Southern California, but do have the means to travel and will schedule a date the next time they are in L.A. (“I See You…”)

The site is easy to use and I found the men on Millionaire Match to generally be more sophisticated and focused on finding a long-term relationship as opposed to dating.

MEETINGMILLIONAIRES.COM – This dating site is a sham!  They claim to have “some of the most attractive and successful singles in the world” but I didn’t find that to be the case.  Like most online dating sites, you can create a user name, post a profile and search the site without becoming a member, but if want to respond to a prospective date’s email, you must join in order to reply.

Meeting Millionaires takes advantage of this “perk” by sending emails of attractive men with successful profiles to potential members.  So over the course of a few weeks, I received a dozen emails from men who wrote similarly short, funny emails, were all handsome and successful, and all eager to meet me.   Sounds great, huh? Not so fast. I grew suspicious. All of the photos looked to me to be professionally taken, as if a casting session had been held and a photographer was hired to take ‘slice of life’ photos with each character.

I dug a little deeper and found many online complaints of men and women stating that once they paid the hefty fee to join– $139 on the low end and up to $169 for the VIP membership– and replied to these emails, those attractive profiles disappeared.  Then, once on the site, the clientele on Meeting Millionaires was typical of most other sites, the only difference being there were much fewer members because of the steep price of admission.

I found an 800 number buried in their site and called to ask about the complaints, but no one ever answered the phone or returned my calls.  I looked up the corporate name on the Better Business Bureau website and found that “Elite Global Dating” had a “B” rating and about fifty complaints.

I did go on one date from this site with a pediatrician from Cedars-Sinai, who happened to be great friends with my former gynecologist.  Fun times.

EHARMONY.COM- Ugh!  That was my reaction to eharmony. I spent an hour filling out their questionnaire, figuring it was worth a try to see if a computer program could pick out a better date for me than I can.  After about a day of no emails, I began receiving dozens of potential matches.  However, the majority of the “matches” don’t show photographs because eharmony wants you to get to know one another before seeing what your potential date looks like.  Hence, I spent weeks communicating back and forth with an attorney from West Hills, only to discover that he had taken ten years off his actual age and sported a comb-over.

I did meet with one attractive guy and we had a fascinating conversation about current events, the arts and popular culture. However, when he correctly identified the designer of the shoes I was wearing and suggested a specific shade of a scarf that would look fabulous on me, I realized he’d be a great girlfriend, but not necessarily the type of man I wanted to date.

I did not renew my membership with eharmony, but still received dozens of emails from them daily.  I contacted them repeatedly, stating I had quit my membership and to please stop sending the emails.  They continued for another three months before they stopped.  I wondered how many times I was sent to someone’s email box, who was no longer a member, especially the ones I responded to and never heard back from.

CHEMISTRY.COM – I took the free personality test in order to join Chemistry.com, which included graphic images of right hands, asking which hand best represented what my hand looked like, based on the shape of my fingers.  The entire test took much longer than I expected, but I completed it, paid my fee and waited for my inbox to receive their computer-generated matches.  After two days of this nonsense, I had received about a dozen matches.  I then learned that there were four mandatory steps to be taken before potentially meeting this “match,” not unlike eharmony. I get the idea, but come on, we’re all visual people.  No amount of email exchanges will make up for a face-to-face meeting to see if there’s any chemistry.

However, there was a ‘fast-track’ option, if you wanted to skip all that nonsense, which some men opted for. With all the going back and forth, answering what my “Four Likes” were or “Favorite vacation spots,”  I couldn’t remember who answered what and hadn’t figured out a proper filing system in order to keep all this back and forth straight.  I tried doing a search on my own, but it’s not allowed.  I canceled my membership.

ZOOSK.COM - I saw an ad for Zoosk, a free dating site, on Facebook one afternoon and figured I’d give it a try.  As soon as I joined, my inbox was taken over by random emails from guys across the U.S. I wouldn’t want to sit next to at a baseball game, much less date.  After about two hours and more than a hundred emails clogging up my inbox, I quit the site.  Don’t waste your time.

PLENTYOFFISH.COM - A longtime friend told me about plentyoffish.com, saying she had some success on the site, so I joined.  I posted two photos of myself– one a close up of me in a restaurant and another, which was a group shot with some friends bowling. I was holding up a bowling ball in one hand, next to my ear.  The first email I received on plentyoffish.com was from a man whose picture indicated he was the life of the party at an event I’d rather skip. His message read, “You’re missing an earring.”

Like all free dating sites, there is a wide variety of men and women from all walks of life.  I didn’t see anyone of interest on this site.

SEEKINGARRANGEMENT.COMI have not been a member of this site but if you’re looking for a Sugar Daddy or a Sugar Momma and want to name your price, this is the place to go.  20/20 did a piece on SeekingArrangement.com, likening the site to legalized prostitution, but the site claims men and women are able to barter effectively without pretense.

Things to think about:

There is a lot of inventory online. Men and women who are nice-looking and seemingly successful will have loads of emails. Don’t be disappointed if that “perfect person” doesn’t respond; it’s all a numbers game.

Post recent pictures, be specific about what you’re looking for and be honest.  Dozens of people have told me that dates have been disappointing because the person was older and heavier than the pictures they’ve posted.

Women also tell me that they’ve found out that some of the men they’ve dated are actually married.  (Typically, the married men don’t post their pictures, so stay clear of those profiles).

There have been many success stories, so clearly online dating works well for many people.  Be safe and always let a friend of relative know when and where you are going to meet a date.  If online dating doesn’t work for you, no worries!  Try to schedule nights out with friends and remember what my mother always says, “There’s someone out there for everyone”.

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4 Responses to To Join or Not to Join… Online Dating Sites

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  2. cali women says:

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  4. grekland says:

    So good post! Appreciate reading it.

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