If you’re looking for dating and relationship options that help you skip past raunchy photographs and questionable decisions, this Match.com review may be able to convince you that you’re in the right place.
As soon as you open an account here, there’s a pending period to approve images and the initial introduction. Could that mean spammers and Catfish users diminish? Possibly. Will you still need to be careful with what you post and write? Of course.
As with any public social platform or dating site, you are exposing yourself to many to find that special someone. Know ahead of time what you’re looking for when it comes to initial deal-breakers (religion, race, smoking and drinking habits, marital status, number of children or no kids at all) to make sure your Match.com search makes sense.
Are you trying not to be picky? This is totally your call, but if you’re paying for the dating service, you may as well focus on who you would ideally want to date (or marry) ahead of time to get the best and most cost-effective experience.
How does Match.com work?
If you’re someone who enjoys swiping to the left or right, or liking and passing, you’ll have a blast upon first introduction, clicking away on the “Discover” tab. For an unpaid account, you will have the opportunity to have one free message to a user, so make sure it counts.
If you have very specific needs and wants, you can use “Save Search” to look for certain physical attributes, “Reverse Search” to see who considers you their type (even if they’re not initially yours) and/or “Mutual Search” for those who have your like-minded preferences.
Sign Up Process
The Match.com sign-up process is pretty intuitive. If you have an email address with “spam” in it, beware. The site will not take it. Other than that, there are a few initial identification questions (name, email, phone number, SMS code) and a request for a photograph and introduction. After that, it’s up to you what you want to disclose on your profile.
All profiles start off in “hidden” mode while the photo and intro are reviewed. Once that’s complete, then you can choose to have a protected account or share with the public.
In the current social justice environment, some dating sites such as OkCupid are making protests, Black Lives Matter movements, the U.S. election and Donald Trump hot topics for the moment. But Match.com keeps their initial questions a little less controversial (depending on how you look at it).
There are several questions, including on the profile, regarding marijuana usage and social drinking and smoking habits. The other dating questions are the usual suspects that one would ask one a first-date.
Matching with people
While you can use “Saved Search,” “Reverse Search” and/or “Mutual Search” to narrow down who you want to be matched with, and get a more accurate representation of what you’re ideally looking for, you may find yourself matching up with people who you initially could’ve passed by. There’s no pressure to respond to anyone you’re not interested in. Unlike in person, you can quietly pass by those who don’t catch your interest and converse with those who do.
Where are the bulk of the members from?
As is common on most online dating sites, users worldwide have the option of joining for long- and short-distance relationships. According to the site, since 1995, Match.com services 24 countries and territories, and hosts web sites in 15 different languages. This includes Yahoo! Personals in Australia and North America, along with many countries throughout Asia, Europe, North America, and South America.
This is not a dating site to join unless you plan to pay. There’s not much to do or no matches made without paying for those messages. Generally speaking, it is not a good idea to try to add an email address or website on a public profile to allow members to contact you, unless you are prepared to filter both unwanted and wanted messages. This may also get your account deactivated.
When it’s safe to travel, Match.com events are all over the world, including Caribbean cruises, Machu Picchu excursions, Iceland adventures, and traveling to Portugal.
Whether you are a traveler who is looking for your next destination or a long-distance dater who will finally meet your match in person, it may be worth the trip either way.
Safety & Privacy on the Platform
As a paid site that doesn’t allow users to send and receive messages, there is a bit of added security to avoid spammers coming to the site just to snoop on anything besides a public photo. (And at this point, a large percentage of people keep their Instagram, Tik Tok and other photo-heavy social media accounts public.) However, keep in mind that spammers and fake users also may have spare money to spend, too. As with all online conversations, be careful of what you share.
This isn’t a site that will be of much benefit to you without paying for membership, unless you just enjoy rating people by looks. Is Match.com free? Sort of. Free members can only search (public) profiles, receive top picks, create a profile, appear in search results, post photos and send likes.
Paid members are the only ones who can see, send and respond to messages; see who has viewed your profile; see who has liked your profile; remove members from view; and stand out with a “Super Like.”
Match.com prices for standard plans are:
- $19.99 per month for a year (total of $239.88)
- $21.99 per month for six months (total of $131.94)
- $33.99 for three months (total of $101.97)
Premium plans (one profile review per year, message read alerts, monthly boosts) are a little higher at:
- $20.99 per month for a year (total of $251.88)
- $22.99 per month for six months (total of $137.94)
- $38.99 for three months (total of $116.97).
There are both chat options and email options from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CDT, so you don’t have to search all over the page to talk to humans, which is a major plus. It takes less than 60 seconds to cancel an account, and Match.com is not pushy about it at all.
There are also help directory sections to answer frequently asked questions. Peruse those first to get a handle on what it is you want to do with your own profile and how to navigate the site.
Pros and Cons
The downside of paying for a site is there’s no promise that you’ll get a match any more than going on a blind date. Unlike websites that allow you to talk and browse for free, or at least match up, you’re better off just liking people on Instagram and other photo sites unless you’re ready to shell out the money. Clearly one of the pros is to find someone you mesh well with and optimistically create a match.
In a 1994 book entitled “Sex in America: A Definitive Survey,” 64 percent of couples met through friends. But depending on who your friends are and if they have single friends, this can be harder than it looks. Of course, this book was written in 1994, and a lot has changed in the digital world since then. People don’t have to rely on going to a nearby bookstore, night club or party to meet someone. They can do so from the comfort of their own homes.
The Inquirer reports that the number of young, single Americans has reached its peak since at least the 1980s (1). It’s now more than half and has drastically increased in the last 15 years. While this may seem like a lot, the average single may feel like “everyone” is married, in a relationship or just looking for hookups. Once upon a time you may have been that person, too, but are looking now.
So which site is worth it? There’s no right or wrong answer to this one. Your soulmate may have decided to join any of these paid dating sites, free dating sites or walked right by you in the grocery store. About the only way you can figure out what works for you is to give it a shot.
Pick people who you would normally be interested in in person. Don’t be shy about it. If they don’t mutually like you back, it’s not the end of the world. If they are interested in you, do not be one of those users who is content with a “mutual match” and still waits for the other person to respond. You’ll both be wasting each other’s time on a site you’re clearly looking for a “match” on. Be as forward or as patient as you need to in order to feel comfortable. Make your “match” be a match for your demeanor, and enjoy the experience. Check out our comparison of eHarmony vs Match.com here.
- Anna Orso. 2019. Forever alone? More than half of young Americans don’t have a ‘steady partner,’ a record high. https://www.inquirer.com/news/dating-match-millennials-marriage-study-single-half-20190322.html