Date.com Review: Online Dating
|Visit Date.com Website|
|Very basic service with instant messaging and chat rooms, best for casual dating|
He Said/She Said Ratings
We took two volunteers, a man and a woman, and had them sign up for each online dating site, fill out a profile, look at their matches, and then give us their impressions. Here's what they thought:
"...felt way less personal. Then again, as soon as I signed up I started getting notices of interest, which sounded good, right? But then I saw that my profile had no views, which seemed weird. In fact, I got a number of interest notifications from people who had not even viewed my profile (although maybe they viewed it on the sister site, Matchmaker.com, I couldn't tell). One of the women was about 600 miles away, across a large body of water, and we had nothing in common. There's no real matching. It didn't seem great for my demographic (mid 30s, urban, college graduate)."
She said: "...One of the things I really didn't like about Date.com was that it gives you options for the physical characteristics of the guy you're looking for but you're only allowed to choose one hair color, one eye color, etc. And I don't want to be stuck with only brown-haired, brown-eyed guys even though I do like that type. I mean, what if my Mr. Right has blue eyes? I'm just out of luck then? This seems way too narrow. And although Date.com seemed to really want to nail down the particular details of what I was looking for in a guy physically they asked me not one question about personality, values, interests or hobbies.
Also, this site doesn't give you instant matches like some other dating sites. Instead, you enter the age range you're looking for and your region and Date.com gives you a long list to sift through to determine who you have what in common with. For me, this was way too much time to spend looking. I'd rather have the site give me instant matches based on compatibility. But I will say most of the guys seemed okay (i.e., non-creepy) so I give them points for that."
Date.com is a fairly standard online dating service, with very basic matching and searching functions as well as instant messaging and chat rooms. Date.com acquired Matchmaker in 2006, and the two websites are now essentially identical, although Date.com is slightly cheaper. If you create a Date.com profile, it will also be visible on Matchmaker, and vice versa.
It's easy to get started on Date.com, but fully completing your profile is a somewhat convoluted process. You'll be prompted to answer a few questions about yourself by selecting from drop-down menus, and to upload a primary photo and up to nine additional photos, and then given the option to write a headline and brief personal statement. In order to find and complete the other sections of your profile, though, you'll need to click around a bit without much guidance or prompting. For this reason, many users have incomplete profiles that are less informative in determining interest. Be sure to find and complete the section in which you indicate your preferences for your desired partner, as this portion is easy to miss.
Matching & Searching
Date.com will occasionally suggest matches based on a few of the preferences in your profile. When a match is suggested, both parties receive an introductory message from Date.com, encouraging you both to view each other's profiles. However, these suggestions are offered very rarely, and will not necessarily match all of the criteria you have indicated. The search functions are more effective, allowing you to conduct a basic search based on age and location. You can tailor your basic search by including a keyword, excluding profiles without photographs from search results, or specifying members who are currently online, new members, or members who are having a birthday that day. Or you can conduct an advanced search based on more specific criteria, such as body type, horoscope, Chinese horoscope, ethnicity, or income. Paid subscribers and users who have uploaded photos are ranked higher in search results, which is a nice feature that makes it easier to find someone who appeals to you and is likely to respond to a message.
If someone catches your eye, you can save his or her profile to your favorites, show interest, or, if you are a paying member, you can send an email or an instant message. Showing interest on Date.com means sending a message that says, "I am interested in you," rather than a wink or smile, or selecting from a list of pre-written icebreakers. You can also purchase a virtual gift, such as a picture of a flower, heart, stuffed animal, or beverage. Most gifts are $1.00 each, but some cost as much as $9.00. Even if you are not a subscriber, you can see who has viewed your profile or saved your profile as a favorite, and you can respond to instant messages sent by paying members. Subscribers also have access to chat rooms, as well as audio and video messaging.
Date.com offers a surprisingly thorough advice section, which includes thoughtful and well-written articles discussing various relationship issues. You'll also find success stories from users who found love on Date.com, dating and relationship advice columns for straight women, straight men, and gays and lesbians, basic tips on safety, online flirting, and dating, and an astrology section.
Date.com offers an adequate array of features for those who want to search for potential dates in their area, but with a smaller user base than comparable dating sites and a somewhat clunky interface. If you are particularly interested in voice and video chat, or virtual gifts, Date.com may be the best option for you, but otherwise, you may be better off using a similar service with a larger user base, such as Match.com or Yahoo! Personals.
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- Date.com Review
Here is NextAdvisor's review of Date.com: http://www.nextadvisor.com/online_dating/date_review.php