The true cost of finding love The true cost of finding love Published by Hannah Nemeth on 12 February Last updated on 12 February Sign up for free! It tales just two minutes! But while you can sometimes add your profile, upload your photos, search a site for potential matches and receive messages from possible suitors without paying a penny, you can't usually reply to a message until you've coughed up for a subscription.
And with Valentine's Day fast-approaching, it's well worth knowing how much your quest for love might set you back. The good news is online dating can be relatively cheap. It's a bit irritating, however, that most sites are coy about revealing their fees until after you've registered. A free trial will give you the chance to see if there are potential matches in your area and in your age group.
Some dating sites mainly focus on the mids to mids age range so if you're a 'mature' woman, you could find that men your age are looking for matches 10 to 15 years younger, limiting the possibilities for you.
Monica Porter, journalist and author of Raven: My Year of Dating Dangerously, which she wrote when she turned 60, says it took her a while to find the right dating site: There were very few men who I would ever consider meeting.
It was certainly an improvement, and I did make contact with a number of men but I still felt it wasn't for me. It was much more cosmopolitan, fun, a bit wacky, generally for more professional and educated types, while still being mainstream. So I would recommend bigger sites rather than the smaller niche ones. How well they work is hard to gauge. Porter is not convinced these methods are any more successful than online browsing: So if you sign up for a month, then you will be billed monthly whether or not you are using the service until you cancel.
It's easy to forget this and end up paying hundreds of pounds by direct debit for a service you no longer want or need. The only way round this is to cancel your subscription almost as soon as you've joined. Then if you're happy with the service and want to continue, renew your subscription just before your membership is about to expire.
If you're interested in trying your luck in the romance stakes, here's Moneywise's lowdown on eight popular dating sites - prices are correct at the time of going to press but sites sometimes have special offers. UK eHarmony has almost 60 million members globally and 3. How does it work?
How much does it cost? Lovestruck matches new members based on their interests, age, and location. Once members start using the site, an algorithm finds potential matches by building up a picture of their behaviour. Create a profile, search for matches and message them. The site offers advanced filters to search for different ethnicities, religions, and gay and lesbian dating.
It offers dating advice and arranges singles events around the UK. COM If you're 'country-minded' or 'muddy' whether you live in the countryside or just enjoy spending time there , this site is the one for you. Groups of friends can be linked together to form an online community. You can sign up or a friend can register for you. Either way, as well as a profile about you, your friend will write a few paragraphs about you, which you can approve before it goes live. Your friend can also browse profiles and suggest matches.
Fees can be found on the site's FAQs, so no need to sign up to see them. COM OkCupid is one of the few dating sites that lets anyone send and reply to messages before paying — though you can pay more to join the site's 'A-list'. The site asks you to answer lots of questions about yourself. The more questions you answer, the better your compatibility results will be.
US site so fees are in dollar One month: Like OKCupid, you can send messages when you sign up for free, so it's a good site to test the water if you've never done online dating before. Plenty of Fish has a relationship chemistry predictor to measure five 'personality dimensions' that the site suggests are essential for developing a romantic relationship. It also has a psychological test that tells you what you really want in a partner as opposed to what you say you want. UK Who says you're too old to date?
Aimed at mature romantics, this site covers people in their 40s upwards — with no shortage of octogenarians looking for love. Saga offers a two-way matching feature to score your compatibility, with the highest-ranking matches appearing first.
You also have access to profiles from other sites, such as dating. It is the only site to have a Subscribe tab at the top of its home page with fees clearly stated, which are: When you're setting up your profile and sending messages, always avoid giving personal details such as your address, workplace, email, phone number and date of birth.
Stick to messaging through the dating website where you met, rather than texting or instant messaging. When you're seeing a date for the first time, meet in a public space on neutral ground, let a friend know where you're going and take your mobile with you.
Also keep an eye on personal belongings and avoid leaving your drink unattended.