Are There Any Good Free Dating Sites?

So you’ve decided to try online dating, but where do you look?

Online dating services are popping up daily on the internet, making the decision of choosing the “right” dating service a bit overwhelming.

More importantly, are there any good FREE dating sites or do you have to pull out your credit card? Here’s a question from Jeff in North Carolina who is very frustrated with the ‘free’ dating site options…

Dear Dan and Jennifer,

I’ve been looking on-line now for two months to find a real woman. All I get is nothing…

Free sites. What the heck do they think free means? I’m not giving anyone money for sex.

My question : Is there a place I can go to get free date or sex sites?

–Jeff, North Carolina

Are There Any Good Free Dating or Sex Sites?

I have one thing to say on this… “You get what you pay for” — You don’t go around bumming beer and food and you wouldn’t expect to get a free lunch when you walk into a restaurant! If you do, I doubt you’ll have much success at it. In our society, you typically get what you pay for. That’s basically what it comes down to.

The sex market, especially, is way too big. Just imagine going into a 7-11 and saying, “Hey I’d like a copy of playboy magazine and I want you to give it to me for free!”. They’ll probably laugh you out of the store. So asking for a good quality, and free, sex dating site is asking a lot.

Having said that, there are some free dating sites out there. Plentyoffish.com is a good example. It’s one of the most popular free dating sites out there. You can find others by going to Google and searching for ‘free online dating site’.

Just remember… These sites have to make there money somehow. What you’ll most likely find are lots and advertisements and promotional offers. There’s nothing wrong with this, it’s just the ‘free’ business model. With free sites, you’ll also see more spammers and ‘cam girls’ because they normally don’t have the infrastructure to really check people out and make sure they’re for real – you’ll have to do that yourself. So you see, even with ‘free’ sites, there is a price to pay.

Why not invest $30 and get it over with? You’re eventually going to have to pay for a date, coffee, or something eventually. It’s well worth the extra time to find 2 or 3 dating sites that fit your personality and offer the services that you are looking for. Once you’ve chosen a few, sign up for each of them. It only takes a little extra time and you’re sure to meet different people on each of the different sites.

Tips for Finding an Online Dating Website

Here are some excellent tips for finding a service that will best match your needs (from “Online Dating – Finding Love Online”):

1. Try to choose an online dating service that has been around for a couple of years.

The best way to find out how long a website has been around is to go to the website’s “About Us” page where you will learn not only the date the site was  started but also the company’s philosophy. Another good source of information is the “FAQ”, or frequently asked questions page on the website.

2. Look for an online dating service that offers a free trial

Quality sites will allow you to browse profiles and photos before you join, or a service that offers a free trial period so you can talk to people that you are interested in meeting before you have to pay.

3. For safety and convenience, look for online dating services that offer onsite messaging and e-mail services.

This will allow you to communicate with people using a special email provided by the dating service instead of using your personal email or IM (instant message) ID. You should stay anonymous, at least at first. You may want to use a free email account, such as Yahoo! Mail or Hotmail, to reduce the possibility of spam to your regular email box.

4. Make sure the dating service offers secure payment methods.

Also, look at the type of payments accepted (credit card, check, money order, PayPal, etc.) to ensure the options work for you.

To Pay or Not To Pay

Today, almost all dating sites require you to “pay before you play”. What I mean by this is that you can typically create your profile and browse other profiles for free, but if you want to talk to someone, be ready to hand over your credit card.

Here are some of the different types of membership options you’ll find and what you can expect from each:

Free Memberships

Most online dating sites offer free memberships so you can try before you buy with absolutely no obligation to ever become a paid subscriber. This gives you a chance to check out the service, see what it offers and can help you decide whether or not it is the one for you. Most free memberships are limited.

A “free” membership allows you to create a profile, search, and browse other member profiles. This type of membership rarely lets you initiate email contact, respond to email messages or use the instant messaging system. You will have to pay if you want to really communicate with someone.

Trial Memberships

Trial memberships are still free, but you get to use the full service for a limited amount of time, usually anywhere from 3 to 14 days. Once your trial time is up you’ll need to subscribe if you want to continue using the service, or you will be automatically billed at the end of your trial period (this is the most common approach) – make sure to read the terms of the trial membership so that you fully understand what is required of you.

Paid Subscription

To truly get the best out of online dating, I recommend signing up for a trial membership on several sites to get a feel for the ones that best meet your needs. Pick 1 to 3 sites that you really like, join these sites, and cancel your free memberships at the other sites.

Important Note: Most dating sites have a subscription that is auto-renewed like your car insurance or internet service. You will need to cancel your account to prevent further billing.

Once you pay the required fee, you’ll be able to do more detailed searches, make use of any matchmaking tools that the site offers, and you’ll also have unlimited email and instant message privileges, which is very important if you really want to get to know someone better. Some dating sites will even alert you by mail if anyone new signs up matching your criteria or if someone looks at your profile. This alone can save you a lot of time in your search for that perfect partner.

For your own protection, make sure the sites you join have a privacy policy, guaranteeing that they won’t reveal any information about you to anyone without your say-so.

For more great online dating tips, check out “Online Dating – Finding Love Online”.


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