So you've decided on jumping onto the online dating bandwagon. Congrats. Honestly, I've been doing it for a few months now and love it. It sure as heck beats meeting men at loud bars. Now you have to decide if you're wanting to do a paid or free site.
Paid sites do tend to be better (on average) for those that are looking for a serious relationship. They're also much more specific in their profiles and easier to sift through. I don't know about you, but I tend to be cheap financially savvy, and I can think of many other things to spend $29.99/month on.
That being said, I also don't want to sacrifice quality, so here are some secrets for getting the most out of paid online dating sites for free!
1. All dating sites allow you to become a member for free with the ability to "wink" or "poke" others, you just can't send messages. If you come across a cutie that you'd like to get to know, give him a wink. If he's a paid subscriber, he'll probably respond with a typical bio email, asking for the same in return. Wink again. Hopefully he'll get the hint and will provide his contact info in the next message.
2. The second one you have to be super sneaky with, and some sites are real sticklers and may not let you get away with it. Try to hide your email address somewhere in your profile, writing it out with all words. For example: brit at yahoo dot com. I tried this on Match.com and they caught it immediately and deleted (boo) but on eHarmony, I added it to a paragraph that was written awhile back and, several hours later, it's still there. Can you spot it?
P.S. Not my real email address by the way.
3. A lot of sites have promos for free trials, they just may not put it up in big blinking letters on their homepage. Match.com has a free 7-day trial, and eHarmony will have free communication weekends (though I recommend completing the long, drawn out personality test beforehand so not to waste precious hunting time). Sign up and take advantage. Just be sure to cancel your account before it goes over the trial or you'll be charged.
4. Sometimes waiting it out will pay off (pun intended). If sites see that you're a non-subscribed member, but are currently active, they'll try to bribe you into a contract by giving you a special discount. A site called HowAboutWe.com offered me a promotional code for 50% after just two weeks of refusing to pay. Yeah, this isn't technically free, but it sure is a helluva lot less than you would have had to pay.
Granted, there are a ton of dating sites out there, so not all of these are going to work with each one. Good luck!
Do you prefer free or paid online dating sites?
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