<== Store of the Day for 2013-02-09 ==>
In the world of online dating sites, size matters. This is especially true when you are in a relatively small town. A larger site with more active profiles increases the chance of finding a perfect match within driving distance. Match.com is the largest premium online dating service. Doing a search on your local zip code is likely to turn up a decent number of local matches.
More important than just the shear volume of profiles. The best sites will have a good internet presence to attract new faces. Match.com wins on both the quantity and quality of profiles. The site is well advertised and is often the first dating service that people try. That means a steady turnover of new faces.
Match.com is a premium service. I suspect some of the free services have a larger collection of profiles. For that matter, I played around with several free sites. I am a cheap person, who goes for the free thing first. The free sites had tons of profiles, but were also full of commercial nonesense. Half the people on the board were in fact marketers trolling for email addresses. Since the free site was free, I actually made more than one profile. It quickly dawned on me that the free service was probably not the best place to meet real people.
Premium sites do a better job policing their membership. First, you have to give accurate billing information in setting up your account. The need to pay a subscription fee is also an effective first filter for some of the online riff raff. A young woman put the issue to me succinctly: "A guy not willing to spend a few bucks on a subscription fee is a guy I don't want to meet."
To use the service, you first create a free profile. Creating a free profile gives you a good idea for the way the service works and the type of people you will meet. You have to give Match.com your email address to verify your identity, but you can opt out of their mailing lists. To actually start contacting people online, you will need to subscribe. The site doesn't show your subscription fee until after you create your profile. This is an international site. I suspect they have different rate schedules in different countries. I think the 3 month subscription fee is the best option. When playing the online dating game it is best to take your time. You probably want to meet different people and should go on one or two dates before giving out your phone number or email address.
I think the three month subscription is the best option. Regardless, you will want to play with the free profile options before subscribing.