Are Paid Dating Sites Better? 12 Pros Vs. 12 Cons

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Should you pay for a chance to find the love of your life?

Well, it’s really up to you.

There are plenty of free dating sites that people use, and some of those people definitely find love there…

But why do people pay to use certain dating sites? Are those sites better? What are those people getting that you can’t get for free, if anything?

Well, for starters, free sites are available to anyone, while only people who pay can use the paid dating sites. This fact on its own has its benefits and downsides.

Whether you should try a paid dating site really depends on your needs, preferences, and personal experience so far.

Let’s face it, paid dating sites wouldn’t exist if they didn’t offer something extra for the price. However, is it what you need to find a match?

Some people have managed to find a perfect match on a free dating site, while others have only been able to find a compatible person on a website that tailors the experience to their specific preferences, and this is what they pay for.

The point is, there’s nothing wrong with free dating sites, but for some people, using a paid dating site really is worth the money, and that’s an understatement.

As mentioned in the beginning, whether you’ll use a paid site or not is really up to you. To help you decide, here are all the arguments for and against using paid dating sites.

12 Pros Of Paid Dating Sites

No one can charge you without offering you something for your money. So, paid dating sites must provide you with more than free sites. But do they? Here are all the benefits of using paid sites:

1. People are generally more serious about dating.

It seems safe to assume that someone who is willing to invest money into finding the right match is more serious about really finding it.

When it comes to free sites, people often use them simply to try them out without any commitment to the process. Some don’t even bother to fill in their information or post enough photos.

With paid dating sites, you can expect matches to take the whole thing more seriously. After all, they paid to be there.

This doesn’t mean that everyone there is serious about dating. After all, some people don’t care about money and spend it carelessly. However, you can expect that a lot more people than those on the free sites are taking this seriously.

2. People are generally more interested in finding long term love.

You’re not going to pay to join a dating website just so you can send nudes and dirty messages to random people as soon as you match with them.

When someone isn’t looking for anything serious, they aren’t likely to be serious about dating online. So, they’re not going to invest money into it.

As you might have experienced, some online daters don’t even invest effort, so it’s safe to assume that there are a lot less of them on paid dating sites.

Sure, someone might still be interested in a casual relationship, but a lot more people are looking for the real deal, and that’s why they’re paying to find it.

3. It’s easier to find your ‘type’ if you have specific preferences.

Maybe you’re specifically looking for people who don’t drink, people who have a not-that-common sexual preference, or people who are gamers.

It doesn’t matter which specific preference it is, it will be easier to find those people on paid dating sites. What’s more, there is likely a paid site that caters specifically to the kind of people that you’re looking for.

However, even general paid dating sites make it easier for you to find someone who fits your criteria and has a lot in common with you. If you know exactly who you want and who you don’t want, and the people you want aren’t the general public, you are more likely to find them on a paid site.

4. They provide better service, and you get more features.

There has to be something obvious that the paid sites are charging for, so they usually provide better service and give you more features than free sites. This makes the process faster and easier and helps you pinpoint the right matches.

Many of them offer an algorithm that makes it easier to find people like you or cater to a specific audience. Some of the features the paid sites offer are available on free sites as well, but they charge for it too!

If you have never paid for anything on a dating site or app, then you haven’t been taking full advantage of them so far. If you do, it might help you find the person that you’re looking for.

5. Free sites charge you for premium features too.

As previously mentioned, free sites also usually require you to pay, but you’re paying only to use the premium features, not the entire site. If you already use these features, you’re probably okay with paying to improve your online dating experience, so you don’t mind putting your money into a paid dating site either.

It might pay off more than the free website’s premium features if these aren’t giving you the desired results. It’s definitely worth a shot! If you’re not used to investing your money in online dating, you can give a free dating site a try to help you decide whether you want to use a paid site.

6. You are likely to get more matches and more responses.

Paid websites can’t guarantee that you’ll find the right match, but they seem to give you more matches and responses, which increases the odds.

The reason this happens is likely because paid websites help you connect with people like you, instead of a broad audience. Also, people tend to take them more seriously, so they approach online dating more seriously too.

However, you can also get more matches and responses by upgrading on free websites. Dating online can be done for free, but you’re only getting a small part of what the service can provide. If you want to get more matches and responses, it is always worth considering investing your time and money into it.

7. You are likely to get quality matches.

People on paid dating sites made a financial commitment and they want to get their money’s worth—they’re usually looking for a relationship. A free user doesn’t have any commitment and might show up and disappear as they please.

A user with a paid account likely has the intention to find the right match and have a serious relationship. They might say yes to more dates, especially if they don’t want to pay for the site for too long.

Free dating apps and sites are often full of people who are looking for something casual, aren’t ready to commit, and are just testing the waters without the goal of finding their soulmate.

Even if they want a serious relationship, they likely aren’t expecting to find the love of their life on a dating site, so they don’t approach it seriously. While you could find people like these on paid sites too, it’s much more likely to find people who are ready to settle down and meet their other half.

8. You can still use a free site too.

You don’t really need to choose between a free site and a paid site since you can use them both simultaneously. So, you only need to decide whether you’re ready and willing to invest money into dating online. Don’t forget that you can always back out too, so it can be just a small investment.

You can try using both a free site and a paid site for a while and decide for yourself whether having a paid account is worth it. If it’s improving your online dating experience and giving you better results, consider staying on the paid site only, but you can still use them both.

9. You could find the right match faster.

Since paid websites usually give you more and better matches, things will move faster than on the free sites. You could get to your future partner more quickly than if you swiped thousands of pictures of people that you know little to nothing about.

People on paid dating sites are more likely to have complete profiles with more information about them. This makes things faster, plus, you are matching with people who are more similar to you. If you’re looking for a soulmate, you’re more likely to find him or her if you have a lot in common.

10. It saves time.

Even if you don’t find your perfect match fast, paid websites save time. You are more likely to go on good dates, find matches quicker, get faster and more thorough responses, exchange more messages, get the right matches, and generally save time.

Let’s face it, some people on free dating apps and sites seem to be there just to waste your time. This is less likely to happen on paid dating sites.

11. You are likely to get better messages.

Since people tend to take their money seriously, it’s unlikely that they will waste it on messages that don’t serve a purpose. For instance, some websites require you to pay for sending a message. If a person has paid to message you, they aren’t going to just write, “Hi.”

You can even expect them to be genuinely interested in you specifically. They aren’t simply copying and pasting messages for anyone who looks decent. This means that the quality of messages you get will be better, not just in the sense of the first messages, but the entire conversation.

12. A better overall experience.

When people pay for an experience they expect it to be better than if they had gotten a similar one for free. This is what paid dating websites are trying to provide, and usually, they do.

Typically it means that it’s in their best interest to help you find what you came looking for, and they’ll do their best to give you that…   

However, this is not entirely up to them. You could join a paid site and not get the experience you expected. You could even have a better experience on a free site! The statistics seem to work in favor of the paid websites, but everyone’s experience is unique, and online dating doesn’t come with any promises.

After all, you have to do most of the work even if you pay for help in increasing your odds. This is why it is a wise idea to learn more about dating online whether you are going to use a paid site or a free one.

12 Cons Of Paid Dating Sites

Do you think that everything you read about so far would be worth your money? If not, then that’s the first argument against paid dating sites. If you don’t need the services, don’t pay for them! Here is why you might not want to pay for online dating:

1. Online dating might not be for you.

Maybe you just prefer the old-school way of meeting potential partners. You’re much better at coming up with a clever pickup line in a bar or at an event than when you’re sitting in front of a computer or using a phone. Online dating might not be your thing, and that’s okay.

Maybe you don’t know that much about online dating, and you’re not that interested in learning about it, or you never tried it before. That’s okay too. In these cases, a paid dating site might not be your best choice.

If you’re not used to online dating, it’s better to try a free site first. See whether you’re really interested in the process before paying for the experience.

2. There are still people who aren’t like you.

While using a paid site increases the odds of finding someone like you, it doesn’t remove people who are unlike you. There are still plenty of them on a paid site too, you’re just less likely to match with them, so you might not notice them that much.

However, you could find people with opposing relationship goals, different personalities, and undesirable interests. It might even turn out that you match with someone based on certain attributes only to find dealbreakers later on.

People don’t reveal everything about themselves on a dating site, so there’s no way paying can entirely prevent this from happening. Even if you have special preferences, you may find that they don’t guarantee you will have other even more important things in common.

3. You can use filters on free sites to find better matches.

Paid sites are generally better for finding specific kinds of people. However, you can also find them on free sites; you just need to use filters. It certainly helps, to a certain extent, depending on how much information people on the site have put into their profiles.

People generally put more information on paid sites, so free filters are not as effective, but using them certainly increases your odds of finding the right match. If you haven’t been taking full advantage of the free features yet, start by doing that and see whether it’s enough for you to get the desired results. It might be!

4. A free site might do the trick.

You can find love on a free dating site too! For you, it might do the trick and connect you with the person you were looking for. You never know where your soulmate is going to be; they might even bump into you on the street.

How has your experience with free dating sites been so far? If you haven’t tried it yet, you should! However, if you have been trying and haven’t had much luck so far, give paid websites a chance instead of giving up on online dating altogether.

5. Getting more and better matches is not a guarantee.

Getting more and better matches (or finding the right match) is likely to happen, but it’s not a guarantee. If someone promises these results, they aren’t being entirely honest with you. While they can increase your chances, they can’t do the work for you or make magic happen.

So, you do need to approach dating online seriously and have a bit of luck too.

If you are ready and willing to invest money into improving your online dating experience, consider hiring a dating coach too. They can help you create a profile that gets more matches while also identifying areas that you need to improve. A coach can definitely help you to become more successful at dating online.

6. You still need to put effort into creating a good profile and communicating well.

Your online dating success highly depends on your dating profile and the messages that you exchange with matches—a paid dating site is not going to do this for you.

You can learn a lot about creating a good profile and successfully dating online in the other articles on our website, entirely for free. However, as mentioned earlier, hiring a dating coach might give you better results. This is because they can give you tailored advice, answer your questions, and give you feedback on your experience.

7. You could still go on bad dates.

You’re not going to appear in your own episode of The Bachelor when you sign up for a paid dating site. There are going to be people that you don’t mesh with, whether it’s on a dating site or once you meet in real life. Bad dates happen, and online chemistry isn’t the same as real-life chemistry.

Your profiles could be a perfect match according to the math, but in the real world you could be entirely wrong for each other. Maybe you lack chemistry, uncover a dealbreaker that you weren’t aware of, get bored, or end up sitting in awkward silence. A paid site can’t prevent these things from happening. However, it increases your chances of going on good dates by giving you more and better matches.

8. Other people on the site are also paying to use it.

Everyone else on these sites is also paying to use them. This means that they might disappear if you haven’t connected elsewhere and they decide that they don’t want to pay anymore… But that’s not the only problem.

Why are they using a paid site? Why are you? For many, it is because they haven’t had much luck so far, and you have to ask yourself why. Sure, some of them might not be great at dating online, or they could simply be trying to avoid casual relationships. However, there could also be dealbreakers that they haven’t put into their profile.

For instance, maybe they haven’t had luck because they’re still in love with their ex, they have an active addiction, or they are too jealous or desperate.

While the motivation for using paid dating sites is often the desire to get better quality matches and find a serious relationship, it could also indicate that they haven’t had much luck so far. And it might be because of something that could be a dealbreaker for you.

9. You can pay for premium features on the free sites.

If you want to see how money can improve your online dating experience, you can also pay for premium features on the free sites. That might do the trick for you!

However, don’t assume that free websites’ premium features provide the same experience as paid websites. Both increase your chances, but paid websites increase them a bit more, and they work differently.

When you use premium features on free sites, you are still among many people who don’t pay anything to be there. On paid sites, everyone has paid to be there, so it’s safe to assume that more of them are looking for the real thing.

If you choose a site that caters to a specific audience in your attempt to find someone like you, premium features aren’t going to help as much as some paid websites could.

However, if you just want to spend some cash on improving your online dating experience, you can try out premium features, and it might be enough to give you the desired results!

10. There are inactive profiles.

Unfortunately, just like there are inactive profiles on free sites, there are inactive profiles on paid sites. They don’t remove profiles of people who’ve stopped paying for the service, but there are also people who will pay and stop using their profiles for different reasons.

Maybe they changed their mind, they met someone, or they’re just too busy with other areas of their lives to focus on their love life right now. You never know.

However, it’s safe to assume that most people will use the service if they’ve paid for it. There’s still a problem with inactive profiles though, which might explain why you didn’t get responses from certain people.

11. Not everyone is looking for a serious relationship.

More people are looking for the real thing on paid dating sites compared to free sites, but not all of them. People could still want something casual, they are just less likely to waste your time.

Not a lot of people will go through the trouble of paying for a site, creating a great profile, exchanging messages with you, and going on a date just so they can use you or reveal that they don’t want the same thing you do.

While you can find someone who just wants sex, they are much less likely to suggest it in a dirty first message or lie to you about it. So, paid websites are better for people who are looking for a serious relationship, but they don’t entirely remove those who want a casual one.

12. You can find quality matches on a free site.

While paid sites often provide better matches, it’s not like you can’t find quality matches on a free site. Not everyone on a free site just wants to get into your pants or is using the site casually. There are quality matches looking for the real deal on free sites too. It’s just likely that there are more of them on a paid site.

If you haven’t tried a free dating site yet, you should definitely start with that. It will help you gain experience in dating online and it might even do the trick and connect you with your soulmate!

In conclusion…

Are paid dating sites better? Probably, yes. However, there’s the “probably” because everyone’s experience is different.

You might find the love of your life on a free website or end up unsatisfied with the results if you use a paid site. However, using a paid website is not such a big investment, and giving it a try might lead you to the success that you may not have had so far.

It’s definitely worth giving paid sites a shot. You can expect to have better results, especially if you are looking for a serious relationship or a specific kind of person.

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About The Author

Ana Vakos enjoys writing about love and all the problems that come with it. Everyone has experiences with love, and everyone needs dating advice, so giving these topics more attention and spreading the word means a lot to her.