America is a nation looking for love, or at least like. According to recent statistics, there are approximately 54 million people who declare themselves as single. Forty-one million of those, over 75 percent, have tried a online dating site. What? You haven’t heard of online dating?
It’s the 21st century extension of those dating companies folks used to visit and look over books of photos to find their perfect mate. Those pictures and profiles are now online at places like eHarmony and Match.com. There are even dating sites that specialize according to religious denomination, such as JDate, or pet lovers sites like PetPeopleMeet.com. And while you may be able to see a sample of what these sites have to offer for free, they may ask for a monthly fee in order to receive all the benefits. With an average of $240 being spent for each person, the online dating services are making quite the profit. About $1.3 billion dollars worth of profit. That’s billion with a ‘b’ so you don’t get confused.
Like timeshares or pyramid businesses, many folks believe online dating sites are sham organizations whose only goal is to take cash from individuals. Of course, many of these folks tend to be those who were never connected with their soulmate. Still, they do make some valid points concerning the worth of paying hundreds of dollars to a business that may or may not pay off in the end. Here are a few things to consider before adding a line item for online dating to your budget.
Does it fit your style?
Sites like eHarmony and Match.com may be too big for your liking while niche dating sites better fit your lifestyle. Take a look at the free options of these sites before you make a financial commitment. Think of it as reviewing different contractors to renovate your life. You want to get at least three bids from these contractors before you make a clear decision.
What does a membership offer?
The website for Real Simple magazine offers a price comparison for some of the top dating sites on the Internet. Start there, and then go to each site to see if they offer an extended list of what a monthly membership actually gives you. You certainly don’t want to pay anywhere from $400 to $700 a year for a small amount of extras. In addition, check to see if there are extra membership benefits depending on how much you pay.
How easy can you get out?
Back to the timeshares example, it can be very hard to get out of an online dating service contract before the time limit is up. This can be painful is you continue to pay for a service that has provided nothing for you. Read the contract carefully to determine if there is a clause to stop payments if unsatisfied with the service. Should you not find anything in the contract consider going to another dating service.