Coaching clients often ask me what the differences are between free dating sites and the ones that make you pay (other than money).I’ve had success (FCs) with various sites, and I’ve noticed a pattern. The lower the “barrier to entry,” the less women are generally invested. By barrier to entry, I mean the investment in money, time, or effort that is needed to be reasonably successful on a particular site.
As it is, women have a much easier time at Internet dating, because men do most of the approaching / contacting … women can pick and choose from various people contacting them.
On a lower barrier to entry site, women may be using lower-quality photos (or none at all), having incomplete or poorly written profiles, or not following through with the process. HB quality (physical and otherwise) seems to go up as the barrier to entry (and the corresponding investment) does.
So, if money is in short supply but time is not, free sites may be a better option for you. If it is time that is in short supply, join a pay site, since the people tend to be more invested, and the sites often do much of the work (via various site features, and the way the system or profiles are set up).
Examples (low to high):
No barrier to entry … it is a classified ads system that includes dating and various other types of ads. You don’t need an account or even a picture, which is not the case with dating sites. And, men still send women tons of responses, so you have a lot of competition. The ladies wind up with overrun inboxes. Plus, many of the responses they get are form letters or offensive photos. You can cut through the competition, but you need to (1) write well and (2) screen the women really well.
The barrier to entry is so low that men are often posing as women (with or without pictures) on the site, as practical jokes, social experiments, or possibly worse. And, because anyone can see pictures without registration, many people do not post pictures (just as I do not when I post ads here). And, many of the women either don’t respond, or if they do, never follow through past the email stage. There don’t seen to be as many HBs. I’ve still met some cool women here, but I screen well.
Plenty of Fish (free)
Basically, you have a few stats and pictures, and a small amount of space for text. People send very short messages here and have very short profiles. Guys with very good pictures (looks-based) seem to do very well here, but otherwise, this site is a lot of work with few decent responses. I did date a girl from here. There are a lot of UGs (and unlike CL, you can see them). Like any other site … for whatever reason, expect women of lower value than yourself to be more likely to contact you.
This site is free, but requires more of a time investment because of all the questions and quizzes, and the matching feature. You may still get some women who are uncomfortable with the dating process (and may never meet anyone) but less than with CL or PoF. Use the features of the site. IM, answer the profile questions, use Quickmatch and Quiver, and have people (especially women) write you “awards” (for social proof / pre-selection, etc.) I tend to use actual game on this site … I just translate it to online game.
When women pay for sites, I’ve found higher quality women as far as looks and follow through (filling out profiles well, responding, IMing, talking on the phone). eHarmony does all the matching for you (you cannot search) but has some decent quality women … and is thought of as a more relationship oriented site (by everyone except my wing, Knack, who somehow met a lot of casual girls there). There is also an automated system of sending questions back and forth that may help with the more skittish women.
Jdate is a Jewish site which also has decent quality. Both JD and EH have better quality women on the whole than free sites. The women are more invested, and more likely to meet you.
Tips (for sites like OkCupid, eHarmony, and Match):
1. Put at least several pictures up, and screen them for good body language. You need at least one good profile pic where they can see you clearly. Also have one with women … and it’s fine to caption that they are friends, relatives, whatever. Also have one or more activity photos if you have them. If you have a dog, a pic with it will help. Some of these pics should tie into your identity, which should be shown in your profile.
2. Use game in your profile … whatever style or combination of style you use in field (but use your own material when possible so that it is identity-specific). Examples: Juggler type humor, Mystery type stories, Pickup101 style banter, DeAngelo style cocky funny, etc.
As an example of “identity-specific,” I use a lot of food-related material in my profiles. Many other people use travel, adventure, sports, hiking, marathons, etc.
3. I said it already … screen ! Have an idea of what you are looking for and sub-communicate or communicate what qualities you are screening for, and then meet the girls that have those qualities. High value men have standards.
4. Work on the messages you send to women so that they don’t look like form messages. This conveys that you are showing an interest in her as a person. Ask a couple of questions about her profile, make a comment or comparison, etc.
Good luck in your hunting.