What are you doing for Valentine's Day? Whether coupled or going solo, here are a few ideas to celebrate this lovely holiday cheaply.
Best Free Dating Sites
Cheap and Free Dating Sites Guide
The boom in Internet matchmaking over the past decade has created sites for everyone -- young and old, urban and rural, Democrat and Republican, cat lover and dog lover, gay and lesbian. There are also free dating sites, cheap online dating sites, and pricey online dating sites.
What distinguishes the higher-cost sites from the free dating sites and cheap online dating sites seems to be more compatibility, matching, and personality mechanisms and tests. The upmarket sites are also more stringent about letting users contact each other, which means that a bit of the online dating process is out of your control. Although free dating sites and cheap online dating sites are often criticized for letting "anyone" join -- that is, not just people who are serious about love -- many of these free and cheap dating sites have begun putting screening mechanisms in place to weed out such "undesirables."
With good free and good cheap online dating sites the biggest part of the investment is your time and energy. As you shop around to decide which cheap or free dating site is right for you, note how it screens users and facilitates communication between them, how searches are conducted and matches made, and what privileges come along with paid membership. In terms of performance, you'll want to choose a free dating site or a cheap online dating site that offers a user-friendly interface and some certainty that users have been, and are, satisfied with the site's services.
After completing our research, we identified OkCupid.com as best free dating site and Plentyoffish.com as the runner-up for free dating sites. We picked Lavalife.com as best cheap dating site and SpeedDate.com as the good cheap online dating site. We found that PerfectMatch.com and True.com are largely panned by consumers and also charge higher rates.
Best Free Dating Sites
OkCupid.comDating sites reviews say OkCupid.com stands out for its diverse database of users, quizzes and tests aimed at helping you learn more about yourself and potential dates, and its ability to suggest matches. The site also appeals to users who appreciate the bonus of an online journaling community that lets members communicate easily.
Lavalife.comBest Cheap Dating Site: Users say Lavalife.com is worth the standard fee because the "dating," "relationship," and "intimate encounter" categories avoid confusion over what a member is looking for. Lavalife.com offers free live phone chat for female users and easy communication, such as e-mail and instant messaging, between members.
Good Free Dating Sites
Plentyoffish.comPlentyoffish.com has a bit of a raunchy reputation; some online dating reviews claim "undesirables" troll there while others say it's possible to meet good people. Reviewers and members note that navigation could be improved, but they like the forums where you can dish about love or find people who live locally or went to your school.
SpeedDate.comGood Cheap Dating Site: SpeedDate.com is a unique dating site in that it allows users to go on "speed dates" via web cam to get to know one another. You can also communicate with a potential match via voice and text and get the site as an app for your iPhone. Some call it a scam but others say it beats filling out lengthy profiles.
Don't Bother Cheap Online Dating Sites
This cheap dating site may be endorsed by talk-show relationship specialists, but users and expert reviewers say it suffers from a low-quality dating pool, poor website functionality, and sparse communications options.
Despite the high monthly cost, users have to pay extra for features such as chatting with other members and getting date coaching. Users say the site abounds with inactive profiles and there are also reports that it's tough to cancel your membership, which leads to continued billing of your credit card.
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