Continuing onward into the realm of free dating sites, I decided it was time for me to launch into a Date.com review. I was already intrigued by the awesome domain they’d somehow snatched up and knew from the get go that the Date.com dating site had been around for a while. Low and behold, it said right at the bottom of the homepage that they’ve been matching singles since 1997, so I figured my chances were good to find some interesting stuff during my dating site review.
The homepage was big and sparse, which I like – not a lot of clutter like some of the other dating websites I’d visited (I’m looking at you, True.com). Aside from the attractive couple embracing on the left, what caught my eye the most was the “FREE” claims all over the place. Date.com prompted me to enter in some basic info and“JOIN NOW FREE!!!”which I obviously did.
I was immediately taken to a second page asking me to enter in what I now lovingly refer to as the “Extended basics for singles” meaning of course my education level, appearance, languages spoken and every other pseudo deep question all dating sites seem to really, really need from me. Date.com was a bit different in that they required me to fill out all of the fields, which included such gems as “weight”, “income” and “ethnicity.”So I would say that if you’re at all squeamish about handing over so much personal info to an online dating service, perhaps Date.com is not the best place to start.
After telling Date.com pretty much everything there is to know about myself, this reviewer headed deeper into the site. I was allowed to “skip” a few screens on the way, namely uploading a photo and signing up for the Date.com dating agency toolbar and also had the opportunity to opt out of some free newsletters. Pretty standard stuff thus far.
After the Login:
The site itself was nice and clean – something I can’t necessarily say for some of the other free online dating services I’ve encountered. There were a few banner ads and the like, but there were also nicely aligned tabs at the top with functions like “Who’s Online”, “Chat” and “Advice.” Another thing I liked was the Site Activity box that told me basics like how many messages I had, but also some interesting numbers like how many new members had joined this week (12,901) and how many people were currently on Instant Messenger (601).
Here’s where Date.com sort of lost me. So I started searching, expecting a plethora of hot men to fall at my feet (or something like that) – afterall, there were over 12,000 new members this week! I started scrolling and noticed the average age of the singles I was seeing was closer to Leonardo Da Vinci than Leonardo Dicaprio, which was, you know, kind of a bummer since dating my grandpa is not high on my priority list. Then I realized I just hadn’t narrowed down my criteria enough…that had to be the issue! So I changed a couple of things: age range became between 20 and 30 and my location became within 250 miles of my zip code. Easy enough. Problem was, now I had exactly three thumbnails that met my criteria. THREE. It’s not like I was looking for something super specific like Russian brides or Christian singles… all I wanted was men in my age range that lived driving distance from me. The utter lack of matches threw up a huge red flag –
Date.com, I love what you’re doing with the whole free online dating thing, but what good does that do me if there’s no one to date?
One of the things I liked most during my Date.com review was the lack of pushiness by the site itself. The banner ads and offers to install the toolbar were definitely persistent, but they weren’t in your face, and they didn’t distract me from the mission at hand, which was to meet singles.
Another feature I really liked was the “Advice” tab at the top. Clicking it took me to another Date.com property (Date.info), which was really just a well-written, witty blog featuring pieces about dating in general. The blog was sectioned into advice sections for men and women and while not that helpful in actually matching me, it was a fun read and served as a reminder that online dating really isn’t life or death. There were even some (seemingly better suited) matches on the sidebar!
All in all, I had an okay experience on Date.com. The dating site is easy to navigate, user friendly and not at all intimidating – exactly what a free online dating service should be. My least favorite thing about Date was their lack of appropriate matches for me which makes me less likely to want to return to the site. If my single matches had been a bit meatier, I would have given the site at least a 4 out of 5. So before you head over to Date.com to do your own review, remember these key things:
- Don’t expect a chat room full of hotties – the matches here take a bit more combing through than other sites, but I feel confident that there are winners to be found.
- Date.com is pretty bare bones, as many free dating sites are. You won’t find shiny graphics or tons of stuff to do, but you will have an easy time wading around.
- The site is probably better for casual dating and meet ups than marriage, a statement I make based solely and subjectively on the quality of my matches. So, you know, not exactly scientific.
- You won’t have to give out your credit card number: awesome! You will have to enter in everything short of your exact genetic code to be allowed in the site: less awesome.
Date.com is a great place to get your feet wet if you’re sort of new to the online dating scene and need some practice… there’s not a lot here you can screw up. It’s likely not the best place online to meet the love of your life, but who knows? Prince (or princess) charming could certainly be hiding just the next thumbnail over. The next withered, faded, 70-year old thumbnail over. You never know, really.Join