The granddaddy of all matchmaking sites, Match.com is the go-to for many choosing to look for love online. I decided to put the behemoth to the test and see just how functional, easy, and enjoyable the service is to use. Here’s my Match.com review…
When I first arrived at Match.com, a pop-up greeted me, prompting me to search for singles in my demographic with the catchy headline “1 in 5 relationships start online. More of them start on Match.com.” Intrigued, I tried to click off of the pop-up onto the homepage only to find…more pop-ups! After filling in the requisite information – my email address (I made sure to opt-out of the “affiliate” emails and match dating updates), my birthday, and my zip code – I was allowed on to the homepage.
I’ll be honest and say that I was expecting a bit more out of the basic interface…the site is merely a Memory-esque selection of photos and stats with a navigation bar on the left for me to fill out additional info to narrow my results. In order, the specifications I could choose were: height, body type, and, I kid you not…marital status. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but shouldn’t Match.com set a “single” default or something? I’m having a hard time imagining who stumbles onto match.com, grateful for a “recently separated” option. But I digress.
After filling out a few more qualifications in hopes of narrowing down the selection-o-men, I searched again, back to the pseudo-boring homepage photo layout. Scrolling through the selection, I notice that Match doesn’t give you a whole lot of info off the bat, just a small thumbnail photo, a username, an age, and a location of the men I was shown. Not a lot to go off of, but proving once again that usernames are of utmost importance when trying to date online. “HankAppleButter” didn’t make the cut, unfortunately.
Under each photo were a few communication options like emailing or, my personal favorite, “WINK for free!” Reminiscent of Facebook’s awkward poke feature, I suppose this is a good way to make the first move without actually having to make the first move. The photos shown looked realistic in that they were the type of guys I would expect to see at the grocery store or the dog park as opposed to the type I’d see on a runway in Milan or, say, The Jerry Springer Show.
After perusing the offerings, I decided it was time to check out my profile options. Clicking through, the questions turned out to be what I’d expect on any dating site, with the addition of some seemingly eHarmony inspired personality brain teasers like “What would you do if you got a huge bonus?” One thing I noticed was that every time Match asked a deep or difficult question (“what’s your faith”) it followed it up with something fluffy and harmless (“what’s your favorite type of movie? Comedy? Drama?!”) None of the queries were too hard hitting and I can see how anyone trying to avoid divulging too much or say something incriminating could easily answer less than truthfully. All questions were allowed to be skipped.
A slew of personal questions later, I got to the section where I was able to tell match.com what I was looking for in a potential mate. Choices included everything from salary to smoking-status, and left room for me to be undecided on any particular issue. The end of the profile was a bit scarier as I was asked to describe myself and come up with a “dating headline.” I wasn’t sure whether to put “I’m lonely and am worried that I’ll soon be eating Ramen alone with my 6 cats” or something closer to “Beach loving blonde adores puppies and rainbows and strolls before sunset!” Personal call, really.
It was interesting to note that Match.com and Chemistry.com are linked, and clicking (or, rather, neglecting to unclick) a box on the survey posts my profile on both sites. Not knowing a lot about Chemistry.com, I declined, but this service could be of great use for those trying to maximize their time spent online.
Other interesting features offered by Match include the “Daily 5,” which appears to be a daily email from the site highlighting your five best matches of the day, as determined by their scientifically unscientific matching algorithms. There’s also a messaging section that works similarly to an email account and allows you to communicate with other users without actually having to give away your email address. Another interesting nugget I came across was the “See Who’s Viewing Me” feature, which allows you literally see who’s viewed your profile. Stalker-ish? Yes. Useful? Double yes.
The service offers a multitude of price points, starting at around $19.99 per month (for 6 months). The price goes up as the term of your membership goes down. The additional features cannot be accessed without a membership, and really, the site’s not all that fun without them.
Overall, this Match.com review found that the site isn’t quite as geared toward long-term, mushy gushy love as sites like eHarmony(review) tend to be. Match wants you to find a “connection,” whether that be vague and non-committal or leading to the altar. A great site for those who want sheer volume in the numbers of matches they’re presented, Match.com is one of the oldest and most-used dating services available today, for good reason. A logical first stop for those new to or scared of online dating, Match is unintimidating, easy to venture into casually, and simple in its approach. If you like Facebook, you’ll probably like Match.com, and, well, that pretty much includes everyone in the Western Hemisphere.