Between countless episodes of “Millionaire Matchmaker” and “19 Kids and Counting,” I was starting to feel like I would never find anyone. Well, anyone without a graphic tee collection or 18 brothers and sisters. Anyway, I decided to use this as motivation to check out another dating site, so I did a Mate1 review. You can check out the site here: www.mate1.com.
My Initial Thoughts
Hellooooo, Mate 1! I’ll be honest with you guys, this site is not playing around. So far, all I’ve done is type the URL into my browser, expecting the typical SEO-heavy home page full of “singles here!” and “meet your match!” but Mate1.com had other plans. There’s literally nothing on the home screen but a very up-close-and-personal photo of a very pleasant looking woman in a very suggestive posture. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not pornographic or anything, but if her eyes could talk…I’d need a shower.
Aside from the homepage pin-up, the design was pleasingly sparse. The sign up box on the right, however, did feature one optimization that I haven’t seen on sites like eharmony or JDate: the box told me to “Meet North Carolina Singles.” I immediately felt like Mate1 knew something about me, even if it did just come from my cookies and IP address. It’s something.
Come On In
I entered in my basics: woman seeking man, etc. and after hitting submit was told that over “2000 members” were available in my area. Well, hot dog! That’s like, 6 bars full! I entered in some more info, including my “nickname,” then met another screen telling me I could enter after filling out another mini profile. At this point, although I was kind of sick of filling out info screens, I was invested so I stayed. Point for you, Mate1.com! The last step asked me to upload a photo, but I found a loophole in the “Finish Profile Later” button.
The first thing I noticed when I got into the site was about 10 thumbnail photos of attractive, young (ish) men. One was in the banner ad at the top promoting “Free communication week!” while several were clearly the results of my search. The last was a second banner ad, telling me to get more emails by filling out an “essay?” I’m sorry, what? An essay? I thought I was getting a boyfriend, not a GED.
Either way, my matches looked promising! The thumbnails did not feature very much info, just whether or not the guy had more photos and when he joined the site. Next to the (might I say, pretty decent) mens’ photos were options to Chat, Email, Flirt, or Hotlist. I clicked on View All Matches and was shown some more man mug shots, so to speak. I was impressed by the diversity in both ethnicity and age of the men Mate1 found for me.
I poked around a while, and figured out what some of the other offerings of the site were all about. The “Hotlist” turns out to just be a…list. You populate it yourself when you find someone you like – by clicking on their Hotlist button, you add them to your list which you can revisit later. Flirting is pretty similar to Facebook poking. By Flirting with someone, you pretty much are just saying “hey, you’re not terrible looking and your profile photo wasn’t terrifying…” At that point, the ball’s in the other person’s court, really. Unless you just want to Flirt incessantly until they eventually block you. Not that I would know anything about that.
So if most dating sites are Lady Gaga, Mate is…Taylor Swift. Other than these features, there’s not a whole heckuva lot to Mate One. It’s very simple in its execution which, depending on who you ask, is either a positive or a negative. Having just come from my Lavalife account, I felt a little shell shocked by the lack of tools on Mate.com, but hey, maybe that’s a good thing. Less distractions mean more time for actual human interaction, which is, afterall, why we’re all here. Here as in “poking around on the internet for sexy photos of other people” not here like “on this planet.”
Show Me the Money
So here’s where this Mate1.com review struck gold. I realized that I hadn’t seen an option anywhere to be a member, so I started digging around. Try as I might, I could not find a single way to pay Mate 1 for their services – highly unusual. So I did a little experiment. I went back through the whole process and signed up like I was a man… BINGO. Turns out, if you’re a man, Mate1.com wants you to pay to become a member, which means having access to all the messaging features women have for free. What Mate offers for men is a 3-day trial for only a couple of dollars which then automatically carries over into a monthly membership. The monthly rate is somewhat high (around $50) compared to other sites, but the page where men are asked to sign up is rife with pictures of beautiful women, pleading with their eyes. Excellent marketing, all in all.
I liked Mate1, for both its ease of use and for its, well, freeness. What the site lacked in bells and whistles it made up for in professionalism and subtle hints at sexuality. It truly seems like a good place to actually communicate with people rather than play with buttons, which is more than I can say for some sites. Although in today’s age of 14 second attention spans, it’s hard to say whether or not… I’m sorry, what were we talking about?