There are tons of online dating sites that SAY they are free but really have hidden costs that you don’t notice until you’ve already gone through a whole lot of time and effort. You can think of this as a public service article, which looks at two of the most notable free online dating services: Datehookup.com and Connectingsingles.com.
From technophile to physics major, fast food worker to code monkey, male or female, we all want to make a connection with another person and enjoy their company. It’s part of the human condition. Goodness knows there are tons of sites out there in cyberspace where one can pay to be matched up with other people, and there are always those chance encounters, but what is one to do otherwise? Most of us don’t want to spend money just to get a list of names that may or may not reject talking or meeting us. It’s hard enough to make a connection in the first place, and shelling out our hard earned cash just doesn’t appeal to many of us. Paying for dinner and a movie is one thing, but paying to meet someone is another. If you want to take an active role in your hunt for companionship, but you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg doing it, you may consider using one of the 100% free dating or personals sites out there.
There are plenty of sites out there that advertise themselves as ‘free’ and they do indeed allow you to set up an account and fill in information about yourself for free. Many of them even allow you to browse other members’ profiles, or even use a matchmaking system to pair you up with people who have like interests and/or values. But that’s when the other shoe drops. They want you to sign up to be a “gold member” (no Austin Powers jokes, please) or some other kind of “subscriber” to be able to communicate with the other folks on the site. Some of them even let you initiate contact but dangle the carrot of allowing you to read the responses until you pay, and some of the rates can seem absolutely outrageous. I am willing to pay for a cup of coffee or even a pizza and a DVD rental to make friends or more, but paying to interact with people I am interested in just seems unfair, at best.
So what is the alternative? Luckily, there are a few different sites out there with Cupid’s true intent in mind. Two of the most notable, to my way of thinking, are Datehookup.com and Connectingsingles.com.
Both of these sites have in common the fact that they don’t charge anything to use them, ever, but there are some slight differences that may be of interest to prospective members. Both sites require an email address to sign up, and both of them offer similar options for setting up your profile with pictures, “About Me” sections, etc. Where they differ, however, may be important to you.
Datehookup is a pretty straightforward site that offers you the chance to view other members’ profiles and make contact if you so desire, but that’s pretty much it. It’s a simple site, direct in it’s approach, and laid out in an uncomplicated and refreshingly utilitarian manner. If you enjoy being direct and prefer to make your own matches, Datehookup.com might be the way you want to go. When searching profiles, it does show you the different things you might have in common with the other person, but only so far as what interests or “tags” you both have on your profile. For example, if you put in your interests the tag, “cooking” then you’ll see a note telling you when someone you have found on a search also wrote “cooking”. This can be handy but was a bit cumbersome in my opinion. What if you put “cooking” and they put “making dinner” ? It’s essentially the same interest but you won’t see it come up as a match because it’s a different tag. All that being said, it still is a nice site just because it is 100% free and it’s so Spartan in it’s approach.
Connectingsingles is a bit more of a robust site that offers a lot more in the way of help finding your “ideal” match. From basic searches of other members’ profiles, to complex matchmaking tests, fun personality quizzes, live chat, e-cards, discussion groups, and even personal blogs, they offer a more rounded community and multiple levels of depth that Datehookup.com lacks. That’s not to say that either of them is inherently better than the other. It all depends on what you’re looking for in a dating site. If you want to do most of the work on your own, Datehookup.com is probably better for you. If you want help and support from beginning to end, as well as a nice online community to frequent even when you’re not looking to meet a prospective date, Connectingsingles.com is most likely the better bet.
I created a profile and tested both of the sites on Windows 7 32-bit Home Edition, using the latest version of Chrome as my browser. Both sites ran smoothly, without hiccups or interruptions. Connectingsingles.com takes a bit longer to load but that’s to be expected, considering how much more it offers. Additionally, and for the same reason, Connectingsingles.com took considerably longer to fill out my profile and get to my very first search and community interaction. I found both of the sites had a decent number of users that I was able to browse through, but over the course of a week I found that I got more responses from Connectingsingles.com. I noticed that more of the folks on Datehookup.com were only logging in once a week or once a month, whereas the folks on Connectingsingles.com seemed to log in much more frequently and be more active when they were logged in.
Whichever way you choose to go, it’s nice to know that there are free options out there for something that is important to most of us. Until next time, my friends!