In this review I’m going to take a much closer look at the UK’s largest and most popular dating site: match.com.
But before I do, I have a confession to make… I’m a little biased towards match.com.
Why? Because I’ve had more relationships with people from this site than any other dating site in the UK. My brother also met his wife on match.com, another friend his fiancé, and two more friends their partners.
But despite my blatant favouritism, I have tried to write an honest and critical review. So hopefully you will be able to decide for yourself if this is the right dating site for you, or not.
Dating Site Health Snapshot
match.com was the world’s first online dating website, launching over 17 year ago in 1995. Their 17 years of matching making has resulted in over 160 members leaving the site every single day, not because they are dissatisfied, but because they found a partner on the site and no longer require the service.
Members on the site are aged from 18 years to 65 years old. But I have spotted that the number of members aged 65 and older has been growing in recent years; probably because our older generations are now more computer literate than ever before.
The majority of members are looking for a relationship, as opposed to a one night stand. The paid membership also helps to deter those who are not really serious about finding someone.
Their TV Ad
Creating Your Profile
When you visit the site for the first time, you’re presented with the simple sign-up form that you can see below.
It will take the best part of 90 seconds to fill out. Once complete, you are then asked a series of around a dozen or so questions, and finally you are asked to write a little about yourself. This completes your profile and you are then whisked away to a subscription page with their various payment options.
However, this can be a little confusing for new users, since you don’t actually need to pay immediately on joining; and you definitely shouldn’t. Instead you can close the payment screen, and then start a search to browse profiles and even send winks for free. This will give you a taste for the site, and also allow you to discover if there is anyone on the site that you are interested in.
I only recommend paying for the service one you have used the free version, and found a bucket full of potential matches that you would like to contact.
Features You’ll Find
When you log-on for the first time you’ll find a very intuitive interface, and it’s loaded with some pretty neat features too.
Take the Daily 6 feature for example. Some days you may be too busy to spend hours searching through the enormous number of profiles. This is where the Daily 6 comes in very useful by showing you 6 profiles each day based on preferences that you set. Unfortunately if you view all 6 and decide non of them are a match, then there is no option to generate 6 more; you must either wait until the next day, or perform a manual search. The Daily 6 is shown in the image below (I’ve blacked out all the private details and photos).
There is also The Quiz. Here you can choose from up to 20 pre-written questions which are then displayed in your profile for visitors to view and answer if they wish. Its been designed to gain an insight into ones character, but in a flirty and not too invasive way.
The search options are pretty extensive. You get two options, a quick search option where you just enter age, post code, distance, then hit the search button. And a second advanced option that allows you to be a lot pickier. You can also search for members born on the same day as you, and for members whose birthday it is on the present day. I don’t really see the benefit to the last two options, but maybe someone else does.
The mobile support options are very good, and there are apps for all major mobile handsets. I’ve only tried the Android app, which I found definitely makes using the site on a mobile faster, and the navigation simpler. The experience should be similar for the iPhone and Windows phones too.
If you are super attractive (luckily I’m not), you may find that you receive more messages than you can manage. In this case, you can enable the Contact Filter. This basically allows you to decide who can contact you on the site, and only members who meet your criteria will be allowed to message you. It’s also very useful if you don’t want to be contacted by members ten years older than yourself.
The Traffic Test
For most towns and cities in the UK you’ll find many people are registered and active. My local town has 55,000 inhabitants. And when I search for females between the ages of 25 and 30, over 200 profiles are returned. Extending this by 10 miles produces even more results.
However, before paying I recommend you perform a traffic test for your own local area. But providing you don’t live on the island of Canna in the Scottish Hebrides, I think you will find that there are more than enough members to choose from.
When you do perform a search, just make sure that the “online” checkbox is unchecked, since this will only return members who are currently online. I noticed that this seems to be checked by default for some odd reason.
The Scam Test
I always like to test how active scammers are on a dating site by not completing my profile description, and not uploading a photo for at least 7 days. If in this time you receive a number of messages and winks, it’s a clear sign that scammers are very active on the site. Real members don’t usually send messages to other members without a profile description or photo, but scammers are dumb, so they do, and so do computer generated scripts.
But match.com past this test with flying colours, so there is really no need for you to wait 7 days to get started. But for many other dating sites, I would definitely recommend making this test yourself.
It’s free to register your profile and browse existing members. But to message other members (which you really need to do if you’re to meet anyone on the site,) you need to take out a full membership. The 2013 membership prices for match.com are as follows:
£12.99 per month with a 6 month membership (56% Saving)
£19.99 per month with a 3 month membership (33% Saving)
£29.99 per month with a 1 month membership
You can also pay about £10 more per month for an option that allows other non-paying site members to contact you for free. Personally I don’t think it’s worth paying the extra, and I’ve never paid it myself. Non-paying members are often less serious about commitment, so by not paying for this, you are also filtering them out.
Please note that match.com does use automated re-billing (like most dating sites). This means that unless you cancel your subscription before it expires, it will be extended automatically. I always recommend cancelling this ASAP, then deciding later whether to re-new or not. Cancelling the subscription will not affect your membership; you will still have full use of the site until your 1, 3 or 6 month period expires.
Good and Bad Points
Largest and most popular dating site in the UK
Mobile apps for all major devices
Very easy to use
High percentage of members are looking for a serious relationship
High cost of a single month’s membership
If you are fed-up with being alone, cooking meals for one, and not having anyone to scratch your back, then match.com is a great place to start your search for a partner.
Of all the dating sites in the UK, it’s the one that I believe offers the most value and potential for singles that are serious about breaking out from their singledom.
My only criticisms are in regards to the subscription renewals, and the cost for a single month. But providing you cancel your subscription sooner rather than later, it will not be a problem. And since finding your soulmate often takes longer than 4 weeks (unless you’re incredibly lucky), then you will find much better value in the 3 and 6 month options.
So are you ready to leave your singleton days behind you?
If you are, then www.match.com is just a click away.
Write Your own Review of match.com
It would be great to hear about your own views on match.com. So please do bookmark this page, then pop back when you have a story to tell (positive or negative).
Not great but not terrible either
UPDATE - I realised after I posted my review that I'd gotten the Android app and the mobile version of the site confused. It's the mobile version of the site that gives differing search results compared to those from the 'normal' site. I can't comment on the app since I haven't used it. Apologies for any confusion.
Match may have the most prominent advertising but it's certainly not the best site I've ever used by a long shot. The search facility does not seem to pay any attention to the geographical criteria you set so you get search results back with many, many people who live way beyond where you are considering which means you have to go through them all and hide the ones who live too far away and this is very time consuming. This problem has apparently been around for a long time.
Additionally, the Daily 6 facility does not seem to work properly at all. The system knows my preferences but the people it suggests could not be more invalid (as it were) if it tried. Just about the only thing it gets right is the gender :-)
On top of this, the Android app gives different search results from a saved search compared to running the same search on a PC. Very poor indeed.
The final issue I have with the site is that it appears to me to be infested with scammers. Every time I use the site I end up reporting several fake profiles to Match. They will 'favourite' your profile and if you respond you get a poorly worded email back asking you to email them at a Hotmail or AOL account. I can spot the scammers now (the typical ones anyway) but it's incredibly annoying that there are so many and Match seems incapable of dealing with them. It shouldn't be difficult.
You're probably wondering why I stick with Match when I make it sound so bad. Well, I do so because they have far more people on the site than other sites I've used. If you're in London you can use any dating site since there are so many people looking for love there but outside of the capital there are slimmer pickings. Other reasons are that the support people at Match are actually helpful (with the exception of being unable to deal with the scammers) and the 6 month subscription price is good.
So, I hope that gives you a fair assessment of what the site is like. I've been using it for a while now so I believe I'm giving an accurate picture. Don't write off the site but there are better out there e.g. Guardian Soulmates.
I disagree in that I had an extremely bad experience on this site. I prefer a certain type of man (i.e. race) and when I look at a new site, I always try and suss out if there are men that I will be attracted to on there. I did this on Match.com, found loads and then joined. Once I had paid and did the exact same search, the amount of men who came up on my search was only a few! Most of the ones I'd see didn't even exist in the search. I complained enough to get a refund, but would definitely NOT recommend this site to anyone. I'd heard so much good about it that it was really disappointing.
Worked for me!
I met my husband on match, and he was my first ever date on the site! beginners luck perhaps? :)
Were to look next?
Joined Match 4 yrs ago and corresponded with four different guys, one of whom I met three times - a nice guy, but ultimately not someone I was attracted to. I can't move forward if I don't want to kiss the man, it's that simple. Anyway, after living in France for sometime; and failing to find love in one of the most romantic cities in the world. I returned to the UK and checked out Match once again, and guess what?... pretty much the same faces that were on there 4 yrs previous. Where to look next?
I was on eHarmony for a while, but I never really got to grips with their compatibility matching system, so thought I'd give match a try. First guy I met turned out to be a cheating rat with a few other women on the go. Second guy was almost a foot shorter than what his profile said (apparently a data entry mistake) But the third guy I've now been dating for just over 4 months :) hope that helps someone, good luck.