Dating Services Reviews

OkCupid

Almost all of the top dating sites require some sort of payment in order to utilize their best features for more than a week and OkCupid is one of the only free dating sites that can compete with them. With a ton of unique features not offered at other sites, a searchable profile database, and a strong matchmaking system, OkCupid is a fun and free alternative to the other popular dating sites.

Signing Up
Getting started at OkCupid was quick and easy. At the welcoming home page, you will be asked initial questions about your gender, sexual orientation, and relationship status. Next, you will be taken to a page asking for your date of birth, physical location, as well as your email and a username. Once you submit this information, you will be a full, registered user at OkCupid. You will be directed to your home page where you can begin filling out your profile and taking advantage of all the free features.

Profile
Filling out your profile at OkCupid does not involve a long-winded process of answering seemingly random questions. Instead, the profile is composed of a series of essay questions in which you can manually type out individual answers. This process allows for more creativity and personality in the profiles. At the top of the profile, you can type in three words to describe yourself. Examples of the profile essay fields include "What I am doing with my life," "six things I could never do without," and "you should message me if." You can even import your interests to the OkCupid site from your Facebook profile. The other two sections of the profile include "basic information" and "my details" and outline your general information and criteria. Much of the matchmaking, however, is done according to the questions you answer and tests you take on your home page.

Features
OkCupid offers a surprising amount of features considering that membership is completely free. Members have free access to all of the basic tools and features available at other pay sites, such as instant messaging, email, and profile searching/browsing. On top of these basic features that usually cost money at other sites, OkCupid also offers a lot of features that are unique to them.

The QuickMatch tool featured at OkCupid is a matchmaking system that will instantly match you with someone compatible. The beauty of this system is found in its rating system. When you click "QuickMatch" on your OkCupid home page, you will instantly be taken to the profile of another user that is seemingly compatible. On the top right corner of the page, you will have the option to rate the user from one to five stars. You can choose not to rate the user, but doing so will not help you narrow your future QuickMatch results nor will it help inform the other user of reactions to their profile. Once you have ranked the QuickMatch and possibly even messaged or saved them in your profile to return to later, you will be moved on to the next QuickMatch. This process is more appealing than the "search and browse" method to many people and allows users to focus more on each individual member.

The most common complaint about OkCupid involves its profile database and the random, often unappealing members. Because the site offers its services for free, anybody can join. A major reason people join expensive dating sites is to avoid the risk of being matched with people who are not serious about finding true love. They believe that if someone is dedicated enough to spend money on a membership, they must be serious about finding a mate. OkCupid should not be considered a serious dating site, but more of a fun community of people looking to meet other people.

The questions and tests at OkCupid are some of its most unique features and add an element of fun and creativity to the site. Not only can you take topical tests created by the staff at OkCupid, but you can also take tests created by members of the site. Obviously, you will be able to make your own tests as a member as well. The tests in both sections involve topics on anything from love, dating sites and sex to movies and music.

These tests are not only fun ways to spend some time online, but they help to refine your search for a compatible mate. When you view another user's profile, you can look at the tests they have taken as well as the results they received. Taking these tests informs other users who view your profile of the types of things you are interested in, what you generally think about, and how your own results came out. When you've taken the same quizzes as another user and received the same results, you already have something in common to talk about. The questions created by the staff at OkCupid are designed to show other users the kind of lifestyle and belief system you live by. The first question on your home page after signing up asks, "If you had to name your greatest motivation in life thus far, what would it be?" You can choose to answer as many or as few questions as you like, but your chances of meeting someone truly compatible will increase if you spend time answering them honestly. When viewing other users' profiles, you are able to see questions they have taken as well as their answers to them.

OkCupid also offers forums and journals to allow the members to communicate outside of simply finding individual users and messaging them. The forums provide a sense of community to the site and include discussions on subjects like online dating, relationships, and even profile tips. The journal system on the site is similar to Facebook or Twitter, allowing users to post and read updates about any topic.

Pricing
The most appealing aspect of OkCupid is the pricing. To become a member at OkCupid and utilize their tools costs absolutely nothing. As one of the only quality dating sites offered for free, OkCupid can compete with major dating sites by offering the same features at no cost.

If you would like to experience every option and feature OkCupid has to offer, you can utilize their "A-list Extras" option. For $9.95 per month, you will have access to extra features within the OkCupid site such as the ability to attach photographs to messages, save multiple search inquiries, and browse the site without advertisements. Although the service provides a few extra tools to find a compatible match, it doesn't seem necessary when you can browse, search, instant message, and email other members on the site for free.

Other Reviews
There are very few negative reviews about OkCupid, mostly because they offer their services at no cost yet compete with the best services in the industry. At About.com, the professional reviewer gave OkCupid a 5 out of 5. Consumer Search named the website their "best free site." At No1Reviews, the professional review gave the site a 3.5 out of 5 while its online user ratings averaged out at 4.5 out of 5, an impressive number considering the low average within user reviews of dating sites. Finally, DatingDame.com gave OkCupid a 4 out of a possible 5.

Conclusion
The beauty of OkCupid is that you truly have nothing to lose. With no cost for membership and free access to all of its major features, it seems like the site will continue to grow over time. This will definitely help increase the lower number of profiles in their database, compared to other major dating sites.

In the online dating industry, it is rare for a service to allow communication for free. Offering free access to instant messaging and emailing within a dating site is almost non-existent, so to do so with such a clear and well-designed layout is impressive. They are basically offering for free what the other dating sites essentially charge for. Aside from a lack of member verification and a relatively low number of users, OkCupid is the best online dating service for your money.

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