Most dating sites are not free. In fact, I've learned that a nice requirement to be on a singles site is that you are rich. Most will cost you about $70 a year, or $800 a decade, taking inflation into consideration. That seems to be a hefty price tag to find your soulmate. I think if I were to ever go on a date with anyone form those sites, I should wear a shirt that says "You cost me $70. It better be worth it.", but I'm afraid most people would get the wrong idea out of context.
Now a common trick most of these sites use is "A free site to find your date". Usually its a load of bull honkey. Sure, its free to sign up, but like most banks where you have to keep a minumum balance, there are strings attached. You can "wink" at someone, but can't actually message them. You can favorite people, but you can't check the mail they send you. Essentially think of it like putting an personal ad in the newspaper but leaving off the important facts like an address and phone number.
Then the site tries to "help you out". I put that phrase in quotes because they are worse than your aunt Mildred trying to hook you up with her neighbor. They will try to find people who match your criteria or people who you match on criteria. For example I'm a heavy asthmatic, so I can't date someone who smokes. I plainly checked the "must not smoke" check box. Then the site in its infinite wisdom matches me with Smokin' Sherri, the 45 year old who lives around the corner. Sometimes the suggestions are sound, but usually I will end up with a smoking, beer-chugging cougar. I have fetishes, but cougars are far from them.
Speaking of fetishes, sometimes you are waiting for that one special fish in the pond that matches and will make you feel whole. Say you have something for midgets. Sure, there are midget sites out there, but so few people know about them that the closest person you can find is in India. Forget $70 a year, try $300 plus tips. So you try a mainstream site and search for "midgets", but alas, you have to pay to search the site, or searching for midgets is only an option for "gold" users or maybe doesn't exist at all. You are better off stalking a stranger you meet in real life that looking for one online.
There are some good sites I have found that are actually free like connecting singles, plenty off fish, and sweet on geeks and are pretty good for what they provide. Sure, they are a little more barebones than most sites, but they get the job done just as much as the ones you have to pay for. That being said, I still haven't had much luck with those sites either. It has to stem from the following problem: Filling out boxes.
Sometime in the far off future computers will be able to interface with our brains and will automatically fill out information like credit card numbers and site login information. I will be a strong proponent for filling out the esoteric "Describe Myself" sections. One time isn't too bad, but when you multiply it even just by three sites it means having to type out paragraph long statements that you will have to update later on each of those sites. I'm pretty sure some sites say that I just started college. I even have trouble updating my profile on here let alone on sites I visit less often.
One thing I should do is just make a profile that will more or less always be current. "Hello, I am a morbidly obese guy who doesn't care to change that part of his life because I think you should live your life on this planet and not suffer. I have a thing for the Internet. I have to be on no less than 10 hours a day or else I might die. I also love anime that isn't too mainstream. I have seen Fullmetal Alchemist, but I just don't get it. I have graduated from college with two associate degrees and by the time you are reading this will be making lots of money. Most of this money will go towards my addiction to the Internet and anime. I also enjoy *insert cult classic title* right now on TV. I also love video games. I play whatever the current iteration of Smash Bros is right now and many other titles as well. I don't care for First Person Shooters, but you can find me shooting Nazis in the head once in a while. I also love monkeys, potatoes, and cheese. I know this is a long shot, but if any of these things mildly turn you on and you are a breathing feminine mammal, could you please message me?".
Sometimes, maybe once or twice a year at most I will get a message on a site that I am permitted to check my messages on. What prompted this entry is an email I got today from a site I haven't been on in months. Out of morbid curiosity, I checked it out, and was pleased to see that is was from a site that was meant for "geeks". Excited that it wasn't a bot (it happens a lot), it said she thought my profile was funny and she wanted to know more, ending with a winky emoticon with a teethy smile attached. I dismissed this faux pas and went right for her profile.
She was actually pretty. Sure, I have honestly seen better, but I have seen far worse here in redneckerton. She is working on getting a degree in psychology which I willl admit, excited me. Maybe its because I would have free psychoanalysis for the rest of my life. She goes on to describe that she loves television including Monty Python, Lost, and Family Guy (I will forgive her for that last one. A relationship needs compromise after all). She says she is definately more of a city/indoor person who doesn't drink or smoke. She also plays games like Halo and Super Smash Bros. Um...where do I sign? Then I read the most heartbreaking, deal breaking part of the bio. She lives in London. Monty Python should have been a tip off.
Now I do believe in true love, and while I'm not sure about "soul mates", I think there is someone for everyone out there. Am I going to let a "big blue wet thing" called the Atlantic Ocean come between me and happiness? Absoposilutely. Don't get me wrong, I don't think it would have worked out anyways, but I'm not about to pay $500+ just to get my heart crushed when it ends up being a gay person in disguise. I need something more local.
Or else I need to start making me a T-Shirt that says "You cost me over $500. It better be worth it.", but with a proper dollar to Euro/Pound conversion.