“All kinds of people are doing it,” says Caploe, 54, a publisher who lives in New York City.
“It was—unbelievably—not a crazy experience.” Online dating has certainly lost its lonely-hearts stigma.
“The fact that e Harmony matched me with several women with whom I shared common interests led me to believe that I was seeing more quality matches.” At the same time, you shouldn’t write off a site just because it’s free.
Even Tinder, despite its reputation for attracting users seeking causal romance, may deserve a more open mind.
So when Roberta Caploe was ready to start dating again after a divorce, she didn’t ask her friends to fix her up or feel the need to frequent bars or health clubs.
“I’ve always assumed that putting anything behind a pay wall makes it more attractive and weeds out the casual users and trolls,” agrees Joseph Lynn, a Chicago man who used e Harmony and Match as well as a few free sites.
So a person who randomly sends out dozens of “hey” messages to would-be dates would have to pay a higher price to make contacts than someone who does it more selectively. Our survey suggests that 45 percent of online daters have tried multiple dating websites or apps.
In the meantime, the bottom line is that while some users think quality does come at a price, there are benefits to free dating services as well. Shopping links are provided by e Bay Commerce Network and Amazon, which makes it easy to find the right product from a variety of online retailers.
“That’s the real issue—how happy are people with their interactions on the dating sites,” says Scott Kominers, a lecturer in economics at Harvard University.
On a site like Ok Cupid anyone can send you a message, whereas on the free app Bumble or on Tinder or e Harmony, only people you are matched with can get in touch.