Monday, February 13, 2006

The Price of Love

No, this is not the post where I detail how much prostitutes charge for their various services. I'll write about that next week, and anyway, that is sex, not love.

Instead I thought I'd post a little wrap-up on the financial aspects of a few of the popular online dating sites, for anyone who might need a little last-minute Valentine's Day help!

Site Price per month Asks Income Level? Sexual Orientation/users $29.99 yes All
eHarmony $49.95 yes Straight only
Jdate $34.95 yes Jewish, mostly straight
PlanetOut $12.95 no Gay/lesbian
Yahoo Personals $24.95 yes All

If you need a cheap date in a hurry, gay is the way to go-- PlanetOut not only has the lowest monthly price, they offer a 3-day membership for only $4.95! As for eHarmony, it's a shame only heterosexuals can waste a full day filling out their interminable questionnaire only to be told there are no matches in their area. (I swear I only did it for research purposes!)
I also wanted to check whether the profile questionnaires on these sites included a question about income level-- this is something some of my friends and I were debating. A few of us thought it was really obnoxious, or tacky, or at least unromantic, for someone to say they only want to date people who make a certain amount of money. But on the other hand, money is a real compatibility issue. If I were designing a dating site, I'd include questions about savings and spending habits, not just income level.

Of course if you want to do all this completely for free, most of these services offer some level of limited access without having to pay-- except eHarmony, which won't put you in touch with anyone until both of you fork over. And if you're really trying to be frugal, there's always Craigslist.

Happy hunting! And happy Valentine's Day.


Stewart Paske said...

Love the facts. Down with Valentines! lol.

. said...

Cute analysis!

Caitlin said...

I'm with stoob...down with valentine's day! (or celebrate it every day...all or nothing people!!!) but that is QUITE a table you have there ;)

loved the comparison!

Tiredbuthappy said...

Clever idea, Madame.

In our house we wish each other a "happy hallmark day" and if we're not too burned out from work and toddler-herding, we exchange home-made cards.

Is it weird that I feel nostalgic for my single days, when I'd make popcorn and watch Casablanca with my friends?

Anonymous said...

I've heard that about eHarmony. Paying $50 and having the computer tell you that no one else can deal with your personality. Speed dating can run you up to $30 for 10-20, 5 minute 'dates'.

piannist said...

We'll find out how well eHarmony works - my dad met his girlfriend of 4 months through them and plans on proposing tonight. Maybe they'll end up on that commercial!

Anonymous said...

"If you need a cheap date in a hurry, gay is the way to go"

LOL!!- How often do you hear that?

Anonymous said...

You do some good journalism over there, you know. Slap on a clever lede, add some quotes from the companies owners, interview a psychiatrist and some lonely hearts and this goes right in the metro section of the NYTimes.