Monday, February 12, 2007

This Year's Price of Love

As Valentine's Day is fast approaching, I thought I would re-post this item I wrote last year.
All the prices still seem to be in effect, except for Yahoo Personals, which has gone up to $39.95 per month. I don't think anything else has changed, except that now has that rather dicey slogan "It's Okay To Look," or in other words, "We Make More Money if People Cheat on Their Spouses."

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

**2006 price. 2007 price is $39.95

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.


Anonymous said...

Craigslist is the sewer of internet dating, but I got lucky and met my girlfriend on it! We've been going out for a few days shy of two years now.

Bitty said... you live in NYC, and eHarmony has no one compatible with you? In all that big city?

You must be quite unique, Madame X? :)

makingourway said...

x, very interesting article.
i have quite a few friends that experiment with several of the services - never realized how expensive many of them are.
one friend, a texas medical professor told me the slow pace of eHarmony was too much for him. He's had more success on jdate -- maybe he'll find a Jewish Cowgirl?

Also, thanks for the boosts for the 30s and 40s Personal Finance Carnival - keep contributing!!

Regards, makingourway

Anonymous said...

eHarmony is only that price if you buy one month at a time. Once I signed on I got offers for lower prices-- *much* lower-- if I continued (which I did).

Anonymous said...

I joined eHarmony and I've gotten a number of matches (it takes some time), but I have about 40 possible matches right now, a few in communication stage, and about 140 closed matches (can't always get what you want).

Anonymous said...

In April 2000 I went on for a FREE two-week trial period. Within that time I scheduled 3 dates, went on 1, cancelled the other 2, and my husband and I have been very happy these past 6 (almost 7) years! Priceless!!
--Janice in NYC