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Undercover Match.com Review

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Match - This undercover review was submitted by a current member of Match.com. It is unedited for content. Please visit the Match service for more complete and up-to-date details.

To read aLoveLinksPlus.com's current in-depth review of Match.com, go to this page.

Consistently rated as one of the top 10 destinations online for singles (Forbes.com) your basic membership begins when you join and your profile remains active until you decide to hide it or remove it from the Match system. With one of the most comprehensive profile questionnaires we've seen, you will know you are meeting serious singles when they have completed the basic and extended areas of their submitted profile. Be sure to include your photo with your profile to get more searchers finding you and more responses to your profile too. The well known Match dating service includes Talkmatch.com email and the MatchScene online magazine.

Contact Info: For complaints or inquiries about the Match service use the on-site comments form that can be found by the "Contact Us" link on most pages or send a postal mail inquiry to:
Match.com
P.O. Box 940889
Plano, Texas 75094
USA

Disclaimer: Please note that all screenshots, graphics and information remains the property of their respective owners and is used here for informational and reviewer purposes only. The information presented here was current at the time of publication but may change by the time you visit the service reviewed. The opinions are solely those of the aLoveLinksPlus.com staff and may not be reprinted, in whole or in part, without prior written permission. 2002, 2003, 2004 aLoveLinksPlus.com, cheerful attitude web design and Robert Lee

Undercover Review

Hi Rob,

I must admit, I've never seen a more informative site on the new-millennium dating scene. (And, as is my nature, I have do have comments and suggestions, but since it's not the subject du jour, I'll save 'em for later!)

Let me first start by saying that I've been a subscriber to match.com for just over two months -- this time around. I've had a few brief forays into the digital dating scene, the first as a co-creator/guinea pig for love@aol (now, of course., Match.com). Way back when, it was such a novelty, and my cohorts at AOL thought me mad to do it, I got to "test the waters" as it were, and although I didn't meet my match, I made some great friends that last to this day. In the past few years I've come back to what is now match.com, and participated in beta versions of e.g. love.com (AOL's new service), so although I don't consider myself an expert online datester, I'm hardly a neophyte.

Now, some interesting things have happened, not just with competition becoming fierce, but with the genre of people who use these services, and in particular, match.com. In just over a year, when I last joined, albeit for a brief time, I've seen it turn from vestiges of the digital age (and the usual amount of fruits and nuts), to a veritable mainstream of middle to upper-middle class folks from all walks of life. I noticed that the demographics have changed considerably; this isn't for the "kids" anymore!

I've perused some of the sites meant specifically for the twentysomething crowd, the "friend" sites, and a few competitive services to match.com, but to date, no other service can touch them for their sheer number of subscribers. Without having conducted full-on research, I think it's safe to say that the demos are skewing somewhere in the mid-thirties, but I'd love to see the bell-curve (I may have to do this yet) where an age-range drops considerably on the higher end of the scale.

I'm aware that I've not written anything that would have psychologists rushing off to... whereever they rush to, but I do have a point in stating the obvious. First, although the demos are growing chronologically, the match.com approach can only be described as being obtuse to the needs of people who care a heck of a lot less about a person's hair or eye color, their "perfect date" (from a pull-down menu, no less), and too many other things that speak to a veneer or are just plain silly.

In short, they take the categorical approach, and I am not the only one to see this as an immense obstacle to actually getting a take on the person behind the persona. Seemingly, to balance the questions most of us don't bother with in more than a facile manner, they allow two 2000 character blocks which, by my estimation, scare most people silly, save for a few who earn their wage by the written word (a category in which I fit, ergo why my innumerable profile revisions have undoubtedly put a few match.com editor/censors into overtime. But writers, and other ego-maniacs aren't the norm (thank God), which leave the majority of men and women in a true quandary when faced with those large blank white spaces. Spend an hour or so reading though them, and it's obvious.

So, on the one hand, we are given nothing but a few (insipid) radio buttons or pull downs to categorize what most of us would like to think, can't be categorized so, well... superficially. On the other hand, as if the match.com content staff ran out of ideas to help us best describe ourselves, our desires, our hopes, and what we seriously hope to gain from using their service. Granted, they did give us a few more "write-in" sections for our personal "Hot Spots", etc, still the approach is beyond superficial, it's undignified. This may well suit their marketing department , given all the add-on services, but it doesn't serve as any more insightful than a contrived conversation with a stranger in a meet-market. And I think I speak for the over-thirty -- and up -- subscribers when I say that we came (in droves!) to Match.com to get away from that sort of thing.

To sum up part one of my criticisms of Match.com, the categorical approach just isn't doing it for most of us (and I've spoken to quite a few), the personality test (let's be honest, the abridged MG/Kiersy), and the new tests that are so banal as to not even be worth the mention, only serve to make us all throw up our hands (if not our lunch), feeling even less of *anyone's* catch than before we started. Of course, there are exceptions -- I met my former husband in a bar, too. So much for success stories.

My final (major) critique is the lack of any interactive online forum (bulletin boards or even moderated chatrooms). Having had some background in digital media, I can only assume that the match.com brass would consider such a concept as *community* as a detriment to their bottom line. I have a news-flash for them: The competition grows, not just in numbers, but with a good deal of savvy (and heavy start-up capital for what has proven to be the highest growth mainstream form of "entertainment" in digital format). Match.com may be at the head of the pack today, but for how long when they intentionally keep their members from anything more than the tedious one-on-one correspondences (we didn't sign up to be Pen Pals, after all), and for those who can't abide more than one or two written exchanges, the nervous parties are then only armed with facile overviews of each other when they take the "next step", be it a phone conversation or the big "meet". And I speak of two people who might very well, if given the chance with some much needed assistance by Match.com, have a deeper understanding of the other, and to this end, a better chance at a "match". (I use the term loosely, as all relationships are matches in their way.)

A relationship is a process, not an end-goal, but this is just how Match.com prefers to treat it. I hope they take a closer look at their subscriber base (and their bottom line) and understand that people can't be categorized by their veneer, nor can they be cut-off from each other without a community of open communication.

To end on a personal note, as much as I try to paint a portrait of who I am within the Match.com framework, invariably, I've only managed a silhouette -- or worse -- a caricature, which I find, particularly given the bit of wisdom attributed to my age-group, undignified and at worst, demeaning. I just believe that people of all age groups deserve a bit more for their $20/month.

Thanks for listening to this Match.com subscriber's frustrating POV. (One of a growing number who share it, though.) Still, as frustrated as I am with the service at present, I'd like nothing better than to go "under cover" and find out what's in store. Hey, I might be pleasantly surprised! Certainly my critique couldn't be any more negative than this! :)

Regards,
KE

 

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This review is not solicited, although a reward is paid when submitted and published on aLoveLinksPlus.com. This article is not available for reprint and is copyright 2004 aLoveLinksPlus.com and Robert Lee. All rights reserved.

 

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