Online Dating Services - A Review of eHarmony, Match.com, and Coffee Meets Bagel
So you've decided to dive deeper into the world of online dating. There are a few different apps and websites out there to try. Throughout my search to find love I utilized three online dating platforms: eHarmony, Match.com, and Coffee Meets Bagel. While eHarmony and Match.com require a type of paid subscription plan, I was able to find discount codes by searching the internet (so I highly suggest doing the same if you're interested). Coffee Meets Bagel is free and easy to access from your mobile phone.
My Experiences and Opinions...
The opinions covered below are from my experiences, please take them with a grain of salt. Everyone will have a different experience based on the service you use and what was right for me may not be right for you.
Coffee Meets Bagel
The last of the online dating platforms I tried, and honestly in my opinion the best of the three. Ironically, I only tried this app because a friend wanted advice on using it/creating her profile. It was hard for me to get behind the concept of a free service initially, but I was happy to be proved wrong. Coffee Meets Bagel is an app that you can download on your phone. After investing some initial time building my profile the app matched me with a couple of bagels per day (that's what the potential dates are referred to) and I was able to quickly indicate my interest level and continue on with my day. The app was designed to match you with people who you have someone in common with and uses your social media to make the connection. I wasn't sure how I felt about this initially, but honestly I only went out on one date that I had someone in common with. As a transplant to the area, I probably didn't have enough friends in my immediate area for that to always work. Never-fear, the app continued to connect me with people who they thought I had commonalities with.
It gives you only a few matches per day, and I felt this was less overwhelming than platforms like Match.com (or stories of friends experiences with Tinder - which I can't recommend due to stories I've heard). Once you make a connection you get to chatting through the app (no need to exchange numbers immediately), and then it gives you so many days to meet up in person or it disconnects you from the person. This was the most amazing part as it became really clear who was serious about meeting up and who just wanted a texting buddy. I also learned through this quick process to look at conversations closely to pay attention for key details as to whether someone was even worth meeting up with which is how I met my husband (more to come on this later).
eHarmony is the most expensive of the three. It has a very thorough profile builder experience and then started to match me with potential candidates. I had several dates that came of this service, but none of them really were for me. Overall, I found that the guys that I was matched with serious about the process and wanting to develop a relationship. I did meet someone on this site who was more of a serial dater, and didn't seem serious about the process, but I'm sure there is one of those everywhere you go. When I used the service you were relying on connecting through your phone and then getting the conversation from the phone to the meet-up and the struggle was very real with this. (This is why I really appreciated the Coffee Meets Bagel approach.) Obviously this is just my experience, but I would say that overall I wasn't impressed with the matches that I was getting through this service which was a bit disappointing due to the cost.
It is a nice streamlined service that seems like the least intimidating for online dating newbies.After a few months, I called it quits with this service due to the cost, and because I really wasn't finding what I was looking for. If you're new to the game and you want to decrease the risk of interesting messages (and I don't mean the good kind of interesting) then eHarmony may be worth a try.
Match.com shows you more potential matches at a time. To me it was like approaching a room full of people, which was a little overwhelming for this introvert. Anyone can message you in this service and I got some of the creepiest messages that I received from any of the services I utilized, but we wont go into detail about that. I also encountered a series of flakey men on this service, including the serial dater from the previous service that came around to message me again... go figure. While I did find some men on this service that were also very serious about the process, I didn't find anyone on here that I clicked with in the long run.
The service does give you the most options as far as people you can talk to, and I know people who've met the one on this site (so it is possible, just didn't work for me). Match.com also hosts a series of local events. I attended a speed dating event through the service, which left a little bit to be desired. It was an experience though, and who doesn't love those? Overall, if you want a website service with people who have to pay to subscribe (think about the commitment factor) with a variety of options open to you Match.com might be the service for you.