Monday, September 3, 2012

Match.com: Online Dating for Baby Boomers


With people living longer and America's active baby boomers reaching retirement age, more and more technically savvy people are turning their attention and hopes to online dating services in order to find (or replace) Mr. or Ms. Right. Just over the past two years, the number of singles older than 50, who joined one of the dating sites run by People Media -- the number one provider of targeted, online dating communities for singles seeking meaningful relationships -- skyrocketed 400 percent.

The most popular online dating sites among active older adults are the market leaders, like Match.com and eHarmony.com, which serve millions of people of all ages and thus have the biggest pool of potential mates. Due to a rising demand on these services, there are lots of niche sites for active older adults offering their services as well.

In this post, we will review one of the leading websites for online dating – Match.com.

Match.com is one of the largest general interest dating sites on the Internet and one of the most successful at bringing people together. According to the website, every year more than 200,000 people find the person they were seeking by using Match.com. Match.com also offers many advantages for seniors dating, and based on the latest report, people 50 and older represent its fastest growing user segment.

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Overview

Founded in 1995, Match.com offers many user-friendly features to make online dating easy, rewarding and fun, whether you are a newcomer or a veteran. The large number of Match.com members increases your chances of finding many more interesting matches close to home, and allows you to be as selective as you want.

Having a large membership also makes Match.com a good choice for baby boomers and seniors because its huge user base guarantees that you will find someone your age in your geographical area.

Match.com has many features which will be useful for seniors dating. The personality test should be a great start, whether you wish to find mature ladies or allow the test to play matchmaker. This is a free online dating site to join, however a paid membership will be required to access all of the features.

Match.com has also made it very easy among dating sites to search for new people. There is a wide range of criteria that you can choose to narrow your search, ranging from quick searches to more advanced types of searches. With many senior dating sites you do not have nearly as many options.

Probably the most unique feature is the famous guarantee. Sign-up for 6 months, and if you have not met someone special, you will receive an additional 6 months for free!

Match.com claims to have "inspired twice as many marriages as any other site in the world." According to the Match.com web site: “We are a personals site making your online dating experience the best. We prove that an online dating personals site can really lead to a long-lasting sincere relationship."

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Membership Base

  • More than 29 million members
  • Serves both heterosexual and gay singles
  • Married people are not allowed to register for Match.com
  • Around 17% of women and 16% of men signing up for Match.com are older than 50.


How Much Does it Cost?

It is free to post a profile, browse and search for matches on Match.com. This is a good way to ease into online dating, because it lets you get a feel for what kind of people are on Match.com looking for potential matches, and gives you an idea of what kind of potential matches you could make before you pay a membership fee.

To contact someone, however, you have to be a paying member. Joining Match.com will also let you take advantage of the full range of services available on the site. Match.com offers a variety of subscription packages and discounts to meet the diverse needs of its members. A basic, one-month subscription costs $29.99, which is in the typical monthly fee range for most large dating websites.

Before you decide to upgrade for the subscription package from a free plan, we do recommend searching for Match.com discount coupons online. For example, as of today, you can get 20% off your membership dues.

How Safe is It?

Match.com has a well-deserved reputation for protecting member privacy and for going the extra mile to make using the site as safe and worry-free as possible for its members.
This website does collect and store limited personal information. Some of this information, mainly demographic data, may be shared with third party business partners. It should also be noted that this information is only used for marketing purposes and each member is able to opt-out of these messages. The site will also share information with authorities, if the need arises.

According to Match.com in relation to the private information, obtained from the users, “What happens at Match.com stays at Match.com. We use a double-blind email system to preserve your privacy. It replaces your real email address with your username and "talkmatch" domain (ex: sportsgirl@talkMatch.com), then forwards your messages to the members you’re emailing.”

All other forms of communication between member, such as instant messaging, video and audio also have built-in features that allow members to remain anonymous.

Match.com reviews all profiles and photos before they are posted to make sure they are appropriate and free of suggestive or profane images and language.

WARNING: No matter how safe the site claims to be, use the same caution and common sense with Match.com that you would in any dating situation when you’re first getting to know someone. Release as minimum personal information as required to get started. You can disclose more in the process of getting close with your potential match.

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Match.com Login and Signup

The match.com sign-up procedure is very quick and easy. You can become a free standard member within about sixty seconds, and the completion of a single screen of basic data.

After you are registered, you will be presented with an option to upgrade your account. It is highly recommended that you take advantage of this. Without an upgraded membership, you will simply not be able to take advantage of all the services and features offered. Also, you would not be eligible for the famous guarantee. It is also recommended that you purchase the 6 month value plan, this is indeed the best value, and also comes with the guarantee of finding someone special within that time period. This is the best and most unique guarantee in the industry.

Although tools such as personality tests and quizzes are available here, these are not required in order to sign up or become a member. However, you may wish to take advantage of some of these later, to gain deeper insight into yourself and potential matches.

User Search Experience

Match.com has developed a very senior friendly search experience. You are never far away from receiving help if there is ever a question. This is one of the internet sites that you can actually pick up the phone and call customer service. There are also a number of places on the site where members can read helpful articles and advice about dating, relationships, and a number of other related topics.

Searching through the member database is also very easy, and broken into several options including basic and advanced. Do not let the names fool you, both are easy to execute and sort through your results. The basic search allows you to narrow your choices according to a limited number of search criteria. This includes basic information such as sex, age, location, height, weight, faith, ethnicity, etc… The advanced search allows even more customization, using such factors as sports, exercise preferences (activities), common interests, political views and more.

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Personality Profile

To get noticed in the world of online dating, you'll need a profile to show would-be dates, no two ways about it. The best step with Match.com (and other dating sites for that matter), is to complete your profile and add some decent photos (the option is there to import photos from a Facebook account) as soon as you join. New members have their profiles highlighted for a certain period of time - you should take full advantage of this. You don't want any potential interests clicking your profile and finding it's empty. If you have a completed profile, at least they'll have the opportunity to get to know you a little bit more before deciding whether to exchange emails - it gives you an edge because it shows that you've taken the time to write something thoughtful.

Match.com's personality profile can be split into two different parts: the first part is all about you and what you're like, while the second part goes into what you are looking for in a date or partner. It's pretty standard stuff, mostly about your likes and dislikes, your principles and values, whether you expect your partner to make so-and-so income or have such-and-such education and whether such things are dealbreakers for you. But there is the occasionally entertaining question such as asking you which title you'd choose for a particular book cover if you were given free-reign as the publisher, or what you'd do if you receive a nice fat bonus from your employer (Give it to charity? Go on a shopping spree?)


It should take around 15-20 minutes to write a complete and thorough profile. A well-written profile will always stand out from the rest, so do ensure that you put a little effort into it if you want to see good results.

Pros and Cons of Match.com

Special features of Match.com:
  • Match.com offers a free online magazine called Happen, “because love doesn’t come with instructions,” which provides articles and advice on relationships, dating, sex and romance, along with special features such as reader polls.
  • Match.com offers a handy keyword search called MatchTalk, making it easier to find people who share your interests or meet your criteria. Want someone who likes hiking and foreign films? Search those keywords to find Match.com profiles containing both terms.
  • Match.com offers wireless dating with Match.com Mobile, allowing members to use mobile phones for anonymous and secure wireless matching and online dating services.
  • Match.com now offers a 6-month guarantee: if you don't find someone special in 6 months, they will give you 6 months free.

Potential drawbacks of Match.com:
  • It is hard to find a list of membership levels and fees on the website, so you'll have to register before you find out about the Match.com membership options and costs.
  • Match.com profiles vary widely; some members take the time to write thoughtful introductions that tell you about themselves, and some don't. This doesn't mean they're bad people, but you might have to work harder at communication.
  • Are you a computer novice? Don't let the instant messaging, video and audio options scare you off. Plain old email works just fine.  Yes, having a lot of options might be quite confusing.                    
  • Company has automatic-renewal policy, billed on the website as "Continuous Service". Unless you cancel your membership before the end of the membership period you signed up for, Match.com automatically renews your membership plan at the end of that period.
  • Flash advertisements on the website can be disturbing.

If you choose to register with Match.com, consider this advice: Be honest in your profile, treat people with respect, and if you don’t find the perfect match, try another online dating site.

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