Here’s some truth. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to find love and also wanting to be budget-conscious. If you can find the man or the woman of your dreams (or the flavor of the month, depending on what you’re looking for) without shelling out cash to pay for a dating app, more power to you, right?
But are free dating apps worth it? Is it worth paying for a premium dating site membership? Can you get great results through free dating apps?
The Benefits and Problems with Free Dating Apps
The obvious benefit of free dating apps is…well…that they’re free. They aren’t going to cost you any money to get signed up and start messaging with other singles. And if budget is a big concern, this can seem like a pretty big win. However, as you’ll see when we start talking about the cons of free dating apps, they may actually end up being more expensive.
Let’s check out some of those drawbacks you should be aware of.
Limited Quality Filters
One of the reasons that you pay for a dating site is not just to get access to their members. A lot of that money (at a quality site) is taken and put right back into the site to increase the quality of your experience.
This means hiring staff and putting technology in place to delete fake profiles, proactively go after scammers, and moderate the quality of the experience. And free dating sites aren’t going to have the resources to be able to offer this.
In other words, you’re going to find more real accounts, fewer scammers, and a better dating experience through most paid dating apps.
High-quality dating sites not only pour money back into keeping the membership ranks clean, but they also invest money into updating and adding features. These features go a long way to helping you have better luck finding the right type of person for what you’re looking for.
The biggest area you see this is with the matching algorithms. Paid dating sites tend to invest a lot of money in the search functions and match recommendations. In other words, they use data from past users to show you higher quality matches that are likely to be more fitting for you.
It Can Be More Expensive
Speaking of finding the right person, when you’re looking at costs, you have to factor in the costs of going on bad dates. If you use a free dating app and have to go on five crummy dates before you find someone of quality, that can get expensive. But if you pay a few bucks up front for a dating site and you get a great match right out of the gate, that’s five dates worth of money you saved by investing in quality from the start.
And all of that doesn’t take into account the value of your time you’d waste on those crummy dates.
So, Are Free Dating Apps Worth It?
In our strong opinion, no, free dating apps aren’t worth the headache to save a couple dollars. Remember, you aren’t out looking for a new t-shirt or a new restaurant to try. You’re out here looking for someone to spend quality time with…someone to care about and share your feelings with. If that’s not worth investing a few bucks into getting it right, we don’t know what is.
You Can Still Respect Budget Concerns
Does that mean you should run out and sign up with the most expensive online dating app to get the best results? 100% no. You can still pay for a dating app AND be budget-conscious at the same time. If you want to know just how much a dating app costs, check out our directory of dating app costs. We keep this list up to date with the most recent pricing from the most popular dating apps. You might be surprised how affordable a lot of the options are.
Leverage Free Trials
Another great way to be cost-conscious when picking out an online dating site is to utilize free trials. While you will still need to upgrade to get access to all of the features needed to find someone special, these dating site free trials let you search through matches, set up your profile, and test out features. It’s the single best way to make sure that when you do upgrade, it’s with the right site.
Here are some great options to get you started now.