Match.com is one of the world’s best-known dating sites, with a large user base and a finely tuned algorithm to help pair up singles. Creating a profile only takes a few minutes and – crucially – it’s a simple process, which means that even those who feel a little overwhelmed by modern dating can navigate the platform.
Overall, this is one of the best online dating sites and apps that’s available. You can set yourself up with a profile in under five minutes, there are plenty of singles to browse and we found that we averaged 10 matches within the first 24 hours and received 14 messages.
There are a couple of drawbacks. You can’t message other members unless you have a paid subscription and the profile building feels restrictive. But given that Match.com has a fairly decent success rate (there are thousands of success stories available to browse on the site) we reckon it’s worth splashing out if you’re still searching for the one.
Match.com: Best features
Match.com is one of the few dating platforms that offers a compatibility rating, which feels like a helpful way of narrowing down the field. When we tried it out, we found that the majority of our matches were rated at 80% compatibility or above, so the quality of the pairings is fairly high.
This rating is influenced by the information you provide when you sign up to the service, which relates to your own physical appearance and personality traits, along with some extra details about what you’re looking for in a partner. You can also say if something is a deal-breaker for you, so if you want kids one day you’ll be paired with a single member who feels the same way.
In theory, this should mean that you can find ideal matches, with good compatibility ratings. However, if you want to browse a few profiles before you really dive into the process, you can opt to withhold this information and start a session in ‘incognito’ mode. This is a clever way to assess whether or not there’s a good dating scene near you before committing to the process. When we tested out three different profiles, we found between 10 and 11 matches over 24 hours, but these numbers could vary by location and dating preferences.
Prior to the outbreak of Covid-19, Match.com hosted a lot of in-person events for its members, including cocktails evenings and bowling sessions. These are on hold for now, but you do have the option of having a virtual video date on the platform instead.
Match.com is also available as an easy-to-use app, which functions in a similar fashion to Tinder (lots of profile swiping.) It also has a ‘stories’ mode, so you can build a little video to show users what you’re doing throughout the day.
Match.com: The drawbacks
The biggest drawback on the site is the messaging system. In brief, you need to have a paid subscription to message other users. If a paying member messages you, you can see that they’ve messaged but you can’t read what they’ve written. This is a little frustrating, which is why we recommend you try the free version to start with then upgrade if you’re confident that there are some good matches in your area.
It’s also worth pointing out that the age range of users on Match.com leans towards the 30 - 49 bracket. In 2015, Match.com reported that there were 2.39 million users in North America, of which 52% were aged between 30 - 49. A recent report from Statista suggests that this is still broadly the case, with the majority of users falling into the 30 - 44 bracket.
Another small flaw is the profile building system. Although you’re given free rein to write out your profile, you only have a predetermined number of ‘interests’ you can choose for your account, such as “coffee and conversation” or “playing cards”. We prefer options like those used on eHarmony and Plenty of Fish, which gives you the option to answer questions about your personality and interests on a sliding scale.
It’s also not the ideal platform for bisexual singles, as it only gives users the option to state one gender in your preferences. Match.com states that it can accommodate this, if you contact the customer care team, but it’s a minor annoyance to have to do this rather than just entering the details off the bat.
Is Match.com safe?
The final thing to mention here is that in 2019, the FTC accused Match.com of allowing fake user profiles to proliferate, which enticed real users to subscribe via deceptive means. In response to this, Match.com said that the FTC had “cherry-picked” data and that it had a robust system in place to combat fake profiles, which accurately identified and blocked 96% of fake profiles within 24 hours of their creation.
In general, most people report positive experiences with Match.com and the site has certainly made it easy to block users and report inappropriate behaviours. Unfortunately, as with all dating sites, there are still romance scams that you need to guard against, but we found no evidence to suggest that these incidents were more prolific on Match.com than elsewhere.
It’s always best to be safe with online dating, and we’ve put together a guide showing you how to stay safe online when looking for love.
Should you get a subscription to Match.com?
If you’re geared towards finding a longer-term relationship then it’s worth upgrading your experience to the subscription option, as it allows you to message other members freely.
In our experience with Match.com, there were a good number of matches who were accurately aligned with our preferences and we received plenty of messages to boot. Make sure you try the free version before you invest, so you can scope out the dating scene in your local area.