It’s no secret that people are watching their wallets these days — and for good reason (if you’ve bought eggs or needed to fill your car with gas recently, you’ll know what I’m talking about). So it would make sense that many singles are sticking to free apps and websites when it comes to online dating.
However, finding love might be worth investing in a premium service. According to a new study by Pew Research, those who have paid to use dating sites or apps report more positive experiences than those who have never paid. Roughly 6-in-10 paid users (58%) report positive experiences with dating sites or apps compared to only half of the users who have never paid for a service.
The report adds that 35% of Americans who have ever used a dating app have paid for one at some point, which includes those who have paid for extra features on a platform they already were using. This share is greater among online dating users with upper incomes (45%) than for those with middle (36%) or lower incomes (28%).
No two people’s experiences with online dating are the same, but there are some plus sides to springing for a paid website or app. Perhaps the biggest and most obvious pro is that paying for a dating platform often rules out matches who aren’t serious about finding a committed relationship. While plenty of people use free apps like Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge more for amusement than actually going in with the intention of finding a connection (which I would not recommend, of course!), that tends not to happen quote as much when you’re putting in the money along with the effort.
Some free apps offer a premium service at a cost, which allows paid users perks like more time to message someone, unlimited swipes, the ability to see who liked you, or getting more information such as when a person was last active on the app. All of these elements could give you that extra chance of forging a connection or simply putting yourself on more people’s radars.
In other cases, you’re paying for the ability to filter out people who won’t be a match, which can save you valuable time in your search efforts. For example, if you definitely want children, there’s no point scrolling through hundreds of people who know they don’t.
Others may choose to invest their money in a different way. Instead of paying for an online dating platform, you can get coaching from an expert to help you in the specific areas where you’re struggling, whether that’s navigating the transition from texting to an in-person date or giving your profile a complete makeover.
If you can’t fit a paid dating platform into your budget, don’t fret — plenty of people are finding love on free apps and websites every day… and there are a ton of options to choose from. It’s also important to remember that entering your credit card number doesn’t automatically mean the love of your life will manifest before your eyes. Online dating — paid or free — requires efforts on your part, from updating your profile with recent photos to spending time writing your bio to crafting an interesting opening message to send a potential match. In this case, effort will always outweigh the number in your bank account.