The stranger offered to help me learn my way around my college campus after Hurricane Katrina displaced me from another university.
He left his phone number in the message. I thought he was very strange for sending it and perhaps a little bit of a creep. So, of course, four years later I married him.
I often think about what my life would be like without the advent of technology. Would I have met my husband in some other way? Would I have run into him at the grocery store instead of in a Facebook message?
Because of my experience meeting my husband (and many friends and colleagues) online, I’m actually a believer that you can form meaningful relationships through the Internet.
However, I’m not sure that it’s worth it to pay for a dating website subscription. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons.
1. Potential to Meet Your Future Spouse
I find the majority of people who pay for dating websites really are looking for a long term relationship or a spouse. My best friend has subscribed to a few of these sites, and it has allowed her to meet people outside of her small, rural town.
2. Ability to Screen Ahead of Time
When someone sets you up on a blind date, you can’t screen them ahead of time. Online dating allows you to see someone’s pictures, hobbies, and interests. While it can’t weed out everyone who isn’t the best fit for you, it can at least give you an idea of someone’s general background and personality.
1. It’s Very Expensive
If you just wanted to pay for a monthly subscription at two or three of the biggest online dating websites, you could easily spend $100 or more a month. In some ways, the high subscription fees make me feel like this industry is taking advantage of people who want to find love no matter what. In other ways, I feel like the cost is worth it because of the service that the websites provide.
2. You Can’t Get Back Your Time
Many of my friends who have used dating websites talk about how much time they spend fostering these relationships. They spend hours online creating their profiles and searching for suitable dates. Then, they spend the time corresponding ahead of time and then actually going out to eat. If the person they meet isn’t a good fit for them, they can’t get their time back and they likely cannot get their money back either.
Still, all of it would be worth it if you found someone to spend your life with, which is how dating websites remain so popular. If I wasn’t married, I would consider this as an option to meet a future mate especially if I had exhausted all options at my local scene.
Luckily, I got that Facebook message from a stranger and don’t have to worry about whether to sign up or not. 🙂
What do you think? Is it worth it to pay for a dating website?- Catherine Alford