When it comes to online dating, Match has been there since the beginning, arguably being the first dating site ever. The service launched in 1995, way before Tinder graced our smartphones. Since then, it's evolved as online dating itself has, offering an easy-to-use website and mobile app with unique features and a comprehensive profile aimed at making deeper connections.
Currently over 39 million people use Match.com, with a majority of members being ages 30 to 49 years old. However, per a 2018 report, the site's fastest-growing demographic is the 50+ age group, and 59% of Match.com users are single parents using the site to find love. And according to a 2019 report from PC Mag, Match.com is supposedly the most popular dating app in 17 states across the U.S.
Why It’s Toxic: The relationship scorecard is a double-whammy of suckage. Not only are you deflecting the current issue by focusing on previous wrongs, but you’re ginning up guilt and bitterness from the past to manipulate your partner into feeling bad in the present.
These statistics all make sense and align closely with Match's mission to be different in an "industry full of superficial games and detached behaviors," as the website states. From my experience on the app, people seem less into hookups, and I didn't receive any crude or hookup-y opening messages (compared to when I use Tinder, for example). People's profiles are generally pretty detailed, suggesting that the users here are looking for something more serious than what a simple swipe on Tinder might provide. In that way, Match slows down the online dating experience from just quickly swiping to actually seeing who these people are.
It's easy and straightforward to set up your profile on Match, but it will take some time to fill everything out—and the more you fill out, the better your matches will be. You're given various prompts to follow to help with describing yourself, including details like your body type, if you have pets, your stance on cannabis, and how often you exercise. You also fill out a short summary and have the chance to answer three "topics," which are questions or prompts (e.g., "My best scar story was when…") You can also list your "interests," such as causes you believe in and "creative outlets" (hobbies like knitting or car restoration). Lastly, you can list what you're looking for in a partner, like if you prefer someone with no kids. You can also add up to 26 photos—yes, that many.
Staying true to its origins, the website offers many ways to match with folks. The mobile app resembles Tinder in some ways, where you can "like" and mutually match or pass on someone. You can also use the search feature and add filters (such as age or distance) to browse profiles, or you can just wait and see who "likes" you. Match also allows you to search for potential matches based on interests, looks, marital status, education, lifestyle habits, and more, which is helpful so you don't feel like you're wasting your time sifting through deal-breakers.
What I found most unique is the reverse matching and mutual matching features: The reverse matching feature shows the people looking for your likes, interests, and such, while mutual matching shows the people who fit your criteria in a partner. There's a little sidebar called "You're their type," which shows users who are looking for matches like your profile states. Both of these features are available for free, which is nice
Overall, it's easy to see all your matches and chat conversations on both the app and website. Unfortunately, the free version doesn't allow you to message more than one person a day. All users can also video chat with each other in the chat feature called Vibe Check to build deeper connections. And one other unique feature: Match also offers free one-on-one phone calls with dating experts to help improve your profile and experience.
Match has many subscription package options to choose from. Their Standard Plan costs $19/month for a one-year subscription, which is their cheapest monthly rate. You can also purchase a single month for $46, though you'll save more per month if you buy months in bulk.
You can purchase up to a year in advance and also add to your subscription package at any time. There are also additional features like read receipts or "who's viewed me" to purchase too.
The free version of Match is honestly just not worth it, in my opinion, but the paid version could be worth trying out for people who are willing to invest. On the free version, my overall experience was very OK. You get very limited features and abilities if you don't pay, while you can message many more people for free on Hinge, Bumble, Tinder, and other dating apps. With the paid version, I felt like I could use the app more freely and browse many more folks, plus actually be able to message them.