The Price of Dating Services

by D. Olsen 

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I'll never forget having breakfast one morning with my friend Paul. Paul, in his mid-thirties at the time and living in the San Francisco Bay Area, was frustrated. He'd been on several dates and was down to his last viable option. "After this, I'm done," declared Paul. "This is the last date." Paul has been married to that last date for over a year now.

Last August, Heather married John. Craig proposed to Anna last spring. Dennis and Megan moved in together. They're all poster children, and roughly $30.00 for a one-month subscription was a paltry price to pay for their current happiness.

It's hard to say what keeps two people together. According to its web site, even Yahoo Personals doesn't claim to know how chemistry works. But one thing is for certain. Without the dating service, there would not have been a meeting-that first date that ends all dates and begins a relationship.



From the ages of 26 to 30, I had my profile on Match. And while I did not meet my current boyfriend through a dating service, I have no regrets. I did, however, have an addiction to perpetually checking my email at all hours. Hey, it gets lonely out there. Those of you who have been single for any stretch of time know exactly what I mean.






Of course nothing is for free, except maybe a seven-day trial. Dating comes with a price. Which means dating services come with two prices: the usual emotional toll that dating brings and the actual cost of the service. But doesn't everyone have to pay some kind of price while searching, waiting, and wishing?

Some of the most popular dating services, such as eHarmony, Match, Yahoo, Planet-Out, It's Just Lunch, Table for Six Adventures, and a host of speed dating options, provide us with selection. If only it felt more natural, we grumble, and not like a catalog. But we can't seem to meet quality people in bars. (Somehow quality didn't always matter in our early to mid twenties-ahh the freedom of youth and its friend carelessness!)


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August 18th, 2006 

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