The Price of Dating Services

by D. Olsen 

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Yet, this access to quality leads one to question if varying prices among dating services create a dating elitism that separates the working man from the "professional"? If so, this elitism is the natural selection of the dating services world; it is a natural selection predicated on access, which is often predicated on money. Of course, this is nothing new. Social Darwinism has always favored someone over another, whether for looks, money, talent, or (heaven help the average people), all three. Having been a teacher, I certainly considered myself a professional, but not one that could necessarily fork out thousands of dollars for a pre-arranged lunch. Thus, I was eliminated from that dating pool and forced to find another place to swim. Let's just hope it's not the bottom of the bowl.

Consideration of this elitism proffers another side too. Free dating web sites will most likely attract people who do not choose to, or who cannot afford to pay for exposure. This implies, of course, an unstable economic situation (Get a job!) or a lack of seriousness about meeting someone for a relationship (No, I don't want to have IM sex with you!). Thus, those looking for Mr. or Ms. Right, might infer that it's not worth the "price" paid in lost time searching for quality.

After all, once one's paycheck predetermines the dating possibilities, isn't it really about choices, standards, and desire? While two nights of dining out or going for drinks could not pay for a year membership to some dating services, it could easily pay for a month of most online subscriptions.

" was my first choice five years ago. At that time there were only a few options for online dating. Because wouldn't let you do much without paying, I found they had a higher class of people to choose from than Yahoo personals," says one single, thirty-eight year-old woman who has used Match on and off for five years.


So, what does all this talk of cost add up to? That I can't say. It's only of value to those who press forward with the optimism of Sex & the City's Charlotte. It's meaningful to the few who don't give up despite the long walk alone to the car at the close of a fruitless evening, the unreturned phone call, or the disappointing kiss.

Please Continue to Page 5 of the Price of Dating Services

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August 17th, 2006 

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