Popular Online Dating Sites That Are a Total Waste of Money

You’ve probably heard horror stories about people’s worst experiences using popular online dating sites. While they’re not all bad, one thing to keep in mind when choosing the right site is the price. Are you really going to get what you pay for? Is every potential math just going to lie to impress you? Are you even talking to real people?

There are some great dating sites out there. There are also plenty of terrible ones — some even go as far as calling them “scams.” From Zoosk to OKCupid and more, here are the subscription-only dating sites — and those with costly upgrades — that aren’t worth your wallet.

Few who try online dating find a true match

A man proposes to his girl friend.

Finding the love of your life on a dating site isn’t guaranteed. | iStock.com

Online dating works for a lot of people of all ages. However, Pew Research Center reports that even though it’s lost its stigma, the practice only works for a small percentage of Americans. Only about one-third of online dating users have actually met someone they’ve talked to. Only 5% of those surveyed say they found a committed relationship with — or married — someone they met online.

Is it that the practice of online dating doesn’t work? Or are too many dating sites “broken”? Based on user complaints, it could be the latter.

Next: This is one of the lowest-rated paid dating sites on the internet.


A senior couple smiles while standing in front of a ship.

Match.com isn’t the best place for finding a date. | Feverpitched/iStock/Getty Images

Cost: $19.99 for three months

Match.com users have written numerous complains online about fake profiles ruining their experiences before even talking to potential matches. Some have also reported that it’s extremely difficult, if even possible, to cancel their memberships once they’ve decided to leave.

Next: You can get the advantages of this paid subscription elsewhere for free.


A couple standing and looking each other.

Join if you must, but don’t get your hopes up. | Amazingmikael/iStock/Getty Images

Cost: $14.95 for three months

If you pay for OKCupid’s “A-List” subscription, you get the kind of bonus content you’d expect — like being able to see who “likes” you, and read receipts on messages. However, there are free sites that provide the same benefits and chances to meet new people. It’s probably not worth buying into.

Next: It’s speedy, but it won’t help you find The One.


Couple with vintage clothes having fun with smartphone.

Why bother joining a dating website with no active members? | ViewApart/iStock/Getty Images

Cost: $62.97 for three months 

Other than lacking many of the features most find convenient on dating sites — especially proximity guidelines — past users report that many SpeedDate.com profiles are inactive, while others have complained about the amount of fake profiles and messages they’ve received.

Next: Is there anyone still actually on this site?


Couple at the bar having a coffee.

This popular dating website has been linked to many negative reviews. | Demaerre/iStock/Getty Images

Cost: $59.99 for one month

You’ve seen the commercials — eHarmony brings singles together for life! If they can find them, that is. It seems eHarmony complaints are similar to those for Match.com — massive amounts of fake profiles and lower-than-expected results for the amount of money users pay for.

Next: There’s no guarantee paid members get any leverage on this site.


Happy romantic couple embracing on the beach.

You’ll be spending a lot of extra cash just making your profile attractive to others. | Ridofranz/iStock/Getty Images

Cost: $19.98 for three months

As a free member of Zoosk, you can only respond to messages sent to you — you can’t send any yourself. The site also encourages these users to purchase “coins” they can use to boost their own profiles and take advantage of other upgrades. Paid subscribers likely have a slight advantage, but there’s guarantee spending your money will actually improve your results.

Next: There are plenty of matches out there, but you probably won’t find them here.

Plenty of Fish

A couple petting a dog in their living room.

Perhaps online dating isn’t the best way to land a romantic date. | DGLimages/iStock/Getty Images

Cost: $9.80 for three months 

Whether you use it for free or pay for an upgrade, most reviewers warn potential users to stay as far away as possible. The site promises that a paid experience increases the number of people who will view your profile and contact you, but there doesn’t seem to be any statistical data supporting these claims.

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