But I intend to show, just by doing some simple calculations, that pay dating is a bad idea; actually, won't be showing this so much as the pay sites themselves, because most of the data I'll use is from Match and e Harmony's own public statements.I'll list my sources at the bottom of the post, in case you want to check. If your goal is to find someone special, 20 million people is a lot of options—roughly a quarter of all singles in the U. This sounds awesome until you realize that most of these people can’t reply, because only paying customers are allowed to message.
And the ironic thing is that although they basically admit their sites are filled with chaff, pay sites have little interest in telling you who's paying and who isn't.
In fact, it's better for them to show you people who paid, even if it means they're wasting your time. First I want to show you what 29 to 1, advertised people to real, feels like. Remember, sites like Match and e Harmony are in business to get you to buy a monthly subscription.
There's nothing wrong with profit motive, but the particular way these sites have chosen to make money creates strange incentives for them.
Nonetheless, we are able to deduce their base from known information.
We'll give e Harmony the highest subscribership possible.
So, having given e Harmony the benefit of the doubt at every turn, let's look at where that leaves their site: Yes, only 1/30th of the "20 million users" they advertise is someone you can actually talk to.
That's the paradox: the more they pump up their membership totals to convince you to sign up, the worse they look.
Today I'd like to show why the practice of paying for dates on sites like and e Harmony is fundamentally broken, and broken in ways that most people don't realize.
For one thing, their business model exacerbates a problem found on For another thing, as I'll explain, pay sites have a unique incentive to profit from their customers' disappointment.
As a founder of Ok Cupid I'm of course motivated to point out our competitors' flaws.
So take what I have to say today with a grain of salt.