With a name as clean and simple as dating.com, the hopes were high for this one. The main page immediately stands out – no cheesy images of two models pretending to be in love here. Just some heart shaped balloons, a super short registration form and some images of real members below. A nice start, even if the “Take a Chance” button does make us feel a bit like we're playing a slot machine, but maybe that'e the point – no promises here, just a chance at finding love.
As it turns, out, the registration process isn't quite as quick as the front page made us think, but that's forgivable. After all, the best way to attract members of the opposite (or same) sex is to provide information on your dating profile. And so it is that after the initial short form we're urged to provide some more information about ourselves as the main dating site waits for us tantalizingly in the background.
One we reach the main promised land of the main dating.com member home page, our reviewers were asked to indicate how they feel today – flirty, bored, etc – in order to better help them search for the right singles. And this unusual question isn't the only difference that dating.com has compared to typical online dating sites. In fact, everything about this love search site feels new at first, from layout to everything else.
In terms of features, there are a good variety of options on dating.com. They offer standard messaging (either email style or instant chat for when you're both online at the same time), video / web cam chat, a “Let's Mingle” button that allows you to send out an intro message to multiple targeted singles at once and more.
In terms of the cost to use the site, it's free to join and search for local singles as you'd probably expect if you're well versed in the dating scene like we are. Sending messages require credits, which can be purchased in bulk once you've decided you'd like to start contacting other single members. Sending ice-breakers like emoticons and stickers are free and act as a good way to let somebody you know you're interested in them on dating.com. When you take the plunge and splash the cash on some credits, you do receive a bunch of free chats and intro messages as part of the deal, which helps get you started.
It has to be said that by the end of our reviewing period we had enjoyed some chats, but were still dateless. For all of the style and freshness, dating.com – for the area we were in at least – didn't quite live up to our admittedly high expectations. It's possible that a few more weeks of messaging (or moving to a major city) would be far more fruitful and could bring a serious chance of true love, but it's something that will greatly depend on the member number for the area you are based.
All in all, this site has shown plenty of promise. We feel that dating.com is a few tweaks away from being a major player but urge our readers not to be won over by the modern interface. Dating sites; old, new, beautiful, outdated, stylish, ugly – they should all be judged on one thing. Interaction. And this will depend on member numbers. We'd recommend you check it out, run some searches and decide if it's the site for you to find your soulmate, or just another pretty ballon that will eventually deflate your hopes. We hope it's the former!
As always, remember to sign up to at least three sites any any one time. This will help your dating efforts immensely by giving you variety, increased interaction and a chance to compare like for like. A lot of things in life don't come easy, but if anything is worth a little effort, then it's love.