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Even Tinder, despite its reputation for attracting users seeking causal romance, may deserve a more open mind.“It's a myth that some sites are better for relationships while others are more for hookups,” says Manfredi.
“If sending messages had a price or you could send only a fixed number per day, people you contact online would know you had to give up something to do so, which would incentivize better behavior,” he says.
On a site like Ok Cupid anyone can send you a message, whereas on the free app Bumble or on Tinder or e Harmony, only people you are matched with can get in touch.
Kominers thinks online daters could be well served by a service that isn’t quite free but doesn’t involve a subscription fee either.
“I’ve always assumed that putting anything behind a pay wall makes it more attractive and weeds out the casual users and trolls,” agrees Joseph Lynn, a Chicago man who used e Harmony and Match as well as a few free sites.
“The fact that e Harmony matched me with several women with whom I shared common interests led me to believe that I was seeing more quality matches.” At the same time, you shouldn’t write off a site just because it’s free.