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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Online Dating Website Review: Chemistry.com

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Chemistry.com

With Valentine's Day right around the corner, now would be a good time to set yourself up on one of the various online dating websites. But with so many out there, which one do you choose?

I have been a long-time subscriber to three online dating sites - match.com, jdate.com and chemistry.com. Each of them have their merits, as well as their drawbacks. Over the next week or so, we will take a peek at each of these three sites.

Chemistry.com:

I was one of the chartering members of this site when it first began in 2006. Since then, they have come a long way in attracting quality women.

How it works:

The overall concept is similar to that of eHarmony.com - sans the 200+ question survey (and the prospect of being REJECTED after investing all that time filling it out). You may have seen Chemistry.com's recent advertising campaign where they feature people that eHarmony rejected.

But as is the case with eHarmony, Chemistry.com does not give you the option of searching for potential matches. Rather, matches are sent directly to your account - the number of which depends on your search criteria and your geographic area. I usually get about 4 per day.

Step 1 - Setting up your profile:

From what I recall, there are a number of questions you have to answer in order to set up your profile (but nowhere near as many as eHarmony). And some of these questions were downright weird (i.e. describe the shape of your hand). But the majority of your profile is the same as it would be on any other dating website. When I joined, I had my match.com profile transferred directly over to Chemistry. I am not sure how it is now.

Step 2 - Choosing a match:

Once you have your matches sent to you by the website, you then have the opportunity to choose whether or not you are interested in that particular person. You do this by moving a sliding ruler to either the left (not interested) or the right (interested).

If you are interested in the other person (or vice-versa), they are then sent an e-mail and given the opportunity to choose whether or not they are interested in you. If they are, it's on! If not, the match is removed from your inbox and you are no longer able to contact that person. Nothing personal, of course.

If there is a match, you then move to the next step which is known as "Relationship Essentials." This is basically a series of short questions in which you indicate your preferences for certain things. You do this by once again moving a sliding scale to the left or to the right. You then send your answers to the other person, and in return, they send you theirs for a compatibility check.

The good thing is that you only have to answer these questions once - as they are saved on the system (you are free to change your answers at any time). However, I don’t think anyone really pays attention to them, unless there is something specific you consider to be a dealbreaker (i.e. "earns a good living").

Once you make it through this section, you then move on to the short answer questions. In the short answer section, each person has the opportunity to ask their counterpart two questions that require a type-written answer. The website gives you the option of creating your own questions, or choosing from a series of pre-written ones that are on the website.

But do yourself a favor and come up with your own - I can't tell you how many compliments I have received from women for not asking the same questions as everyone else. If you need help coming up with some, read our article on "The Use of Qualifying Questions."

Sadly, most people end up using Chemistry’s stock questions. So here is a tip – once you come up with an answer to these pre-written questions, save them as a word document so they can be reused next time! The ones I usually get are, "What are your guilty pleasures?,” and "What is the most important thing you have learned from a past relationship?"

Once you make it through this stage (and assuming both parties are still interested – either side can choose to close the match at any time), you are then free to e-mail each other on the website. At this point you are pretty much on your own.

Advantages:

1. Quality of women – Overall, I have been pretty impressed with the women I have met on Chemistry.com. I have found them to be well-educated, articulate and more serious about seeking a long-term relationship than their counterparts on other dating sites.

2. It's easy to use – after you make the initial time investment setting up your profile, it is pretty much automated from there on. Even the short answer questions become almost 'cut and paste' after a little while.

3. It 'forces' you to have a 'back and forth' with a woman before you get to the email stage. By the time you get to the e-mail stage, you actually feel as if you almost know the person. This makes it easier to send an e-mail (and subsequently ask for her number), as a little bit of rapport has been developed. I have been doing this sort of thing for years, but for some people that tend to be a little too eager online, this 'forced delay' is a good move.

Disadvantages:

1. You can't search for matches – You are left at the mercy of the Chemistry gods for your potential dates. Plus, you only get about four matches per day, and there is no way to prevent the website from sending you matches without photos. As you know, profiles without photos are to be automatically deleted.

2. The website also offers users an option to reveal their photographs at a later step, rather than at the time you are initially viewing their profile. This is unacceptable. If they can see your pictures, you should have every right to see theirs. If you run into one of these profiles, just delete it.

3. Customer service leaves a little to be desired. I recently had an issue on the website, and after speaking with customer service, I was promised it would be taken care of. It was not. I had to send two follow-up e-mails before my problem was fixed.

Conclusion:

By far, the most important factor in choosing an online dating website is the quality of people you are going to meet. In this respect, chemistry.com has delivered the goods. I highly recommend this site.

And as for my issue with customer service, while annoying, the fact of the matter is that you are not going to have to deal with them very often. But at least they speak English, so you won't have to worry about dealing with "Ricky" from Bangalore.

For a free seven-day trial of Chemistry.com, click the link below:

Chemistry.com

Alexander Stone & Stephen David
Copyright 2008 - All rights reserved
Online Dating Edge / Approach Dynamics

1 comment:

Michelle Hill said...

Another disadvantage: there are not that many people that use Chemistry.com, so they can easily run out of matches for you.