Let’s tell you everything you need to know before you dive in and join the dating service Match (formerly branded as Match.com). Ready?
Match is for everyone
Match, considered one of the top dating sites in the world, is not just for Americans. If you’re Canadian or from one of over 50 countries in the world, Match is available to you! And, yes, there are real people on it!
Match is available around the world – and to anyone: Any race, any religion (or no religion!), any sexual-orientation, whatever. It’s a generic site that is for everyone. They’ve been doing this for years and are considered among the premiere online dating services for serious daters, along with eHarmony.
So, yes, Match is far from a niche dating site, but you can definitely set parameters for who you’re looking for in a, um, match – such as appearance, education, career, religion, interests, and more.
Match is pretty much a household name. They advertise heavily online but also have ads on television. What does that mean for you? It means you’ll likely find lot of available singles in your area that meet your criteria!
How does Match work?
Match is a mix of old-school dating service meshed with some newer features.
The first step is to create your free profile on the service. This can take around 10 to 15 minutes.
Once your profile has been created, you can start using the site, with limited functionality. Basically, you can search and “like” profiles, but can’t communicate unless you purchase a subscription.
There are number of ways that you can discover other members who interest you, the main ones being:
- Search: Search by any profile parameters you wish (age, location, interests, physical appearance, marital status, kids status, ethnicity, education, lifestyle, religion, and more). You can also include only those who are currently online.
- Mutual Search: Matches based on what you indicated when creating your profile (these matches match your parameters – and your profile also matches theirs).
- Reverse Search: Matches based on their parameters being matched by your profile (i.e. you meet their criteria)
- Discover: This is where Match suggests matches to you one-by-one. You can “like” or “skip” each match.
- Matches: If you “like” a profile and they also “like” your profile, they will be listed in this section. So, you need to “like” profiles to get any matches this way.
Viewing profiles and messaging
Profiles include photos and basic details (location, age) along with how the person answered various questions when creating their profile. Match profiles have various sections:
- About them
- Their photos
- More (about them)
- You both like (interests, with common interests first and in bold)
- They’re looking for:
- In common (items you have in common)
- Appearance (them and who they are looking for)
- Lifestyle (them and who they are looking for)
- Background (them and who they are looking for)
If you’re a paying subscriber you can message the match right from their profile. If your a free or paying member you can “like” the profile.
What kinds of profile questions are asked?
Here’s a 7-ish minute video taking you through the entire sign up process, including what you can additionally add to your profile post sign up.
Is Match free?
One of the top questions asked is whether Match is a free service. The short answer is “no.” You can create your profile and browse other profiles for free, yes, but when it comes to having conversations with others on the service, you need to pay a subscription fee.
The below is what you can do for free on Match:
- Create a full profile (and appear in search results)
- Search profiles
- Send “likes”
- Receive match suggestions
Can you message for free on Match?
No, you cannot message others for free on Match (for the most part). The exception being to specific members that Match selects (mostly “Top Picks”).
Can non-subscribers read messages on Match?
No, non-subscribers cannot read messages on Match. Again, there’s the odd exception to this: Match may select a message that you can reply to for free.
Match subscription options
As mentioned, if you want to engage in a real conversation, you’ll have to shell out for a paid subscription. Subscriptions range in size: 1, 3, 6 or 12 month memberships. The more months you commit to, the cheaper it works out per month.
The *good* thing about the way Match works is that you don’t have to pay until you really find someone who you want to converse with. Your profile can stay on the site forever without you having to pay — until you find someone interesting (or they find you!).
For most people, the Standard subscription will suffice. For those wanting all the features the site has to offer, Premium is a small upgrade that is available.
With a Standard subscription you can:
- Send messages
- Read and respond to messages
- See who’s viewed your profile
- See who’s “liked” your profile
- Remove members from search results
- Stand out with a “Super Like” (your “like” will be highlighted and prioritized)
- Get priority access to Match Events
With a Premium subscription you can do everything in the Standard subscription (above) along with:
- Alerts when others have read your messages
- Monthly “Boost” (Your profile appears at the top of search results for one hour)
- Unlimited “Rewinds” (profiles you’ve “passed” on can be brought back)
- Weekly “Super Like” (your “like” will be highlighted and prioritized)
- See who has a paid membership (i.e. they can respond to your message)
Match subscription cost
If you want to communicate on the service, there are two types of memberships (Standard and Premium, mentioned above), and various time periods you can buy at once (1, 3, 6, or 12 months).
We’ll expand upon this shortly, but here’s the quick and dirty (all prices are in US dollars):
- Standard subscription ranges from $37/mo (purchasing one month at a time) to $17/mo (purchasing 12 months at once)
- Premium subscription ranges from $25/mo (purchasing 3 months at a time) to $18/mo (purchasing 12 months at once)
So, Canadians, once you convert this to Canadian dollars, the Standard subscription will range from around $46/mo (if you buy one month at a time) to $21/mo (if you purchase 12 months at once).
How do you get a discount on a Match subscription?
If you can, wait it out. Use the site in “free” mode and wait for a discount offer email from Match. From our experience a 50% discount offer can arrive by email in as little as 10 days after creating your profile.
What’s the downside of joining Match?
Honestly, there really isn’t one. You spend a few minutes of your time to sign up and create a profile (and, really, if you can’t spend 10-15 minutes doing that then you probably aren’t serious about meeting people). Then, you have access to search the database of eligible singles, however and whenever you want.
Is it worth buying a Match subscription?
Our advice would be to create a solid, detailed profile on Match, and then start searching the site for potential matches. If you see enough profiles you’re interested in, it’s likely worth giving a paid subscription a try.
Now, not every one of those profiles you are interested in will be paying members, so they may not be able to respond to you, but some definitely will be.
So, if you’re serious about meeting someone compatible (or at least meeting some great people along the way), purchasing a multi-month plan is the way to go (as it lowers your monthly cost).
To put a Match subscription into perspective, think about what you spend your money on throughout a typical month. A six-month Match membership goes for just under $20 US ($24 Canadian) per month. What else do you spend money on during a month that costs around that? For example, a cheap meal out, or a couple of pints of beer and you’re basically paying $20-$25. You can be conversing with people for an entire month for that same cost.
Does a Match subscription automatically renew?
Yes, a Match subscription does automatically renew for the same amount after it’s completed. If you don’t want that to happen you can jump into the settings of your account and change it. Of course, that means once your membership expires you still have access to browse profiles — you just can’t converse with other members until you slap down the credit card again. What we would do is find out when your expiry date is and then set an alarm for yourself a few days before to remind you to think about whether cancelling is appropriate or not. If you’re meeting some great people – even if they’re not “the perfect match” – it’s likely worth having it renew for another period.
Are Match profiles public? Can someone browse Match without an account?
Only those with an account can view your full profile. That said, we’re guessing it’s likely that your photo may be used on the “outside” of the site. For example, Match creates a lot of pages on the outside of the site to draw in new users from search engines – and, on those pages, it appears real profile photos are used. All said, there’s no way to browse profiles without an account.
Can you hide your profile on Match?
Yes, you can hide your Match profile at any time. A couple of things to note on that, though: Any past likes or messages will also hide until you unhide your profile. If you want to only make your profile viewable by certain members, you can do that with a paid subscription. If you hide your Match profile while paying for the service, note that your subscription does not pause.
Can you delete your Match profile? How?
Yes, of course. If you want to take a quick break, we would suggest simply hiding your profile first (per above). That said, to delete your Match profile, visit the “Settings” section and then “Manage Subscription”. When browsing on a computer, the “Settings” section can be accessed via the gear icon in the navigation menu.
Can you cancel a Match subscription at any time?
Indeed, yes, you can can cancel your Match subscription at any time (see the “Settings” > “Manage Subscription” section to do so). That said, there is no refund for time left on your subscription. For example, if you purchased a 3 month subscription and then cancelled it after 1 month, you would not receive a refund for the remaining 2 months. Your best bet is to turn off the subscription auto-renewal (also via “Manage Subscription”) and then continue to use the paid features until your subscription runs out of time.
Can you put my Match subscription on hold?
No, Match does not allow you to pause your subscription (i.e. hiding your profile and pause the charging of your credit card). Some dating sites do, but Match does not.
What do the dots and circles (green, yellow, none) on Match profiles mean?
The dots and circles on Match profiles symbolize how active the user is. This activity status is based on the last time the user was active on the site – or when last opened an email from Match. Profiles with green dots or circles are most active, per below, and those with no dot or circle being least active.
- Green dot (solid): Active up to 45 minutes ago
- Green circle (empty): Active in the last 24 hours (but not in the last 45 minutes)
- Yellow circle (empty): Active in the last 72 hours (but not in the last 24 hours)
- No dot or circle: Last active more than 72 hours ago
Can you search Match by name?
If you’re looking to find a certain profile by searching by the profile name, it appears that can’t be done. Part of the reason for this, likely, is Match sends notifications for new likes and new messages that have the user blurred out (in most cases) for non paying members. Those notifications, however, include the profile name. If you could search profiles by name, that would take away from this strategy to get you to pay for a membership to find out who liked or messaged you.
Can you search Match using keywords?
No, Match does not provide a way to search profiles by keyword.
Can you unlike a profile on Match?
It appears you cannot “unlike” a profile once you’ve “liked” it. The reason for this, likely, is that Match shoots off a notification to the user once you “like” the profile.
We’ll be adding more to our Match review shortly. In the meantime, I hope the above has helped you make a decision as to whether to give Match a try!
Definitely let us know about your experiences with Match in the comments below.