To get started, I provided my email to sign up, which gets you into the “Basic Membership” category. Once I created an account, I took the personality profile assessment. I took time with my answers and really thought about them, so I’d say the test probably took me about 45 minutes to complete.
Once I finished the personality test, I felt that the “free” membership became pretty much worthless. I began getting messages that I couldn’t read and matches I couldn’t see. To be honest, I’m not even sure why they offer the “free” version except to “hook” people into the Premium membership.
Basically, you have no idea if someone who has contacted you might be your match unless you pay to find out. I opted for a 6-month plan that was ultimately the cheapest monthly option. Be advised that memberships are paid in a lump sum and also taxed, which added $9 to my bill.
Now, back to the personality profile assessment. When you sign up for a Premium membership you get a more detailed PDF about your traits and I thought this lengthy, 23-page report really got me right!
After that, I decided to fill out my “dating ad,” which is the next logical step after completing the quiz and paying to join. Though the site starts a profile for you based on your responses from the assessment, Premium members are encouraged to spend time completing their personal bio. I also uploaded nine photos (you’re allowed up to 24).
However, while finishing this part, I kept having things like my multi-hyphenate career label and my smoking preference “Rejected” for some unknown reason after waiting for them to get out of the “In Review” phase. Plus, sometimes I’d be on the site, and it would freeze. So, I’d have to log out and log back in again. And I wasn’t the only one to notice these glitches on both the website and the app. Other reviews on TrustPilot complained about the same thing.
Now moving on to the actual matches. Apparently, the idea is that by only doling out 3-7 top matches daily, daters will be saved from endless scrolling and instead be presented with highly compatible potential partners so they can focus on getting to know these purportedly like-minded people.
The problem with that is that every match I was sent was not someone I was remotely interested in dating. It felt like the preferences I stated were pretty much ignored in the algorithm. I kept being matched with people who lived in different states who were easily 15 years outside of my preferred age range.
Even though I had set my options to the closest distance possible—which is “matches within 50 miles” on EliteSingles—I don’t think I got one proposed match in New York City where I live. Most of them appeared to be hours away. Other reviewers in different cities had similar complaints about unreasonable distances to matches.
And though they say you have the option of matching with an additional 20 “Wildcard” matches per day (which plays out like typical app swiping—yay or nay), that “Have you met?” part of the site was trying to get me to date users in Arizona and California.
I also thought it was odd that a site that advertises “having the most educated singles,” did not require proof of any education to join. So, that marketing seems to be based solely on self-reporting by members.
Also, many people don’t post photos. If you’re matched with a person who doesn’t have a picture with their profile, EliteSingles says “no problem,” you can just ask them for one by clicking the “photo request” button. But that gets awkward if they send a photo and then you’re not interested!
EliteSingles also alerts members when you’ve viewed their profile by sending them a direct email saying, “Kimberly seems to be interested in your profile.” And if you read a message someone sends you, EliteSingles immediately sends them a “read receipt.” There is no way to turn it off.
EliteSingles advertises these features as “positives” but personally I hated it. This is misleading because the only way to ascertain if you might match with someone is to look at their profile or read their message. Basically, this feature made me not want to look at anyone’s profile, fearing they’d get an email making it seem like I was into them even if I wasn’t.
Though I had signed up for six months, I decided to cancel my subscription after three days. I didn’t feel comfortable having my photo on the site, I wasn’t happy with any of the matches the algorithm was kicking up (and I tried changing my settings a couple of times to see if it made a difference—it did not), and I felt like I was getting better matches on other dating sites.
Fortunately, I made it under the “midnight of the third business day” cancellation clause and my money was quickly and easily refunded. And with that, I disappeared from EliteSingles evidently still single—by choice.
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