Dating In The New Year: A Look At Online Personals Sites

With the New Year just around the corner and winter in full swing, the desire for another warm body next to us grows every day. We don’t necessarily want someone to bring home to embarrassing family dinners so much as we want someone to drink hot-toddies with as the night grows colder and inhibitions smaller. It’s hard to feel attractive under layers of fuzzy sweaters and fuzzier legs, which makes going out to to clubs to find our mate as appealing as brussels sprout pie. More and more people are turning to on-line personals to help them find that special person to ring in the new year with, even if it’s just for one night or a few months.

I’ve rounded up the most popular personals dating sites and narrowed down the best and worst of what the sites have to offer – everything from short term hook-up potential to the skeeviness factor (the amount of men you’d try to avoid while walking down the street).NERVE.COM
The Lowdown: While it caters mostly to the New York area, you can find people from just about every where. The demographic tends to be rather middle-class, educated and on the prowl for something more. I always get the feel that the majority of the folks on Nerve are looking for that “other half” to complete them. The skeevy-factor is relatively low, and there’s a good deal of beautiful people to be found.
Hook-Up Potential: High
Skeevy-Factor: Low
Long-Term Potential: Medium

OKCUPID.COM
The Lowdown: If someone could have a crush on a website, I’d probably have one on OKCupid. The site works on the basis of compatibility more so than any other dating site out there (through a series of quizzes and tests). The good side of this is that it weeds out anyone you don’t have common interests with or might not have any attraction to. The average age seems to be quite young but you can also find just about every demographic, label and whatever else you’re looking for.
Hook-Up Potential: High
Skeevy-Factor: Medium
Long-Term Potential: Low

CRAIGSLIST PERSONALS
The Lowdown: Believe it or not, some people turn to CL for their dating needs. Of course, those desires tend to be for someone to tie them up and lick their feet while a chorus line recites the alphabet backwards. This isn’t for everybody. If you’re going to post a personals ad here, be ready to get an in-box full of messages from people who are completely opposite of what you’re looking for, even if you were quite explicit in what you want. If what you’re looking for is something a little risque (and risky), then CL is definitely the place for you, if you know how to play safely.
Hook-Up Potential:
Medium
Skeevy-Factor: High
Long-Term Potential: Low

LAVALIFE
The Lowdown: Lavalife lets you create two profiles – one if you’re looking for people to date, whether short term or long term, and another profile to explore your more kinky side. I like this since it saves you time from having to search through people who aren’t interested in what you’re after. The sign up process is relatively easy. You can be quite specific in what you’re looking for. It seems to be very popular with Canadian singles.
Hook-Up Potential: Medium
Skeevy-Factor: Medium
Long-Term Potential: Medium

JDATE
The Lowdown: Specifically for Jewish singles, JDate sign up is quick and easy. After a bit of perusal however, you’ll notice that some of the members aren’t actually Jewish, they just play it on the web. Depending on your location, you’ll either have a great selection of handsome and successful men at your fingertips, or you’ll be left with the fake-Jew who’s trying to find a nice Jewish girl to help him find his way to the Torah.
Hook-Up Potential: Medium
Skeevy-Factor: Low
Long-Term Potential: High

PLENTYOFFISH
The Lowdown: The name of this free personals site gives you an idea of the quality inside. They claim to have 900,000 daily users, which should make finding your mate pretty easy. However, having to click through endless pages of “not a chance in hell” profiles, and poor quality webcam photos, you’re better off waiting outside the local prison for freshly released men. The skeevy-factor of this site seems to be extra high and the chances you’ll meet that special person to bring to a wedding next month is quite low. If what you’re looking for is a quickie on New Years Eve with a guy who swears he’s eighteen, this is the place for you.
Hook-Up Potential: High
Skeevy-Factor: High
Long-Term Potential: Low

EHARMONY
If you’re not completely turned off by the commercials every ten minutes and are looking for that serious partner to share a blanket with, you may like eHarmony. Upon sign up, you’re given a (very long) questionnaire to fill out. This is typical of most sites, except with eHarmony they ask you questions like, “Would you like to start a new family by having or adopting a baby?” and if you’d be “willing to take on a partner who has a child that is 18 or younger” and how important your partner’s income/education is to you. While filling out my profile, I couldn’t help the feeling that I’m not so much looking for a possible husband as I am a sperm donor.
Hook-Up Potential: Low/Medium
Skeevy-Factor: Low
Long-Term Potential: High

MATCH.COM
Unlike other sites, you can’t browse the profiles until you register (free). Being such a well-known site, you can find people from all over, which gives you more option. From what I could see, the options weren’t spectacular. The questionnaire at Match.com is relatively long, but for the most part, it’s worth checking out if you’re interested in seeking out a long-term partner.
Hook-Up Potential: Medium
Skeevy-Factor: Medium/Low
Long-Term Potential: High

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