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They promise “smart profiling” to deliver compatible partnership suggestions, in line with your personal search preferences – and the manual verification of all new profiles to ensure a “smooth, safe environment in which to meet other like-minded singles”.
They use “matching algorithms” to try to help clients find someone, i.e.
matching personalities, gender, age, profession, levels of education and other variables.
So far, so good; but the reality is matches are hardly ever made in heaven and cancelling membership is not particularly easy, a reader told me.
“We lonely singles who sign up for online dating are not just preyed on by opportunists, but the sites themselves are dodgy,” Bianca* told me.
“On November 20 last year, I signed up with Elite Singles after a friend recommended them, saying they were more expensive than other sites, but basically the profiles you encounter there are of a bit of a higher calibre and you get fewer chancers looking to take advantage etc.
As a result, we have quickly become one of the most trusted senior dating services on the internet.A European site operating in a few countries, Elite za, which touts itself as “SA’s no 1 dating site for educated singles and professionals!” offers a “partnership service” for South African singles “looking for long-term commitment”.The drawbacks are numerous, though: misrepresentation, catfishing, lousy matching, objectification and projection are just some of the psychological pitfalls of hooking up in the virtual world.Many of us know someone who found their match online: a friend, Philippa, told me she met the love of her life, Stuart, online in 1999 – they’ve now been married for 16 years and have two children.