We all have seen the television and online ads for dating sites.
One site, e Harmony, spent over 100 million alone in advertising in 2007 and, even with the rest of the advertising market flagging, seems to still be going strong.
Part of this is because of the widespread popularity of paid dating sites.
Online dating is big business and, despite the down economy, it is still growing.
Though many sites are seeing a slowdown in their membership, the top five paid dating sites are getting larger and more popular than ever.
But where free dating sites are low-risk environments to dabble with the online romance scene, paid dating sites bring with them a great deal more commitment and risk.
As such, it is worth taking the time to make sure that an online dating site is right for you and that you know what you are getting into before you turn over your credit card.
Though paid dating sites have the obvious disadvantage of a price tag, often a very high one, they bring with them a greater concentration of serious potential matches.
Where a free dating site has no barrier to entry, the monthly fee of a paid site acts a filter.
Anyone who is not seriously looking or may even be running a scam, has a motivation to cancel their account.
Where a free dating site may be filled with abandoned accounts and casual users, paid dating sites have a higher percentage of serious daters.
Also, since paid dating sites don't have to cater to a large audience to be profitable, just a small number of paying members, they can focus on niche audiences including ethnicity, religion, country, politics, age and much more.
If you have very specific needs or wants, a paid dating site can help you avoid wading through countless unrelated matches.
The bottom line is that paid dating sites offer a much higher quality of matches and, theoretically, of service as well.