What Match.com is and How to Find Love Online

Last updated: February 17, 2017 - 2:31pm EST

Dating these days seems to have become much more challenging. When dating online, it can be difficult to figure out who is a good match for you, or determine whether you’ll be compatible with someone you meet online. Some dating sites and apps leave this all up to the users themselves, and don’t really give any guidance to help them find people they’ll be interested in. We understand how frustrating this can be.

If you’re struggling with online dating, what would you say if there was a dating website that will give you new matches every day that actually have things in common with you? Sounds great, right? Are you interested in finding someone you could have a long-term connection with? If so, Match.com may be the right place for you to start. In this article, we’ll tell you all about what Match.com is, how Match works, and give you some more background information about their services so you can decide if it’s right for you.

What is Match.com?

Match.com is the world's most popular Internet dating service. Millions of people use Match, so you’ll find someone who is right for you. They focus on building relationships between people who are compatible with one another. Match’s services are available in over 245 countries worldwide, and in 8 languages.

How does Match.com work?

Match.com works by matching you with other users based on the information you provide in your profile. Match will give you new, personalized matches every day, and you can use the search tools to find people you’re interested in. After finding someone who interests you, you can send a message and get to know them.

Why Use Match.com?

The main reason to use Match.com as a dating service is its massive popularity. The sheer number of users on the website means that you’ll almost never run out of interesting people to meet! They also perform background checks on people who sign up for the site, so many potentially dangerous people are weeded out.

So, what if you find someone on Match.com who interests you, and you want to hang out with them in real life? Match.com has a service known as "Stir" that can give you some ideas for date activities in your local area. Or, if you don't have a date and just want to meet some people who are into the same types of pastimes that you are, that's fine, too. You can even bring your friends!

Match Stir

Match.com is so confident that you'll meet someone whom you really click with on their website that they offer the Match.com Guarantee. If you sign up for a 6-month membership and don't find a special someone within that time, you can use the website for another 6 months for free!

Match.com Guarantee

5 steps to using Match.com to find love

1. Create a Match.com account and fill in your profile.

Your first step on Match.com will be to create an account and profile. Your account information will help keep you secure on the website, as well as help Match.com find people of the gender, age range, and geographical area that you're looking for.

Register for a Match.com account

Your profile information, on the other hand, helps Match.com determine in detail who you are and what you're looking for in a date, from physical features to hobbies to political/religious beliefs.

Match.com profile

For more information, see our tutorials on how to sign up for Match.com and how to create a Match.com profile.

2. Sign up for a Match.com subscription to get more features.

A free membership on Match.com only allows you to look around for people whom you might be interested in. If you want to see who's interested in you, or communicate with them in any way, you'll have to purchase a paid subscription. Match.com offers different subscription packages that vary in terms of the features that you get, the amount of time that they last, and how much they cost.

Match.com bundle plans

For more information about subscriptions on Match.com, see our article on how much Match.com costs.

3. Browse your matches and search for people that interest you.

Once you have all of the administrative stuff out of the way, it's time to find out whom you might be interested in, or who might be interested in you. There are a few different ways to do this.

  1. Based on the info about both yourself and what you're looking for in a date (as well as what's in other people's profiles), Match.com will send you a certain number of potential matches per day. You can review them and tell Match.com who strikes your fancy and who just doesn't seem like a good fit. 

    Match.com daily matches

    See our tutorial on Match.com Matching for more information about "Daily Matches."
  2. If Match.com's recommendations aren't giving you what you want, you can also search for matches manually. You can pick all of the search criteria yourself, or you can let Match.com make things easy by showing the people within your basic search criteria who have the most traits that you're looking for, and/or are looking for most of the traits that you have. You can even search for matches based on what brands or organizations you both like.  

    Search for matches

    See our tutorials on Match.com Matching and how to search on Match.com to learn how to look for matches manually.
  3. Finally, you can also look for matches by directly using Match.com's matching program, Synapse. Synapse allows you to input previous matches that it has found for you based on what's in your profile (both information and preferences), whom you've interacted with on Match.com (like sending Winks or likes, or saying you are or aren't interested), and how you generally use the tools on Match.com to communicate or match yourself with people. Select up to three matches, and then click Match Me to see who else you can find! 

    Match.com Synapse

    See our Match.com Matching tutorial to learn how to use Match.com's "Synapse" function.

4. Communicate with your matches to get to know them and see if you’re compatible.

Why just look when you can connect? Match.com offers three convenient ways to get in touch with people who interest you, or who are interested in you.

You can send them a "wink" if you're shy and need an easy way to break the ice.

Send a wink to a Match.com user

Or you can send an email if you have your thoughts together, and want to start a personalized conversation about something specific.

Send an email to a Match.com user

Or if you're not afraid of a little spontaneity, you can start a private chat with someone, and see where the conversation goes!

Match private chat screen

See our tutorial on how to communicate on Match.com for specific instructions on how to contact your matches.

5. Sign up for real-life dating events put on by Match.com.

If you're looking for an idea as to what would be a great date to take one of your matches out on, or just want to get out from behind the computer and into the real world to have some fun and meet people who are into what you like, give Match.com's "Stir" feature a try. 

Every so often, Stir puts on dating events, which it then recommends to you based on where you live and what your interests are. You can sign up for these events even if you only have a free membership, and you can even bring your friends along, too!

Match Stir events sign up screen

Is Match safe?

Yes, Match.com is safe to use. Match runs background checks on users so that potentially harmful people are removed from the site for the safety of others. However, you should still be cautious when dating online. Be careful how much personal information you reveal, and never meet someone in person unless you’re ready.

Check out our article about Match.com’s safety and legitimacy to learn more.

Is Match free?

Match.com is free to sign up for, but to get the full experience you’ll need to purchase a paid subscription. With a free Match membership, you will have limited to no options for viewing and searching for matches, as well as communication. Paying for a premium membership is worth it if you really want to meet someone.

Learn more about the costs of using Match.com by reading our article about whether or not Match,com is free to use.

The history of Match

Since its founding in 1993, Match has expanded its availability to over 245 different countries and 8 different languages, with regional offices in the U.S., Brazil, Japan, and China. When it was inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records in 2004, Match.com had over 15 million users with active profiles.

Now, Match.com is the number one most popular online dating service, with more than 25 million monthly users. It has been around for over 20 years, and is one of the most well-established websites of its kind.

Pros and cons of Match

Some great things about Match are that it has a huge number of active users so you’ll be sure to find some great matches you could potentially have a connection with. Also, Match will send you a new set of matches every day, so you’re sure to eventually find someone who interests you. On top of that, with the Match.com guarantee, if you don’t find someone within 6 months of getting a paid subscription, you’ll be able to use Match for another 6 months for free.

On the negative side, Match.com is not entirely free to use. You have to pay for a subscription if you want to access additional features, and be able to get in touch with your matches. Also, some people might prefer to determine compatibility for themselves, but Match.com recommends users who they think you’ll be interested in.

To read more about these pros and cons, check out our Match.com review.

Match competitors

If Match isn’t right for you, there are lots of other online dating websites and apps you can try out instead. One of Match’s biggest competitors is eHarmony.com – another well-established dating site with a focus on serious relationships. Another great dating site is OkCupid, which is a good option if you’re looking for a free dating site to try out. If you’re looking for a more casual relationship or want to determine compatibility yourself, you can give Tinder a try – it’s free to use as well!

To learn about these competitors and more, check out our article on the best sites like Match.



That’s it for our introduction to Match.com and their service. To learn more details, have a look at the other articles in our free Match.com course. We’ll teach you about the safety of Match.com, how much Match costs, and tell you our thoughts on Match to help you decide if it will work for you. If you’re ready to get started finding love with Match, check out our tutorial on how to sign up for Match.com.


More Match.com Tutorials

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