Imagine walking down Broadway in NYC, one of the most densely populated cities in the world. It's rush hour. Bumper-to-bumper traffic is at a standstill and you can hardly part the seas of people on the sidewalk. Now imagine that every person you pass on the street—be it cab driver, corporate type, casual shopper or tourist—is single and looking for love.
This is what it's like on Match.com, where over 15 million members navigate a virtual city of singles, hoping to meet their match. Match.com is available in 18 different languages with members from 246 countries so you can also rencontrez leur allumette, treffen Sie ihr Gleiches, incontri il loro fiammifero, or resuelva su fósforo.
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Since 1995, Match.com has literally set records—The Guinness World Record in 2004—as the largest online dating site in the world, but does bigger mean better? Despite Match.com's massive pool of members, the site itself is easy to manage. As for sifting through members to find your needle-in-the-haystack: it's a classic case of "the more you put in, the more you get out." A thorough profile promises well-matched results, and with so many singles at your fingertips you are welcome to be picky.
Profiles include information (of both the box-checking and open-ended sort) about you and about your ideal match. Input your birth order and the last book you read, along with general details such as age and location. There is also a chart to cite turn ons and turn offs (PDA? Long hair? Body piercing?).
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For those that can't handle the stress of writing their own profile—and we wish you luck when it comes time for an actual date—Match.com offers professional profile writing services ($39.99) to polish your profile for you. Advice on photo selection is free. (Guess they couldn't charge for tips like "Do have it look like you." Now we get it...) For those that still don't, there are articles such as "How Many Photos Should I Post?". There is room for up to 26, which drastically decreases the chance that a first date will begin with: "Well, that was my good side."
To find members: search for general information, Match words (up to 50 tags you add to your profile) or profile keywords. You can save your searches and/or have new results e-mailed to you. Another way to find—and be found—is through pre-made matches, sorted by percent match according to your criteria for an ideal match. This feature tends to deliver clone-like matches, so if you are of the "opposites attract" school, you may be disappointed.