Compatible Partners: eHarmony's Gay Love Child
If you haven't heard of online dating site Compatible Partners, we wouldn't be at all surprised. It's not exactly being promoted like parent company eHarmony's popular TV spots, where "real" members are used to disclose their online love stories.
Compatible Partners is the unwelcome stepchild of eHarmony, the notoriously Christian-focused dating website founded by Neil Clark Warren in the early 2000's. Warren has always been open about his opposition to same-sex marriage, but after a 2008 lawsuit was filed against the dating behemoth for not offering gay and lesbian matchmaking components to its services, eHamony responded by creating a separate dating service for gay and lesbian singles, and Compatible Partners was launched in 2009.
The Obvious Question
Why would the LGBT community support a business who would never have voluntarily supported them? It's not too likely they would, once they become aware of the history of eHarmony/Compatible Partner's forced additional service.
We tried it for you, during a "communicate for free" weekend recently. Wouldn't it be nice if "communicate for free" meant that you could actually use the site--all of it--unfettered, to get a true sense of what the service could actually offer you for your hard earned beans? But no, after going through the drill of filling out a profile, answering a bunch of general personality questions (containing no questions pertaining to anything remotely LGBT) , we found ourselves rolling our eyes.
Compatible Partners feels like every other mainstream typical dating website we've ever visited, only less interesting.
After uploading a zingy pic of our own, we found ourselves surrounded in cartoon icon hell. As a non upgraded member, we received 15 pre-selected matches to browse through, all with cartoon silhouettes and Blandy McBland profile descriptions.
To make matters worse, only a couple of the matches appearing on our dashboard came from our metro area, with most living outside a 60 mile radius. And it turns out 'free communication' weekend meant we could send a freaking SMILE, and 5 pre-canned conversation starters to the lucky lady.
We finally found a question pertaining to LGBT in these conversation starters: "How Out is Out for you?". We wrote a friendly email, but a pop-up alerted us that out email would not be sent unless we upgraded the membership. If that qualifies as 'free communication', then I'd say we were off to a bad start:
Basically, don't bother with the free "just looking" membership, because you won't be able to do anything after all that work you put into your profile. The Basic Plan gives you decent options of communication, but if you're giving CP your money at all, you may as well go for the Total Connect, so you are privy to the ID verification and a double-block phone system to speak with anonymity and safety.
Pros: No more expensive than many of the other mainstreaim dating sites. Good privacy/identification options. Clearly not a pick-up site.
Cons: Misleading offers, extremely time consuming, not for anyone who just wants to get ON with it, and not have to go through step-by-step gyrations to communicate. Not enough features specific to the LGBT population..kind of like paying lip service without substance.
The Dating Guru's Grade: C-