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Interested in international online dating? Use a mainstream dating site or join DatingDirect.com. Why? Read my Dating Direct review to find out.
In the last decades, online dating has had a major impact on the ways people find a partner. Not only it made it easier to find those who are single and looking but it has cut off boundaries and canceled distances.
Online dating is responsible for many distance relationships by opening the doors to international dating.
Most mainstream online dating sites welcome members from all over the world. But if you’re looking specifically for a European match, DatingDirect.com could be your best bet.
Dating Direct was launched back in 1999 in the UK, in an era when online dating wasn’t even a thing. It enjoyed a huge success right from the start; by 2003, the year when most dating sites were launched on the market, Dating Direct already counted over 40,000 members.
In 2012 the site was acquired by Meetic group and was merged with Match.com. The two sites now share similar functionalities and a common database of users, so why join Dating Direct?
The reason is simple. Dating Direct was one of the first dating sites to enter the European market. Popular mainly in the UK but also in many other countries on the Old Continent, Dating Direct is still preferred to Match by the users in these countries.
Therefore, if you’re specifically interested in international romance with a European man or woman, joining DatingDirect.com will increase your chances of finding the right match.
Before rushing to join the site, here are a few things to consider before signing up.
Things To Consider Before Signing Up To DatingDirect.com
At a first glance, Dating Direct looks very similar to the more famous site in the US, Match.com. At a more in-depth look, you’ll be surprised to find that the two online dating platforms are almost identical. Confused?
I was too, that’s why I decided to dig into it. Both Dating Direct and Match belong to the same company, Meetic, which owns dating sites all over the world. Some of their most famous mainstream sites in the US, Match.com aside, are Plenty of Fish, Ok Cupid and Black People Meet. But the similarities between Dating Direct and Match are so striking, that the two sites seem two version of the same platform.
And they are indeed. The main difference between them is the audience. While Match.com is popular in America, Dating Direct made history in the UK and Europe since the dawn of online dating. With the traditionalist character these countries have, there is no wonder in why Meetic hasn’t changed the platform in the UK.
However, the two dating sites are almost identical and share the user database. Yet, if you’re looking for matches in your proximity, DatingDirect.com could not be your best option, unless you live in Europe.
Dating Direct could also be unsuitable for you if you already joined Match.com and didn’t like its functionalities. Yes, DD boasts a different color scheme but the differences in terms of design, layout, and interface are negligible.
You should also know that Dating Direct doesn’t come with an app. Therefore, if you like mobile’s versatility, sticking to Match.com could be a better idea.
However, if you want to date someone from the UK or from Europe in general, Dating Direct could increase your chances to find a potential match.
What Is DatingDirect.com?
DatingDirect.com is one of the earliest dating sites launched in 1999 in the UK. More than a dating site, the platform developed into a true community that offers people a place where to socialize, share thoughts and opinions, meet other singles, and find online romance.
That’s why Dating Direct has preserved much of its original character despite merging with the popular American platform in 2012.
Geared towards singles in the UK, Dating Direct accepts members from all over the world, while many sister sites serve numerous European countries including Spain, France, and Italy.
The platform works in a way similar to most mainstream dating sites. Signing up is free but you’ll have to subscribe to a paid membership to enjoy the full benefits. Creating an account is an easy 5-step process that takes around 5 minutes to complete.
First, you’ll be asked to select your gender and whether you’re looking for men or women. Then, the platform will ask you to choose a username, password, and provide an email address. At this stage, you’ll be automatically redirected to a questionnaire that asks you to provide personal details, including your marital status and intention on the site.
All this info will then be displayed on your profile, and this step saves you the hassle of filling in the profile at a later time.
Uploading a profile image is optional but highly recommended, then you’ll be redirected to your dashboard.
The homepage will show you a selection of profiles that best match with your profile and that are located near you. You can open and check all profiles, add them to your favorites or send a Wink to those you like. If none of the matches selected by the site is of your interest, there is a search option where you can sort the results by location, age, and other criteria.
Your user experience ends here unless you upgrade to a paid membership. There are different plans to choose from and as a Premium member, you’ll be able to send and answer to messages, join live chats and more.
Dating Direct comes with a bunch of features but before talking about them, have a look at the main pros and cons of this platform.
Dating Direct Advantages
- Generous user pool. Dating Direct may be less famous in America but is one of the main dating sites in the UK. Merged with Match.com in 2012, the Dating Direct shares a common user database with the former and counts thousands of members worldwide.
- Matchmaking questionnaire. Dating Direct uses a matchmaking questionnaire, called Affinity to match you with other users. The purpose of Affinity is to help the system find people with whom you might have a thing or two in common.
- Features. This online dating site boasts interesting features designed to take your experience to the next level. Advanced search features and filtering options, several interaction ways, but also a blog packed and loaded with advice and online dating tips will certainly make you enjoy your time on the site.
- Safety. Like most mainstream dating sites, Dating Direct complies with all local and international safety regulations. The quality of the members is high and most profiles are genuine.
- Events. Interested in helping members find a date and even a potential partner, Dating Direct organizes a series of live events and single nights in the UK and not only. Depending on your lifestyle, you can join open-air activities, walking tours, nights out, and other events designed specifically to help singles meet and connect.
Dating Direct Disadvantages
- Free members enjoy very limited features and the site is pretty much useless unless you subscribe to a paid membership.
- DatingDirect.com doesn’t have an app. However, the site has a very responsive mobile version that will basically allow you to connect from your smartphone or mobile device.
- The subscription renews automatically and you won’t get any notifications when this happens. Make sure to keep track of your subscription if you want to cancel it before the renewal date.
Dating Direct Features
Not yet convinced Dating Direct is the right dating site for you? Or do you just want to find out more about its core features? Read on to learn more about this site.
DatingDirect.com uses several tools to create a solid matchmaking system. The first is the signup quiz that gathers information about your past and current marital status, body type, race, education, and your intentions on the site.
Once you land in the dashboard, you’ll have the opportunity to access the Affinity questionnaire; the questionnaire is rather lengthy and laborious but it’s well worth the hassle.
Based on your answers to both questionnaires, the matchmaking system finds users that match your personality and who are located within a manageable distance. Because the site is mostly used in Europe, I do recommend setting your preferences regarding location. You can either set the maximum distance in miles or enter the name of a city.
For instance, I set my search options to the members located in London and chose the maximum distance. The results included members from all over the UK and France, which gave me plenty of choice in terms of international dating.
The matchmaking system also uses these preferences to send you 6 matches a day; you can view their profiles, add them to favorites, or send a message if you’re really interested.
Dating Direct gives members multiple interaction options that go from a simple wink to messages and chats.
Interaction is reserved to the paying members, but with a free membership, you can still show interest by liking other profiles or by sending a Wink, which is the equivalent of a flirt. Sadly, you won’t know if the other user has contacted you unless you subscribe to a monthly plan.
The paid membership welcomes you to full interaction. As a Premium member, you’ll be able to send winks, gifts, messages, or communicate via chat. All these channels will help you decide whether or not it’s worth taking the things to the next level and ask the other member to meet you in real life.
An engaging way to draw attention is by playing the “hot or not” style game. You’ll be prompted with the profile picture of a member and you’ll have to choose whether you’re interested, uninterested, or maybe interested.
If you click yes, the other member will get a notification and you’ll have the chance to connect.
One of the best things about DatingDirect.com is the single events hosted by in collaboration with Match.com. These events are held internationally and you can simply choose which ones to see by selecting your preferred city.
When talking about Single Events most people think of wild parties and nights out, but Dating Direct is geared towards helping people create connections and finding a long-term relationship. Yes, there are nights out and parties to join, but there are also multiple alternative events.
For instance, you can choose to discover a new city by joining a walking tour, attend an outdoor competition, or join a cooking class.
Caring for the safety of its members, Dating Direct comes with a series of dating tips which are seamlessly displayed on the site’s homepage. I recommend reading through these tips if you haven’t used an online dating site before.
Not only you’ll learn what to watch for to avoid falling victim of fraud or criminality, but you’ll also learn the basic do’s and don’ts of online dating.
Dating Direct enjoys a huge user pool which it shares with its twin site, Match.com. The vast majority of the profiles are genuine and you’ll get to enjoy a fun and rewarding online dating experience on this platform.
Quality and quantity of members also mean you’ll find someone to talk to at any time. Even those living in smaller towns find plentiful members in their proximity, and most of them are active on a weekly basis.
If you don’t believe me, there is an easy way to test the quality of the members by joining the site and leaving your profile blank for a week. Don’t upload a picture and don’t put in any profile information. Then, go back after a week and check how many members have contacted you.
The odds are you won’t have any messages, after all, who’d contact a blank profile. Those who have contacted you, however, are probably just fake profiles you should steer clear from.
Arrived at this stage, you’re perhaps wondering what’s the verdict. Do I recommend DatingDirect.com? I certainly do, but this doesn’t mean you should join the site.
Dating Direct can be a superlative online dating site if you live in the right side of the world or if you’re interested in meeting people from a very specific geographical area, namely from the UK and perhaps from other neighboring countries.
If you live in the US and are looking for the man of your life within a manageable distance, Match.com is a much better choice.
By joining Dating Direct you also agree to keep your online dating experience more on a desktop than on mobile. This site doesn’t have an app, yet Match.com does. Since both platforms share the same user pool, you might choose the latter should you need an app.
Yet, I do recommend DatingDirect.com if you’re the traditionalist type who wants to connect with people in an old-fashioned way. This site has attractive graphics, is intuitive, and easy to use. A responsive mobile version will even allow you to stay connected on the go.
At the end of the day, DatingDirect.com really deserves a chance. And since joining it is free, you can just signup to see how you feel. Then, it’s up to you to decide whether or not this site is worth a chance in your case.
As a pragmatic woman, Roxana didn't focus much on the matters of heart until falling head over hills for the wrong guy. After a devastating relationship, she studied the dynamics of dating and man's behavior to understand what went wrong. Her path drifted from science to letters, with the aim to share her knowledge with other women in need. She is now a contributor to Her Aspiration.