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“Finding a soul mate can cost you.” As the data breach of the adultery website, Ashley Madison.com, has shown, online dating doesn’t come cheap — in terms of monthly fees and, in extreme cases, public embarrassment and lawyer’s fees in divorce court.
A decade ago, many sites were free or had minimal fees of around a month.(charged .95 per month when it launched in 1995.) e Harmony, launched in 2000 and marketed toward people seeking long-term relationships, blazed a trail with its prices, charging some of the highest in the industry, says Mark Brooks, a dating-industry analyst and the editor of Online Personals Watch.Of course, there was a business reason for charging low rates in the early days, some experts say: Sites needed to stock the sea of love with fish.The faster they attracted users, the more useful the sites would be, Brooks says.