Overview of Dating Buddies
Datingbuddies.com is a Casual Dating Site designed to help people meet local singles or date online. You can Flirt, Message, Voice Chat, Video Chat, and Date. I think the site does a good job of catering to a new generation of online daters. People want different things. Not everyone wants a relationship and not everyone wants a hookup. This site lets you find people without the hassle of trying to weed out people who just want a quick hookup and people who want to find someone for a serious relationship. Apart from the good work they’ve done with the advanced search and organising the site, they’ve also managed to make it fun. It’s a very busy dating site with a ton of new members and regulars. I love this site – it’s probably one of the best dating sites I have reviewed in a while.
One of my favorite features is the Smart Match technology DatingBuddies uses to make the search and site relevant for members. They use the personal info you give in your profile, your preferences, searches, and site activity (likes, winks, flirts, chats) to learn about what you like. The Smart Match program uses the info to show search results, flirts, and members you’ll be interested in. If you want a Local Single Blonde, you can find it. If you want a relationship with Black Christian Singles, you can do that, too. This is a newer technology some of the best online dating sites are using and I think it improves the dating experience. If your searches or interests change, the program adjusts, too. You can always still search for people outside your normal preferences by using the Search Bar.
The biggest critique I have for this site is that it is not a fully free dating site. You need a paid membership to use Messaging, Voice Chat, and Video Chat. In order to interact with VIP Members, you need the VIP Upgrade on top of the Silver or Gold Membership.
Features and Activities
The Dating Buddies Site focuses heavily on direct communication vs social media/public communication. There’s no Status Update or Community Forum. This is designed to help you reach out to people one on one (or two on one if you’re looking for a local threesome or couple). You can use the features to Flirt and reach out, or to Message and Chat directly. It is a big deal for me that they got the communication tools down so well. It isn’t very often that I review or use sites that let you get right to a Fast Online Chat, but also have good tech features and a site that isn’t scammy and glitchy.
- Home – This is your default landing page. It has all the features you’ll use when you’re online. This is where you will see Alerts, Chat Requests, Messages, and access your Dashboard for activities or to Browse by category. If you want to do a Search or Advanced Search you can do that from here, too.
- Mail – There is an Envelope or Mail Icon that will alert you when you have a new Request to Chat or Message another member. It will also store your past Messages. The paid membership packages offer longer storage for your Chats, and the permission to see and interact with more people. The VIP membership lets you Message anyone and keep your Chats indefinitely. I don’t like the different levels for communication and permissions. Some of them are confusing, but ultimately, the best deal with most perks is the Paid Plan + VIP if you want to Message people on the site at all.
- New Members – See who’s new to the site. There are a LOT of new members all the time, so this is a feature I like because I can see new profiles and reach out to them right away. The flip side of a busy site is that there is a bit of fighting for attention.
- Your New Matches – These are matches that the Smart Match feature comes up with for you based on all the info you give and your site activity.
- Browse – Look through members by category or view people you’ve interacted with. Choose to see people who are:
- New – Shows new site members.
- Online – Shows members who are Online Now and have not hidden themselves. You can choose to remain Offline if you like to play on the the site in private.
- Matches – Shows people the site suggests as Matches.
- VIP – Shows VIP Members. You can view these many of these members (not all), but can only interact with them if you have Upgraded to a VIP Membership, in addition to Gold or Silver Subscription. If you aren’t a VIP Member, this section a tease to try to get you to add it.
- Admirers – Members who’ve Winked at you or Liked your Profile.
- Favorites – Mutual Likes and Winks.
- Visitors – Members who have visited your full Profile to learn more about you.
- Blocked – Use the Block feature for any member who is harassing you or making you uncomfortable (or any other reason, you may want to block people you know if you are dating discreetly). This is a feature I really appreciate, and I like that I don’t have to search for it. While I like chatting and dating online, there are definitely people I don’t want to interact with more than once… or ever. If you ever change your mind, you can Unblock whenever you want.
- Profile –The information you give on your profile helps the site find matches for you. Fill it out completely so the Smart Match can do what it does so well.
- Chat – Voice Chat or Video Chat with members. You can only Chat if you have paid for a Gold or Silver Package. You can only Chat with VIPs if you have also added the VIP to your Profile. This is where they nail you down for the Full Membership because not being able to chat takes away all the site’s best features.
- Flirt – Shows people to Flirt with, based on the info the Smart Match tool collects. The Top Flirts of the Week are on the Home Page of the website. This is a cool feature because it can be harder to get noticed or have Flirts returned on busy sites like this. The Top Flirts are the members who have interacted and Flirted the most, so if you’re active onsite, you have a chance to get featured on the Home Page.
The free membership on DatingBuddies lets you use basic features, like simple Search, limited Browsing, and reading Mail. If you want to use the various Chat features, see all the Members when you Browse, and connect with anyone you want, you need to upgrade. The choices for upgrading on this website are a little more complicated than some others I have used.
If you’re going to get a Silver or Gold Plan, you should really just buy the VIP, too. There are so many features on here that you can’t use if you don’t, so my suggestion is to get a full VIP Membership so that you’re getting the most for your money. If you can’t connect, there’s really no point to using a dating site, especially paying for it!
The six-month plan is the best deal, and even adding the VIP plan makes it less per month than the monthly paid plan. They are also billed when you sign up, so it is a higher cost upfront. If you prefer making payments via phone, you can do that, too.
1-month membership at $39.99/month
- Add VIP $14.90/month = $54.89
- Total due at signup = $54.89
3-month membership at $29.99/month
- Add VIP $14.90/month = $44.89
- Total due at signup = $134.67
- Saves $10/month or $30 total
6-month membership at $24.99/month
- Add VIP $14.90/month = $39.89
- Total due at sign-up = $239.34
- Saves $15/month or $90 total
DatingBuddies.com is one of the Best Free Dating Sites I have reviewed, even if it isn’t really free (spoiler: none of them are). It functions like a social media dating site, centered around Messaging and Chat. They have a good system for reviewing and validating profiles, getting rid of trolls and fake accounts, good site security, and the members are really active.
The winning feature of this site is the Smart Match. It makes it much easier to find people you’re attracted to, members who are looking for the same kind of interaction or relationship you are and weed out the members you have no interest in. This saves a lot of time, chatting with people who want something different and sifting through profiles of people who aren’t your type.
My least favorite things about the site are the Membership Structure, as I think it could be simplified, and the lack of a Status Update feature. A lot of the new dating sites have Status Updates, and they make the dating sites really fun. They become a place to hang out and chat with others, even if you don’t want to date them. It also gives you the advantage of seeing how people interact and talk before you start a one-on-one chat with them. I’d love to see them add that in the future.
Overall, DatingBuddies.com is designed well, runs well, and is worth the money if you are willing to purchase the Membership and VIP. If the VIP add-on is not in your budget, I’d suggest you try a one-month or three-month plan to see if you like the site before making a six-month commitment. I ended up getting the six-month membership because I like this site so much.