As part of its bid to cater to mature singles, SilverSingles has another trick card up its sleeve: a personality test. The registration process doubles as a quiz and your answers help to refine the matchmaking results. On top of all this, an account is free for everyone, although later on you will need to opt for premium membership since the online dating service will be blocked otherwise.
SilverSingles is part of Spark Networks, just like Match.com. However, SilverSingles is more than a simple copy of its sibling dating sites just with a different audience. It has a distinct style and menu layout, coupled with some matchmaking choices that you won’t see with other sites from within the network.
SilverSingles starts off with a long personality test that cannot be skipped. Even though it’s far from a professional evaluation, the site promises that your answers will be taken into account by the matchmaking engine. Brace yourself though, because the quiz will last for at least 20 minutes, depending on how seriously you take the questions. Luckily the task can be stopped and continued after logging in again.
The test itself isn’t difficult at all: the system makes a statement or shows a word, and you must set where on a scale it applies to you. Unfortunately, the process will quickly fall into monotony, with one question after another. The system also lacks fundamental explanation. For example, it asks whether or not the word ‘strong’ applies to us, but it could just as easily be considered to be physical strength as much as emotional fortitude – and it failed to disclose precisely which it could have been.
At the end of the quiz other types of questions are mixed in, the sort that you might have come to expect from dating sites such as dating or drinking habits and how important those are in your relationship. To the site’s credit, there are a couple of features that we found interesting. For example, you can adjust a slider to set a radius on the map that indicates how far you are willing to travel to meet your date.
After putting the final touches on our profile, we were curious about how the matchmaking engine will implement our answers. First of all, the detailed breakdown of your personality can be found in the profile section. The overview page shows all the core traits on a scale (coupled with a brief explanation), but each of them can be evaluated in a chart that also shows whether you belong to a majority or a minority.
True to its word, SilverSingles implemented the personality test into the matchmaking. By visiting the search page, you’ll see a list of profiles hand-picked by the site and each portrait features a compatibility index. The higher the number, the more likely the two of you are to click. Someone’s page can also be visited to view their own evaluation to get a better picture of their personality. There is a huge drawback in this sense, however, at least for those who wish to date with a free account: unless you upgrade your membership, you won’t be able to see your partner’s photos – they are all blurred out.
There is another way of meeting singles, too, which is to ‘mingle’ – or rather to check out your “Wildcard Matches”. In this case the system conjures up randomly chosen profiles, and you can decide whether you‘d like to get in touch or not. If the feeling is mutual then the site formally introduces you to one another. With that said, however, there is a limit on how many wildcards are shown. Free members will only see ten, while premium members receive 30.
Not being able to see your potential date’s profile picture might serve as a motivation for free users to focus on their personality instead of physical appearance and communicate more openly, but free users are unable to write and receive messages – essentially rendering them completely helpless. On the other hand, subscribed members can enjoy all the freedom that the site has to offer, and chat with their date or send flirty messages en masse.
The browser version of the site isn’t the only platform available for accessing dates over 50. SilverSingles also offers a version for smartphones, but it is a more complex experience when downloading the iOS or Android app. All the features are adjusted to fit the touch-based control, even the registration. As such we think that it’s perhaps better to complete the personality test on a desktop computer first.
The app version of SilverSingles is free to download, but most features are gated off unless you have a premium subscription. The overall layout is different from the browser version, too, with a larger emphasis on pictures and chatting. Speaking with your date is undoubtedly better when done via smartphone, and it’s highly recommended for those who are always on the go.
Even though the pricing strategy is very straightforward, there are some issues with how SilverSingles approaches its premium content. For example, the limitations on free members being unable to see others’ profile pictures, the names of those that have visited them and the inability to send messages is far too restricting. This pretty much prevents them from enjoying their free account in any way possible. The premium subscription allows unlimited communication, total freedom with matchmaking, the ability to identify your visitors, plus an extra 20 wildcard matches per day.
Unlike other dating sites, SilverSingles doesn’t deal with month-by-month plans. The commitment starts from a minimum of three months, with the freedom to choose either semi-annual or annual plans for bigger discounts. Still, the overall sum is charged in one payment: the quarterly plan costs $29.95 per month; the semi-annual plan has a price tag of $17.95 per month, while the annual subscription comes in at the cheapest value of $12.95 per month. It’s also important to highlight that the semi-annual price is a one-time deal, and the next time they renew it the company will charge $22.95 per month.
The customer support of SilverSingles.com is a bit barebones. They have a help section where they tackle most of the issues that users might encounter. However, there is no live chat to contact the helpdesk team, and so the only other option is to write them an email. As part of this, some users reported that they received automatic responses written by the system.
SilverSingles is also rather fresh on the social media dance floor. They only started their Facebook page late 2017 and any interesting posts are still scarce; the platform is mostly being used for advertisements for the site coupled with a handful of articles about mature dating here and there.
SilverSingles offers a unique premise, but fumbles a little with its execution. Only a few dating sites have a personality test that have more than bells and whistles, but none of them caters to a specific group of people. For this reason, SilverSingles.com has the edge. It should be also said that the matchmaking aspect is very attractive. The custom-selected results that depend on high compatibility are very convenient for older people who don’t have the patience or tech-savviness to dig through a long list of people they might not have anything common with. The presentation of these test results, too, are interesting and insightful.
Unfortunately this is where the praise ends. SilverSingles makes some mistakes that, in turn, mean the overall service is less appealing. For example, free users are completely helpless, as they cannot even browse their recommendations properly, on top of the fact that they are prohibited from using any communication tools. The prices are rather fair – especially for a site dedicated to just one group of singles – but the system lacks a monthly plan, therefore making it necessary to commit yourself to at least three months and spend more money overall.
Yet despite these drawbacks, we recommend SilverSingles for those 50 and above looking for love, even if they only stay to check out the personality test.
- Well-implemented personality test
- Stylish design
- Fair prices
- Smartphone app
- Heavily restricted free content
- Limited amount of search results