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DateHookup.com Review: "Juvenile and Demeaning"

We're always on the lookout for free online dating sites.  And by free, we mean truly free.  So many sites that claim to be free actually are tricky come-ons for you to drop money for stupid enhanced features like Blendr's idiotic Superpowers. Can't anyone just make a free site?  That's what attracted to us about DateHookup.com.  After all, its subtitle is "100% Free Dating."

We were hoping for the best.  In the end, though, we were disappointed.

What It Is and Who Owns It

DateHookup is a barebones dating site--nary a bell nor a whistle to be had.  Its claim to fame:  it is 100% free.

We were shocked to learn that DateHookup.com is owned by IAC/InterActiveCorp. since August 2012, DateHookup.com is a surprisingly paltry offering in IAC's otherwise reputable stable of websites, which include properties like About.com, Ask.com, Match.com, and our favorite, OKCupid.com.

Despite the provocative name, this is not a hookup site.  It is primarily a dating site.  If hookups should occur, that's a different matter.

 Extremely Thin Profiles, Few Photos

Entire dating profile


Image © DateHookup.com; provided by courtesy of DateHookup.com

Wow, can it be possible to write shorter profiles than the ones on DateHookup?

In our research, we frequently bristle at the way online dating sites force you to write more in your profile.  Blendr plays all sorts of tricks (and a few fun games) to try, try, try to coerce you to write a bigger, fatter profile.  We hate being prodded along like that, but it's all for a good cause.

But with DateHookup, members get by with the bare minimum:

  • A "cheat sheet" like the one you see above.
  • 30-40 words in the "About Me" section.
  • One photo.

That's hardly enough to go on.  The site does have one small inducement to profile writing.  If you see a member you like and want to "gift" him or her with a small cartoon hamburger, heart, cookies, seals, rose, or other juvenalia, you'll first need to add to your Profile.

Plus, the photos are tiny:  about 300 px by 300 px.  You can barely see the features of the person you are viewing.  Why are the pictures so small?  To make room for the giant ads crowding the site on all sides.

Cost:  Is It Really Free?

Yes.  With the free membership, you can fully view members' profiles and initiate and receive messages--unlike many sites which claim to be free.

Alas, DateHookup.com tries to squeeze a little more money from its members by offering worthless VIP packages:

  • $7.95 per month if you sign up for 6 months.
  • $11.95 per month if you sign up for 3 months.
  • $14.95 if you sign up for one month.

For the prices, you get to turn off the ads, plus you have "access to the hottest members on DateHookup" with an unspecified search feature.

Deceptive Interface

We really hated the way this site tries to get you to click on ads.  While we are sympathetic to the fact that they need to make money via advertising because they have no other revenue sources, this can get a little ridiculous.

Dating Hookup Deceptive Interface

Image © DateHookup.com; provided by courtesy of DateHookup.com

Observe above.  They insert an ad for Match.com squarely in the center of a female member's profile.  Because the ad blends in so seamlessly, we feel compelled to identify, in red, parts that are legitimate profile or ad.  This problem is exacerbated because the Match.com ad is active:  it allows for a person to click on one of the ad's age categories.  To us, this feels deceptive and very wrong.  We don't like this.  Ads are fine, but they should be clearly identified.

Deceptive Partners

Image © DateHookup.com; provided by courtesy of DateHookup.com

Here's more.  Observe this square, shown above, in DateHookup.com's left-hand column for its so-called "Partners."  Hey, sounds good.

Turns out "Premium Matches" is an affiliate link to Match.com; "Free Matches" is an affiliate link to Zoosk (a bald-faced lie, since Zoosk, at $29.95/month is anything but free); and "Casual Matches" is an affiliate link to AdultFriendFinder.com.

What this means is that DateHookup.com gets a sweet monetary kickback (an affiliate payment)  if you should happen to sign up for any of those three competing dating sites.  In the example of Match.com, DateHookup.com would get $26.24.

What's worse, consider this:  a dating site is recommending you go to another dating site.


DateHookup feels juvenile and demeaning.  It's got a skanky feel, much like PlentyOfFish--except not as good as PlentyOfFish (which is pretty awful, we might add).

Pass on this one.  It's not worth your time.

Grade:  F

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