CatholicMatch.com

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There are many niche dating sites nowadays which cater to singles looking for love from the same religion. However, CatholicMatch.com can be considered the largest dating site for Catholic singles. The website is also one of the most popular in the Catholic dating scene. In fact, it has been recommended publicly by some Catholic leaders.

CatholicMatch does not just focus on looking for suitable partners for its members. Instead, it provides an opportunity to cultivate faith and at the same time, love to ensure a happy and successful marriage.

The website was created in 1999 and was formerly called as SaintRaphael.net in favor of St. Raphael, the patron saint for singles. CatholicMatch has since been connecting like-minded individuals through a faith-based relationship. To prove its effectiveness, the site features many successful marriages that have resulted from couples meeting via Catholicmatch.

Catholic Match has about 1.5 million members worldwide, 50 thousand of which are from the United Kingdom. Its users are also quite active, recording 16,500 daily log-ins and about 2,000 community forum posts every day.

The site has more female members, which makes up 60% of the whole user base while the rest of the 40% are male. On the other hand, it looks like the male members are more on the conservative side. More than half of male members between ages 40-60 accept the teaching of the Church that premarital sex is wrong. Contrary to this, more than half of the female members between ages 40-60 do not accept the teaching of the Church that premarital sex is wrong.

Initial sign-up at CatholicMatch is free. Unfortunately, members cannot send messages and access the site’s useful features without upgrading their account. Below is the price list of premium membership on the website with discounts for different durations:

DurationPrice per monthTotal PriceSavings
1 Month29.95 USD29.95 USD
3 Months19.95 USD59.85 USD33%
6 Months12.49 USD74.95 USD58%

As a Catholic-focused dating site, CatholicMatch has a lot of features related to religion, from the profile creation to discussion forum and polls. For free members, below are the accessible functions:

Profile creation
Aside from the profile photo and basic account information, there are many ways for members to personalize their accounts.
Personal & Background- The ‘Personal’ tab includes various details like personal appearance, habits, political views, exercise, diet and the like. Meanwhile, the ‘Background’ tab is all about family, work, education, languages spoken, and willingness to relocate.

Faith- There is also a section of the profile which talks about the Catholic faith. It involves questions like; Are you a cradle Catholic or a convert? How often do you attend Mass? Do you have any favorite prayers? Or what liturgical style do you prefer? It also asks the member’s view on some specific Church’s teaching and many others. The ‘Faith’ section in the profile cannot be skipped. This gives the users a better sense of how much of a religious a member is when they visit profile.

Favorites & Interests- On the other hand, to delve more on the user’s interests, there are multiple-choice questions which include topics such as favorite color, favorites books, preferred music, hobbies, etc.

Your Own Words- The last part of the profile includes short essay questions where members can freely express themselves and talk about their faith and relationship with the church.

Scrapbook Photos- These are photos separate from the user’s profile photo. It can include pictures of families and friends during events or vacations or even pets.

Video profile- Members can also upload a video to let others have a better sense of their personality. The site automatically converts the uploaded video to a web-friendly format for better and more convenient viewing.

Search and matching
The site has the typical match suggestions based on preferences and basic profile search based on distance age, gender, location and distance, appearance, lifestyle, and most importantly, faith. Still, there are other ways for free members to look for their compatible matches. These include the following:

Match Portrait- Using a simple personality test, users can evaluate potential partners by comparing their own results to others.

Personal Interview- These are found in the user’s profile. It highlights the question a user would like to ask a potential partner to help ascertain if they are compatible or not.

Temperament Test- A long test composed of 107 multiple-choice questions to determine a member’s natural tendencies. The test might result in the four main temperaments: Choleric – a leader type; Phlegmatic – someone who is easy going; Melancholic – someone who is deeply thoughtful; and Sanguine – a people person. Members can only view other user’s results after completing their own Temperament Test.

Interaction with other members
Interacting with members is not very efficient with only a standard membership as private messaging and chat rooms are not accessible. Members can only send their interest to other members by putting them to favorites or sending emotigrams, which are specialized emoticons or mini messages exclusive for CatholicMatch.

With premium membership, users can use all additional features of the dating site listed below:
Advanced Search- Filter searches according to when the members joined the site and when they were last seen active. It also includes keyword search from the essay questions.

Private Email System- Send and read messages to or from all other members without providing personal information.

Instant Messaging- Contact a member in real time.
Personalized Emotigrams- Add personal messages to the standard emotigrams.
Chat Rooms- Group messaging which can be accessed by entering different rooms which open daily from 8pm – 9:30pm and 11pm – 12:30am EST.
Community Forums- Post topics which range from relationship advice to prayer requests. The site has 39 different forums with more than 100,000 subjects and uncountable replies. Paid members can keep track of any topic they are interested in by setting alerts.

Faster customer service response
CatholicMatch also has other unique key features which make it stand out from another website from the same niche. These include its on-site magazine, community polls, online store, and offline events.

Online Magazine- The Catholic Match Magazine contains articles which are written by the staff and members of the site. This includes a wide variety of topics such as faith and culture, relationship advises and success stories. Members can also write critics or comments to make it more interactive.

Online Store- The store has different merchandise like relationship guides, prayer cards, printed shirts as well as gift cards which can be gifted to members to avail paid subscription.

Community Polls- This helps in gauging the opinion of the members in various issues. The polls are refreshed every few weeks, and sometimes, the topics are taken from member suggestions.

Offline Events- Events that are planned and hosted by members like meet-ups or religious activities. The host can post details for the events with the use of the site’s detailed planning guide. Meanwhile, other members can leave comments and select if they are going or not. CatholicMatch has no official involvement in the event planning and process.

The overall layout design of the website has a very modern feel. The functions are also neatly organized and placed wisely in tabs. Users won’t need to take a sweat in finding out and using the site’s features. It is very user-friendly even for new users and those who are not very keen on technology.

Catholic Match also has no annoying pop-adds or large banners which are usually cluttered on pages. If there are any adds, most of them are from Catholic organizations.

The sign-up process is relatively easy, however, completing a profile will take a long time due to too many other details. New users can also sign-up and upload photos using their Facebook account for more convenience. With its many members, it is not difficult to find suitable matches. The site also offers a free premium membership of 6 months for those who haven’t found compatible matches within 6 months of paid membership.

Unfortunately, CatholicMatch currently lacks proper mobile support. The website has no mobile app and can only be accessed through any smartphones browser with a mobile-enabled version. The mobile-friendly site is basically similar to the desktop site with some tweaks to fit the portrait orientation and smaller display of smartphones. However, unlike a mobile app, it has an issue with its slow loading times.

CatholicMatch has an updated Privacy Policy on how user information is used. All the information submitted to the site is protected by 256-bit SSL-encryption. This is the most secure among current encryption technologies and also ensures that all data cannot be accessed by any third parties.

Though there are no in-depth or criminal background checks for every new user, CatholicMatch reviews every user profiles and photos submitted before they are uploaded to the site. Users of CatholicMatch also go only by their first names. Last names and other relevant information are kept confidential. Members can also choose to control those who can see their photos.

Every profile also has an accessible ‘Report Abuse’ button which can be used to report malicious profiles. The staff will then review the profile again and respond within 24-72 hours.

CatholicMatch has a very comprehensive FAQ page and an active community forum for those who have queries. To contact the customer service staff, members can send an email to [email protected] or use the on-site request form. Premium members get a priority with customer service response. Meanwhile, the CatholicMatch team is also very active in other platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Positives
• A large user base of Catholic singles
• Very active members
• Faith-focused features and activities
• 6 months of free premium membership for paying members who haven’t found a suitable match within 6 months.
• Gift cards can be sent to other members to avail premium membership
• Offline events organized by members

Negatives
• Small membership pool in non-major cities
• Lack of mobile support
• Messaging and other essential features are not accessible for free members
• No phone customer service support
• Profile completion takes a long time

CatholicSingles- Like CatholicMatch, it has good faith-focused features. Members can find service times of churches near their location. There is also a ‘Prayer Intentions’ tab where users can divulge their concerns to ask for prayers.

CatholicPeopleMeet- A niche dating site run by People Media. This site has one of the lowest fees at about half the price of CatholicMatch. It has a smaller user base and stricter limitations for free members.

CatholicDatingForFree- As the name suggests, this site is totally free making it accessible for Catholic Singles who doesn’t want to spend money. The interface is very functional but the website design is somehow old-fashioned, and there are many annoying ads.
CatholicMates- This site lower three-month membership fees compared to other sites, but the quality of the service and the profiles are of much lower quality than other dating sites.

There are so many Catholic niche dating sites nowadays, however, unlike other websites which are owned by a company which runs many different niche dating sites, CatholicMatch is owned solely by its creators. This assures a more quality service compared to most sites. The owners come across as sincere and maintaining their personal touch is commended.

There are also some reports of inactive profiles which are still visible in the site. Meanwhile, other users have negative views on the forums. According to some users, most of the members on the forums are quite conservative.

Generally, CatholicMatch provides a good online environment to find possible compatible dates of the same faith. Most members of the site are looking for serious relationships, and it has many high-quality profiles. But don’t expect too much regarding finding many matches in non-major cities.

Although CatholicMatch is the largest Catholic-focused website, it cannot be compared to the user base of major dating sites like eHarmony or Match. It remains, however, the best option for Catholics who are serious in their faith and wish to meet someone like-minded.

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    Nick Evans

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