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Online Dating Services - American Singles Review
Review by Joe Tracy, Publisher of Online Dating Magazine

Editor's Note: In 2010, Spark Networks gave up on American Singles and closed it down. Therefore we have removed all links to the service.

Dating Site: American Singles
Slogan: "For love and romance"
Updated Review Date: July 13, 2008
Online Dating Magazine Rating: 7/10
Browse for Free? Yes

Cost Structure
1 Month = $29.99
3 Months = $59.97
6 Months = $79.99

Best Feature:
More ways than any other online dating service to express an interest in someone. Our favorite is the "Think You'd Click?" feature.

Most Annoying Feature:
When you close down your profile and/or leave the service, anyone who you've ever emailed via the service can still see your profile. A close second annoying feature is that when you do a "Who's Online" search, it shows you both males and females (with profiles/pictures) instead of honoring your preferences. Because I'm a male looking for a female, I should only be able to see females online and should only be able to view female profiles. But yet males can view my profile if desired and I can view theirs even if they are only looking for someone of the opposite gender.

American Singles is a nice and well executed dating service that seems to keep up with modern technology while giving you a lot of freedom in your online dating experience. But before delving too far into this review, you should first be forewarned that American Singles is a misleading name. The name implies that it is a site for just American singles to communicate with each other, but you'll find that a number of users are from other countries.

I really like the freedom the American Singles site gives you. You are given the ability to see who you've viewed in the past, who has viewed you, who you have hot listed, who has hot listed you, who you have "teased", who has "teased" you, and so on.

Another thing I like about American Singles is the number of ways it gives you to express an interest and communicate with other members. For example, if I want a girl to know I'm interested in her I can Hot List her (and she'll be able to see I've done so) or I can send her a tease (cute one-liners to express an interest) or an eCard. If I want to communicate with her, I can Instant Message her, email her, or even connect with her in the chat room. There's also a "Think You'd Click?" feature, which is my personal favorite. On every profile there's a "Think You'd Click?" question. If you click Yes, the person is sent an email with several profiles on it, including yours. They "don't know" who said they might click, so they have to view each profile and answer the question themselves. If you both click Yes, you are notified via email.

Like with other online dating services, you get a fair amount of scam spam in your Inbox. Just remember, anytime someone emails you a generic message and puts their email address in that message asking you to email them there... it's likely scam span. Ignore it. By responding, you may find yourself soon inundated with spam (and money-making schemes) in your email account. Or the person will build a fake relationship with you then after gaining your trust invent an emergency causing them to need money.

The chat room is a nice concept, although it doesn't seem to be used by a lot of people and there are only generic categories (Lobby, 20's, 30's, etc.) to select from. Whether you're a paying member or not, you can go to the chat room and chat it up with others. And if you are so inclined, you can start your own chat room. My one qualm with the chat room system is that it is very cluttered and not moderated. People can highlight text, change color, etc. which makes the board hard to read. One person may write a message in white text with a black highlight and the next person has blue text with a yellow highlight. This makes the chat room seem rather juvenile at times.

Your American Singles Message Center is where you manage your email and teases. From here you can block/ignore users and organize your messages. You can also download the American Singles Toolbar (interesting concept) which allows you to get instant message alerts and gives you the ability to respond to any new emails from your desktop.

Nearly everything about American Singles is well executed. When you view someone's profile, it opens a new window. If they are online, a button appears allowing you to chat one on one, if desired. You also have options to email, tease, hot list, or send the person's profile to a friend. American Singles even has an advice section, giving quality advice on what photos work best to get responses, etc.

American Singles pricing structure is a bit complicated. You can choose between one month, three month, or a six month plan. But you can also choose for higher cost plans that include having your profile highlighted (Premium Plan). Here's the difference between the Premium, Standard, and Free services:

My Experience
While I haven't met anyone in person from American Singles, I have communicated with some very nice and intelligent women. The email character limit has been a frustration to no end, but the rest of my experience on American Singles has been extremely pleasant. American Singles is definitely one of the best dating sites out there. However, be aware that you'll likely receive more emails from overseas people than from Americans!

Recommendations to American Singles
American Singles can improve its service by doing the following:

1) Find a way to improve the speed in which you approve photos for new members. It's very frustrating to sign up for a great service then have to wait 48-72 hours for one of the most important aspects of your profile - your pictures - to be approved.

2) Clean up the chat room program. By allowing users to chose different colors/highlights/styles for text, the chat becomes cluttered, hard to read, and at times downright annoying. Let everyone use black text on a white background to keep things clean, simple, and easy to read.

3) Respond quicker to spammers. I've received messages from scam spammers that still have their profiles up weeks later.

4) When a person closes out their profile, they can still receive email from people they sent messages to in the past. And those people can still view the person's profile. This is a major issue that needs correcting. When shutting down a profile, a person should be able to select that the process includes communications too and that no one should be able to see their profile. I fist joined American Singles in 2003. And I can still view the profile of any member I ever communicated with even if they closed down their profile and haven't been a member in years. This has got to stop.

5) When a person does a quick who's online search, the integrity of their preferences should be honored. For example, I'm a male looking for a female. But when I click to do an online search, it shows me all the males too. This has been an issue with American Singles for many years.

In our 2003 review, another issue we had with American Singles was that they only allowed 1,500 characters per email message. That was highly annoying. To its credit, it fixed it even though many other issues from our 2003 review remain unresolved.

If I was to create a quick slogan for American Singles based on my experience, it would be "the freedom to date online the way you want to". I just love how nicely organized, intuitive, and executed the whole site is. I also like that they keep up with technology (i.e. not using HTML-based older chat services like some other sites).
However, we first reviewed American Singles in 2003. The new review was done in 2008. Since that time, American Singles has only corrected one issue we originally brought up five years ago. Because there haven't been more improvements, we've docked them half a point from their original review. But we've also added .2 (point two) points for new features.

Pros Cons
lots of stats messy chat room
many ways to show interest closed profiles remain viewable
technologically up to date online now search issues
nice layout, lots of freedom  

American Singles is rewarded with a score of 7.2 out of 10 (used to be 7.5).

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