POF Review (2020) - Does Plenty Of Fish Actually Work?

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POF Review (2020) – Does Plenty Of Fish Actually Work?

First things first, you’re probably wondering… “Does free = a waste of time?”

online dating is frustrating

Sure, free online dating sites can be sketchy – tons of fake profiles, women who aren’t serious about dating, etc. So is Plenty of Fish any good, or are you better off trying your luck on OkCupid?

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This POF Review has everything you need to know about this popular free dating site, starting with…

Pros & Cons Of Plenty Of Fish


  • As one of the most popular free dating sites in the world, it has a huge user pool, with an enormous variety of women – including the occasional (okay, very occasional) reality TV star. Patti Stanger of Bravo Network fame met her husband on the site.
  • You'll find daters looking for just about everything, from a long-term relationship to a hookup.
  • The sheer number of users makes it a great option if you live in a rural area or small city.
  • Unlike other free sites, basic features like unlimited messaging don’t require an upgraded membership (although premium members can set a filter allowing only people who also have a paid membership to message them).
  • You don’t have to upgrade to see who has viewed your profile, which makes it easy to send icebreakers to women who have checked you out.
  • The advanced search feature gives you tons of filtering options, so sorting by specific criteria like “education”, “income”, and “profession” is easy.
  • There's both a desktop version and a dating app.


  • As with any free site, you’ll have to do some heavy curating. Anyone can create a profile and dive into the POF dating pool, so expect to encounter spammers, scammers, prostitutes, and fake profiles.
  • Because it attracts so many users, competition for the most attractive women on POF can be fierce. Keep reading for plenty of tips that will make you stand out from the crowd.
  • Match quality varies wildly, which is one of the biggest Plenty of Fish complaints. The site is kind of like the Walmart of the online dating world – sure, there’s always the chance you could run into a total hottie in the produce aisle, but you’re going to have to wade through a sea of notties to get there. At least you can filter out the ones who don’t own a car or have a job…
  • You have to upgrade to view extended profiles, get rid of all the ads, and find out if she read your message or not.
  • There's no phone number for POF customer service, as all issues are handled via email through the help center page.


If you’re in an area with a small pool of singles or you can’t afford to pay for a dating site subscription, POF is definitely a good option for you.

Creating a POF profile and using all the basic features like search filters and messaging is completely free. That’s one of the things people love about POF – if you don’t want to pay for an upgrade, it’s still a very useable, effective dating site.

Also, if you’re between the ages of 18 to 25, POF is a great choice for you too because it’s packed with younger women who aren’t quite ready to pay for online dating.

If you decide to try out POF, just be prepared to spend some time (okay, lots of time), searching for high-quality women you actually want to meet.

Do these extra features justify the cost of becoming an “Upgraded Member”?

Here's what it costs to become an “Upgraded Member” on POF:

POF premium membership cost

And these are some of the features premium members can access:

      • See if she read or deleted your message.
      • Get highlighted in her search results. If she’s scrolling through profiles while catching up on Game Of Thrones, that tan box can help catch her eye.POF highlighted search results
      • Priority placement on Meet Me!, the section of the site where you can say “Yes”, “No”,  “Maybe” or “Super Yes” to meeting with a user based solely on profile pictures. Upgraded members can also see who said “Yes” to their photos, which makes it easy to send her an icebreaker. If she’s already expressed interest, she’s likely to respond to your message.
      • See exactly when a user checked out your profile.
      • The ability to change your POF username – which could be worth it, if yours is terrible. (And if it is, check out these great POF username examples!)
      • Access to the username search on POF’s app.

If you can only afford to pay for one dating site at a time, you might be better off spending that money on another site. For example, OkCupid’s A-List is a good option if you’re in your 20s and Match.com could be a good choice if you’re in your 30s.

Match.com tends to attract women who are much more serious about meeting people in person and ultimately finding a relationship. And in general the women are more attractive on both Match.com and OkCupid.

It’s generally a good idea to test out 3 or 4 of the best dating apps and sites at once to see which one(s) work best for you.

When it comes to finding interesting women, you’ll love how user friendly the POF search engines are. There are two levels – Basic and Advanced.

Basic Search Features, Whether You Upgrade Or Not…

pof basic search features

POF allows users with a free membership to search for matches by body type, which can really come in handy on this site if you’re not interested in meeting overweight women.

POF search filter

You can also search by type of relationship sought, education level, ethnicity, location, and age.

POF restricts you to messaging users within 14 years of your own age. So if you’re into the May/December thing, this site doesn’t make it easy. Changing your birthday isn’t an option, you can only alter that date (and your gender) within 2 weeks of signing up. You can either create a brand new account, or try a sugar daddy dating site instead.

The simple pull down menus allow you to filter for multiple options, for instance women who selected “thin”, “athletic” or “average” as a body type.

You can sort your results by “newest users” or “last online”. Attractive women on POF tend to get bombarded with messages, so sending messages to new users can give you a chance to catch her attention before her inbox gets overwhelmed.

To save time, only send messages to women who were active on the site within the last few days, preferably within 24 hours. Sorting your results by last online can help ensure you’re not sending messages to women who rarely check in.

Advanced Search Features You Should Be Using

POF advanced search filters

The POF advanced search engine allows you to filter your matches on all sorts of criteria, from owning a car to speaking a second language, pet ownership and marital status.

Of course, the more criteria you specify, the smaller your pool of matches will get. Resist the urge to catalog shop for your dream woman, and use the advanced search to filter for true deal breakers.

POF Advanced Search Hack:Use the “Personality” categories to quickly send copy & paste messages to women who interest you. For instance, you could send a message like this to any woman who selected “traveler”:

For more on how to go about this, read this article on copying & pasting your way to more responses and dates.

How To Get Started On Plenty of Fish

You can download POF's dating app for iOS or Android, or sign up at POF.com. You have to fill out a multi-section questionnaire, and almost all the fields are mandatory.

POF profile setup

If you want, you can also spend a few minutes taking POF’s chemistry test. You can bring up the questions by clicking the “Chemistry” button on the main menu bar. 

POF chemistry test

 It consists of 73 multiple choice personality questions, the answers to which will help improve your match quality, according to the dating site.

Once you’ve got all the questions out of the way, it’s time to focus on the real meat and potatoes of your profile. POF profiles are typically shorter than what you’d find on a more “serious” site like Match.com, but they’re no less important.

Step 1: Nail The Username And Headline

The first step is coming up with a username, and to stand out on POF, you need a good one. Check out  these 15 examples of irresistible POF usernames  so you can pick one one that attracts women for you (or at least doesn’t repel them!)….

When she checks her messages, your username is going to make an instant impression – and if it’s a bad one, you can kiss your chances of a response goodbye. Do you really think she’s going to be intrigued by anything “BSman007” has to say?

POF username example

In addition to creating a username, you’ll also need to come up with a headline. Headlines are just as prominently displayed as usernames, so you can’t slack here either.

When your headline catches her eye and actually makes her stop and think for a moment, she’s staring at your picture for that much longer. And studies have found that increased exposure to a photo increases likeability.

POF headline bad example

An effective headline needs to be creative and interesting, but try to keep the words simple and easy to read – researchers discovered that using simple language is perceived as more attractive because people are instinctively drawn towards words that are easy to remember and pronounce.

But “simple and easy to read” doesn’t grant you license to be lazy. Headlines like “Insert headline here” and “adfdasfadf” are instant turn offs. You don’t want to give the impression you’re not taking your profile (or dating) seriously, or worse – that you’re on the south end of the intelligence spectrum.

example of a bad POF headline

Get inspired by these 15 best headlines for POF, because if you sound desperate, boring, or lonely – she’s moving on to the next guy.

Step 2: Write A Profile She Can’t Resist

It’s true that choosing strong photos is the most important aspect of setting up your POF account. But unless your looks are on par with Ryan Gosling, a terrible profile will torpedo your chances of meeting high quality women.

bad POF profile example

On POF, the bulk of your profile is the “About Me” section. There’s also a space to list your interests, and a “First Date” idea. Remember, this is one of the most popular free sites in the world, so seizing every opportunity to capture her interest is essential. If you want to meet the hottest women on POF, you need to bring your A-game – or hire a professional writer to create an irresistible profile for you.

If you use the POF app, the “Spark” feature allows users to comment on any section of your profile or your photos by dragging and dropping the “quotes” icon onto the relevant content.

POF comment feature

If you leave your profile blank, that’s a missed opportunity to inspire her to connect with you.

Most guys find it’s difficult to write about themselves in an attractive way, so check out this article on how to write a perfect POF profile. It’s packed with tips and even a few “First Date” ideas, but for now here’s a quick Dos and Don’ts primer to get you started:


  • Show rather than tell. No one wants to read a boring list of adjectives, so instead of writing “I’m adventurous, daring, and love to travel”, describe that time you went bungee jumping in Costa Rica.
  • Make it 70% about you, 30% about her. If it’s all about you, that’s a turn off – she’ll assume you’re a Me Monster and move on. But if it’s all about her, you come off as desperate and eager to please. Research has shown 70:30 to be the golden ratio.
  • Follow this easy profile writing formula:

Profile Writing Formula


  • Forget to proofread. That’s right, spelling and punctuation matter. A lot. A recent Match.com survey revealed that a whopping 88% of women reported judging men based on their grammar. Singles surveyed by POF agreed – 58% of them said they can’t live with poor grammar.
  • Bring the drama. Everyone has past relationships that ended for a reason. She doesn’t want to read about your exes, or your personal issues whatsoever, in a dating profile. In fact, skip anything negative altogether, and just focus on the positive.
  • Swear, make offensive jokes, or generally come off like a jerk. She gets enough of that crass “humor” in messages from all those losers who don’t know how to write opening lines for POF that actually work. She definitely doesn’t want to read it in your profile.

Step 3: Upload Some Killer Photos

This ain’t your first rodeo. You know you need solid photos to attract hot women. You can have the most kick ass username, headline, and profile on the entire planet, but if you pair it with a terrible photo, you’re sunk.

POF photo tips

POF allows basic users to upload up to 8 pictures, or 16 if you upgrade. But just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Stick with a range of 3 to 6 strong photos.

It’s difficult to showcase all the facets of your personality with just 1 or 2 images, and almost impossible to look equally good in more than 7. Photos follow the “weakest link” adage – you’re only as good as your worst picture – because guess which one she’ll remember most?

Check out this article for a full tutorial on choosing your best online dating photos. But if you’re looking for some quick advice, here are the essentials on selecting pictures:

  • Look like a hot prospect. This isn’t about physical looks – it’s about the image you’re conveying. Choose photos that let her know you’ve got a lot going on in your life. Hobbies, pets, friends, family, interesting travel pics… of course you want to choose photos where you look as attractive as possible, but what’s going on in the frame is important as well.
  • Get feedback. It’s difficult to keep an open mind when it comes to evaluating your own pictures. Gather opinions from your friends, preferable female ones. It makes sense to use the pictures your target market are most attracted too, right? You can also post them to Photofeeler.com for some truly unbiased critiques.
  • Be interesting. Don’t just go with an array of 6 bathroom selfies. Not even your mom wants to see that. Remember – she’s going to imagine what it’s like to hang out with you when she’s scrolling through your pics, so make sure you’re a guy she wants to hang with.

Once you’ve got your photos uploaded, you’re off to the races.

The Best Way EVER To Meet Women On POF

With such a huge user pool, you’ve got to work extra hard to get noticed by the most attractive women. Free doesn’t equal easy, unfortunately. Having an arsenal of copy & paste icebreaker messages you can send to any woman who interests you will save hours upon hours of time. That’s why you might want to check out these examples of POF opening lines that work right now.

But even with a stash of go-to icebreaker messages at your disposal, sifting through all those profiles to find a perfect 10 is going to take time. Why not consult an expert and develop an online dating strategy before you jump in the dating pool?

VIDA has been helping guys like you find their dream woman since 2009. Our experts handle everything from start to finish – writing your profile, choosing your photos, even exchanging messages with the intriguing local women you want to meet most! All you have to do is show up for the dates.

It all starts with a free 20-minute consultation that might just change your life! Click here to find out more…

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About VIDA Select

VIDA Select takes all the frustration, hard work and hassle out of modern dating! From a dedicated personal matchmaker to a crew of professional writers, everything will be handled for you. Wouldn't it be nice to finally stop swiping and start dating higher quality matches so you can meet someone special? Thousands of singles have trusted VIDA Select with this incredibly important mission, and we're ready to make you our next success story. To see if you qualify, answer a few quick questions now.

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