It’s common practice for dating websites to charge people subscription fees. This is how they make money in addition to displaying ads on their pages. However, understanding their need for profit doesn’t make it less annoying.
Luckily, there are a few dating websites out there that tackled this problem and found other monetization methods so that users don’t have to pay to speak to each other. There might be perks available in exchange for a few, but you are not obligated to pay anything to use the site.