Your question was: Why does match.com now charge, it didn't used to did it?.
I know you've gotten advice about getting a makeover, to just BE yourself, and to BE confident. While these things are well intended, IMO they're TOO vague..
If someone gets a makeover and thinks the "makeover" is what makes them FEEL better, then I find it hard to believe that that will be a great way about it. Just like if I ridicule or torment myself for missing a work AS motivation to work out, then I'm using WAR as a tactic of motivation. It's not the same as a makeover, it's just that if people think their "physical" appearance is going to 'change' things, I think they're using the wrong incentives for motivation and confidence..
Twirlyfry made a great point about HAVING HOBBIES. Listen, if you're ONLY going to school WITHOUT fulfilling your life's passions, life tends to seem meaningless. I know once I wrote down a list of things I wanted to accomplish before I die, I was givien my LIFE PURPOSE on that piece of paper. I had goals that I could work on TODAY. Once I began working on those goals, I was on a PATH that has enabled me to cross other people's paths that I've befriended and have something in common with. It was this list that helped me meet the amazing woman I'm dating (online dating with Match.com) now..
The thing for me was that I was working on MYSELF, not working on "finding" a mate. Finding a mate was a result of me working on myself. It was a bi-product of my own self-improvement. If you're NOT happy with who you are NOW, you will not be happy with the mate you find tomorrow. Work on achieving and fulfilling your PASSIONS in life and men will be all around you WHILE you're LIVING your life..
It's just how it works. Makeovers are a "quick fix" but not something that will flip the switch in your head, as far as, confidence goes. Only LIVING with PURPOSE and having an understanding of yourself will you be able to gain "HEALTHY" confidence..
Just a thought..
Intelligent women are sought after by intelligent, confident men..
Believe me, many men find intelligent women a turn on..
You may have to tweak your look a bit, though. I feel every woman who is dating (online dating with Match.com) is better off getting a makeover. That means going over your clothing styles and really seeing if you can choose more attractive clothes for yourself...ditto for your hair style, your fitness levels, etc..
I just don't think you are in the right circles because honestly, intelligent men love intelligent women. You just have to market yourself a bit better (go where intelligent men go and make yourself alluring enough for them to want to approach you)..
What sort of interests do you have? If you like playing board games and/or roleplaying games (D&D for example), then look for a local game store where they do games. Women are scarce at those type places and guaranteed it won't be hard to meet an intelligent geeky sort of guy. For that type of guy, an intelligent nerdy girl is quite wonderful...