When it comes to dating online, there’s something for everyone
Niche dating sites, the smaller, more specific sites for finding that special someone, are no longer the geeks of the online romance world: they are expected to earn $2 billion in revenue this year alone. The specificity of these sites allows you to connect with like-minded people who share similar interests, ergo saving months of needless dating, babysitter fees, and calorie consumption. What better way to find a fellow gluten-free spelunker who loves Better Call Saul? You aren’t overwhelmed by choices, so it is less stressful, and shared interests make for easy conversation. Plus, because the Internet is pregnant with offerings, it takes only a couple of clicks to find just what you are looking for. Below are a few of the selections from the salad bar of niche sites. And, yes, there is even a SaladMatch dating site.
HER: “I am HER. You are HER. We are HER.”
An app for queer, bisexual, and lesbian women, HER connects members based on location, interests, or a quick game of “Would You Rather?” It uses Facebook to confirm your existence—so there is less “catfishing” (people with too much time on their hands who like to make up fake profiles and mess with online daters, aka losers) or marketing robots seeking women.
FarmersOnly.com: “City folks just don’t get it.”
Founded in 1999, FarmersOnly.com is a site for anyone who is into rural living or farming lifestyles. With the same basic structure as Match, it offers the usual online-dating experience for people who eschew the conveyor-belt dating sites. Members generally are interested in connecting with other more traditionally minded people who aren’t commitment-phobes.
With gay and lesbian options, members range from city dwellers who dream about life in the country to real-life cowboys and farmers. Users tend to be more focused on conventional values than playing games and finding the trophy hottie. Marketed as a free website, members must pay to make the site a reasonable option.
Ashley Madison: “Life is short. Have an affair.”
You are a Solo Mom. Let’s not even go there.
VeggieDate: “It’s more than what you eat.”
As its title indicates, VeggieDate is the place to meet people who enjoy the vegetarian lifestyle. The site primarily relies on location, but members can also refine via their level and type of vegetarianism, including vegans, lacto vegetarians, ovo vegetarians, pescatarians, semi-vegetarians, and those just beginning their journey into the non-meat-eating world. After a two-week trial membership, including a “wink” feature, the site is then monetized.
Tastebuds: “Meet people through music.”
This UK-based site was founded on the reasoning that similar tastes in music will lead to similar tastes in mates.
Geared more toward millennials, this music-based dating site is also a good fit for us immature Solo Moms who still like to hang out at concerts and clubs in avoidance of actually growing up (aka me).
Tastebuds is free and fairly easy to join via Facebook. Members are asked to list their favorite bands and answer a few general questions. Instead of being matched by age, location, etc., the magic algorithm pairs up people by musical tastes. This takes off the pressure to create a perfect profile. Once you connect, you can message. It also has features such as Events Matchmaker (functions like a message board), the option to send songs to your match, and a fun game called Gig Roulette. Need I say more?
SingleParentMeet.com: “The place where single parents meet.”
Yay! This global site is free to join and free to browse, and creating your profile is quick and easy—after all, we are Solo Moms. Features include chat rooms and forums, offering a stress-free environment to meet potential matches. For a fee, you can upgrade to a premium membership. Members run the gamut of people seeking that lifetime connection to those looking for fun and companionship to others who just need support and advice.
With niche dating, if you can imagine it might exist—it does. Some other, more specific sites include:
- Alikewise: A dating site that matches book lovers.
- GlutenFreeSingles: For those who don’t want to feel alone because they live a gluten-free lifestyle.
- BeautifulPeople.com: Only people deemed beautiful enough are allowed to join.
- TallFriends.com: This site boasts tall people looking for tall dates. (At 5 feet 11, this is the site for me!)
- Date Surfers: The place to find single surfers, as well as the best waves and local gatherings. (Having a weakness for surfers, this is also the site for me.)
The list is endless, but I would be remiss if I did not fill you in on what I believe to be the best dating site for Solo Moms:
Meetup: “Find your people.”
Technically a social-networking site, Meetup’s goal is to connect locals via common interests, hobbies, or just a desire to learn something new. If you don’t find what you’re looking for in the bazillions of options, you can create your own Meetup group, as the site’s mission is to revitalize communities and help people to self-organize.
Following the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, founder Scott Heiferman was inspired by the way the people of New York City came together. He turned to the Internet as a conduit to bring others together in community. It has since become the world’s largest network of local groups. Events are presented via postal codes, and the service is free for those who log in as members.
Meetups are safe places to connect with new friends and potential matches while doing something fun. Offerings even include events for single parents!
So now, armed with far more dating-site information than necessary, it’s time for you to grab your babysitter or your BabyBjörn, get out of the house, and have a life. Date, connect, laugh, make friends, and find lovers, and perhaps there is even a wedding in your future.
And if there is, don’t forget to invite me: I hear weddings are a great place to meet men!
Kathleen Laccinole, ESME’s Dating Resource Guide, has penned numerous films and parenting books but is best known for producing the highly lauded Greta, age 20, and William, age 16.
Please feel free to contact us with any comments or questions.