Anyone who has yet to try online dating may admit the possibilities are daunting. Not all dating sites are created equal. While sites such as eHarmony and Match.com are for people looking for a long-term relationship, Plenty of Fish is more for hookups, and Tinder lies somewhere in between. There are also several hobby and personal interest-based, niche dating sites that offer plenty of other possibilities.
One woman (we’ll call her Stephanie) met a guy on Bumble. She knew right off the bat they wouldn’t be compatible because he is a wine distributor and she is allergic to sulfites, which prevents her from drinking wine. Despite telling him this in advance, her date kept insisting she try the wine that he ordered for the table. After a few polite sips, the date ended with her taking an antihistamine to combat hives and abruptly excusing herself.
“After our date, I blocked him on Bumble because he just wasn’t reading my social cues. His eagerness to show off his wine expertise overshadowed his regard for my health and safety, which is clearly a red flag,” she says. “Plus,” she continued, “his face was covered in broken capillaries, suggesting he has a serious drinking habit.” In her date’s case, Winery Friends Date might have been a better place for him to look.
Another woman, who we’ll call Lisa, tried eHarmony, where she was asked to fill out an “endless questionnaire.” Being only 5 feet 2 inches tall, she ticked the “height unimportant,” box. “Even in five-inch heels, I am too short for a six-foot tall guy,” she said. “While most women want to date a tall guy. I want just the opposite.” Unfortunately, not specifying a height requirement, led eHarmony to send her potential matches with little people and men with dwarfism.
Dating coach and self-styled professional wingwoman Molly Peckler, founder of cannabis-friendly matchmaking firm Highly Devoted, suggests people should be as specific as possible when looking for a partner.
In Lisa’s case, she now specifies that she is looking for a man who is between 5 foot 6 and 5 foot 9. She is now off eHarmony and on Short People Club, with specific height requirements in mind.
Sometimes people are afraid to come across as being too picky because it appears egotistical, however, being specific about your desires roots out potential deal-breakers and disqualifiers somewhere down the line. For instance, sometimes one partner is into cannabis while the other is not, but might go along with it in the short term.
A man (we’ll call him Pete), who is a publicist from Canada, said his girlfriend did not mind his marijuana habit at first, but, “Now she is always complaining that I stink like weed.” Ouch. “I love her, but I often wonder if I should find someone else, who truly doesn’t mind that I smoke. Maybe she thought it was a habit that I would grow out of,” he theorizes.
As cannabis-oriented social network and dating app High There (aka the Tinder for tokers) points out, “Opposites may attract, but they don’t stick together.”
Rather than try to date someone who pretends to like horseback riding when in reality they have never ridden, try equestrian dating.
Bumble was designed to put women in the driver’s seat. Men cannot contact women on Bumble, unless the woman they are interested is interested in return, and reaches out to a guy first. Lindsay* tried Bumble. She went on three disastrous dates, before pulling the plug on the app.
“My profile specifically said no divorcees and no kids, but the men on Bumble just lied about their marital status,” she says. “I was garnering interest mostly from married men because I forgot to specify ‘no married men’ either. If I wanted a married man, I would be on Ashley Madison or Sugar Daddy For Me!” A self-described nerd, Lindsay now has her profile listed on Geeky Friends Date and Plenty of Geeks.
Depending on how deep your geekdom goes, TrekPassions is specifically for Trekkies; the kind of superfans who cosplay at Star Trek conventions. As for the age old super geek debate, Star Trek vs. Star Wars, have no fear – the force is strong with Star Wars dating.
Whatever your interests are, in today’s modern world there is probably a dating site tailor-made just for you and others like you. If you are still not finding your niche, try doing a search for, “[insert hobby] dating.” Chances are there is a dedicated site or app for it.