Online dating expands the universe of choices when looking for a mate or simply a hot first date. But if you have special circumstances and special needs in your life where do you go to find that special someone? BBC News discusses dating sites that cater to specific desires and needs.
When a mainstream site can’t deliver the best qualified matches, a specialist site is the answer, says Trish McDermott, a private dating coach who was on the Match.com start-up team in 1995.
“For a niche site to be successful, it must be about quality over quantity. It’s not about competing with the big guys and should go beyond a matching algorithm. It’s about people, experience and connection,” says Ms. McDermott.
The leading example in this article is a woman who had to avoid the protein gluten in her diet. That means no bread or pasta or other wheat products for starters. Having to live with dietary restrictions is difficult enough but having to then share a life with someone who can eat anything makes life more difficult. The woman in question found a man with who also needed to restrict his diet in the same way on a gluten free dating site. The article goes on to note that such sites can help you find someone born is a specific country, of a specific religious faith and more.
Speed Dating in Miniature
Speed dating is a time honored way to meet a lot of people in a short time. Speed dating events are typically limited to people of a given ethnic background, religious preference or other specific factor.
In a formal speed dating event, at a restaurant for example, either men or women are seated, while the other gender moves from place to place. “Dates” can be as short as three minutes and typically no longer than ten minutes. When the timekeeper rings a bell or simply announces that the “date” is over, participants move on the next date. The participants fill out a contact sheet before the event. This sheet provides contact information such as name, email, and phone number. After the event each person at the speed dating event has a list of the persons that they met. Contact information is provides to both individuals of prospective pair if both have chosen the other person from their list.
Speed dating events that are sponsored by religious or social organizations are commonly free. Other speed dating events may require payment in order to attend. The obvious advantage of speed dating is meeting a large number of persons who also wish to meet someone. An obvious disadvantage is that someone who looks good in a three minute chat may not turn out to be the best choice in the long run.
A specific needs dating site functions like speed dating but online. The available list of potential friends or mates is limited to a specific set of criteria. This makes it more likely that a person you meet via a specific needs dating site will fit the bill. It also greatly reduces the total number of people in the dating pool.