As the saying goes, there’s someone for everyone. Thanks to the Internet, love can be found at first click. But if the scope of general dating sites is overwhelming, don’t fear. There’s now an easy way to narrow the playing field, thanks to hundreds of niche dating websites that cater to almost any specialty imaginable.
There are sites for practically every religion and ethnicity, and even sites for redheads and men with mustaches. But what if you’re interested in someone who loves cats, is a Star Trekker or uses a Mac? Well, you’re in luck.
Click ahead to see 12 unique dating sites that may help you or someone you know find that special someone — in time for Valentine's Day, or any other day.
By Michelle Fox
Posted 1 February 2012
Founded in 2001, EquestrianSingles.comis a place for horse lovers to meet online, and hopefully find love. Founders Marcia Zwilling and Jan Mirkin-Earley came up with the idea after Zwilling met a young couple who had met on a trail ride. More than 10 years later, the site boasts over 102,000 members worldwide and thousands of success stories and marriages.
Not only do members share a love of horses, they understand the time, energy and commitment that owning a horse requires.
"This type of online community is unprecedented," Zwilling said. “Our members also participate as trainers in the Mustang Makeovers, organize parties, trail rides, and (charitable) benefits to help those in need.”
A one-month membership is $24.95, six months is $29.95 and a year is $39.95.
For those who love their Mac and would never consider dating someone who uses a PC, they can meet an Apple fanboy or girl on Cupidtino.com.The founders of the site claim that Mac and Apple fans have a lot in common — personalities, creative professions, a sense of style and taste and a love for technology.
“Cupidtino is like that neighborhood café where the people are hip, decor is classy, conversation is intelligent and prices are reasonable,” said Amol Kelkar, co-founder and CTO.
To join the site, “Machearts” must have a Mac. The company also recently launched an iPhone app, so you can connect on the go.
It’s free to join and contact other members, but to read messages users pay $4.79 a month — the price of a venti Mocha Lite in the Starbucks in Apple’s hometown of Cupertino, Calif.
Geeks make the best friends and best lovers because they’re smart and loyal, Geek2Geekproclaims. But founder and owner Spencer Koppel says dating is a difficult thing for geeks. They have to look through thousands of profiles on traditional dating sites before finding someone who may be of interest.
Geek2Geek uses a sophisticated “geek scoring system” by asking users questions, such as education, ethnicity and political and geek interests. It also asks people their three most-important criteria so matches can be ranked to reflect that.
There are now close to 300,000 subscribers trying to find their fellow geek soul-mate. It’s free to put up a profile and browse the site. To send messages, users pay $30 a month.
Are you rooting for Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich for president in 2012? Or perhaps you’re a die-hard Barack Obama supporter. Either way, if you are looking for a mate who shares your political views, just sign up for RepublicanPeopleMeet.comor DemocratPeopleMeet.com.
You don’t have to be politically active to join either site. As RepublicanPeopleMeet says, its site is where you can meet your “Mr. or Ms. RIGHT.”
It’s free to browse both websites, which are run by People Media, but only paying members can send messages. Subscriptions cost $13.99 a month or $9.49 a month for six months.
Other than the dog park and the vet’s office, there aren’t too many places for animal lovers to meet. So those looking to cuddle with more than their pet can search for their human mate on MustLovePets.com.
While members don’t have to be a pet owner to join, they must love animals. Only want to date a dog owner? No problem. Members list their pets and can even post pictures.
A basic membership is free. A premium membership, which allows users to initiate emails to other members, is a one-time fee of $44.95.
This dating site for book lovers allows members to find other bibliophiles based on their taste in books. And you don’t have to be a lover of classic literature to join — the books can be about anything, from yoga to cooking.
Each member’s profile includes a list of his or her favorite reads, and you can search by book or author to find a potential date. Alikewise.comalso matches up those of the appropriate age and gender who mention the same book. It also matches on similar books by tapping into Amazon’s algorithms.
Co-founder Matt Sherman says he started the site after a breakup.
“I had gotten out of a relationship and wished I could meet a woman based on a common book,” he said. “I was looking for someone of a certain intellectual curiosity, and figured that it would be a great conversation starter.”
The site is free.
A farm isn’t exactly a hotbed of singles activity. That’s why Jerry Miller founded FarmersOnly.com,a website for single farmers, ranchers and those who love rural life.
“Our members tell us they just can't relate to singles on other online dating sites,” he said. “Also, they often live in small towns with few people their age, or they might work long hours on the farm. This makes it hard to meet people.”
Instead of asking members what their astrological sign is, FarmersOnly asks if they raise or breed “alpacas, horses, cattle, dogs, goats, rabbits, sheep, [and] grow crops.” Members can be a farmer, student farmer, cowboy, cowgirl, or just a “farmer wanna be.”
FarmersOnly boasts about 150,000 members and a wedding a week of those who’ve connected on the website. Standard membership, which allows users to browse profiles and receive “flirts,” is free. Premium membership allows members to send and receive emails, among other perks, and is $15.95 a month, $29.95 for three months and $49.95 for six months.
OurTime.comis online dating for the baby-boomer set. Aimed at single men and women over age 50, it claims to be the largest online dating community for that age group.
The website says it “celebrates this exciting chapter of our lives” and honors the freedom, wisdom and appreciation for life that only comes with time.
“I am too old for games and have no time for people who pretend to be someone that they are not,” one member wrote in her profile.
Proving that the 50-plus crowd is one of the fastest-growing groups in the online dating world, OurTime.com says it has over 1 million users with nearly 10,000 people registering every day. It’s free to browse but to read and reply to messages, subscribers pay $19.99 a month, $11.99 a month for six months or $9.99 a month for 12 months.
Trekkers unite! “Love Long & Prosper” is the rallying call for TrekPassions.com,which touts itself as a social networking site for science fiction lovers — including fans of “Star Trek.” Trekkersand other sci-fi fans can bond over their favorite “Star Trek” episode, sci-fi books or the site’s video library. Or perhaps they’d rather plan a road trip to a convention.
One member looking for a fellow Trekker says her offline friends don’t understand the draw. “Most of my friends run a mile when I start talking Trek,” she posted.
The site is free to join, and users can chose to join any of the more than 200 affiliated Passions Network sites — including Stache Passions, for men with mustaches and women who like them, Wine Lover Passions and Goth Passions.
HowAboutWe.comsays it’s putting the “date” back in dating by taking the online dating experience offline. The concept is simple — propose a date and see who else is interested.
The website, which was launched by two childhood friends who were dissatisfied with the dating website options, says it’s the antidote to the exhaustive process of online dating. Profiles are simple. Members can browse date ideas by activity, location or time, and can filter their search results based on personal preferences.
Date ideas have included “bring our cameras and go on a photography expedition around town,” “take a beginners class of a language we both want to learn” and “lurk at a coffee shop and make up stories about the couples who we think are on their first date.”
There have been more than 500,000 dates posted since it launched in New York in 2010. It went nationwide in 2011. The cost of a subscription ranges from $8 a month to $35 a month, depending on how long a member signs up for. There is also a free mobile app that allows members to post dates on the fly.
Ivy Leaguers and those who want to date them can meet their matches on IvyDate.com.The website was started by two Harvard Business School students who saw a gap in the market.
“We were in these environments where we met inspirational, great people and we saw this great disconnect,” co-founder and co-CEO Beri Meric said. “There was just no way for them to connect with people because they were so busy with their own thing.”
While you don’t have to be an Ivy League student or graduate to join, the site says it caters to highly accomplished, driven people. Profiles are reviewed by a membership committee, and once approved, members are given five matches a week. There is no browsable database.
The bonus, Meric said, is that even if there is no romantic connection, people can forge professional relationships or friendships.
Members pay $50 a month, $40 a month for three months, or $30 a month for six months.
If you’re a vegetarian striking out on your quest for love in the supermarket’s produce aisle, you can turn to VeggieDate.org.Members include lacto vegetarians (dairy yes, eggs no), ovo vegetarians (eggs yes, dairy no), fish vegetarians and vegans.
Since there are not many active local vegetarian organizations, VeggieDate fills the gap, founder Steve Urow says.
“For many vegetarians it is more than just a diet — it is somewhat of a lifestyle,” he said. “VeggieDate caters to a very specialized niche and provides an environment where our members are not constantly queried or teased about their eating habits."
After a two-week free trial, it costs $9.95 to join for three months.