Yet with the online dating industry worth £170 million by 2012, and a 2014 study predicting that more than half of couples will meet in the digital world in 20 years’ time, it’s clear that dating websites have an enduring appeal.
Both of which are completely normal and understandable niches.
You can find your first mate with Seacaptaindate.com, which claims to be only place for Sea Captains to connect with men and women who share a love of the ocean.
Clowndating.com, a clown dating website is similarly a bit odd (not least because most people either associate clowns strongly with their childhood or find them nightmare-inducingly terrifying), as is “a dating networking site for death industry professionals”.
I can’t decide whether uk, a place for people with herpes to meet one another, represents a really responsible attitude to take to one’s incurable and highly contagious STI, or whether it’s weird to restrict one’s choice of partner to people who have the same disease as you.
She’s tried pretty much every mainstream online site going, but confesses that she isn’t really looking for love.“It’s more like a game of snap” she tells me.
“When someone expresses an interest in you, whether it’s with a message, a ‘like’ or a ‘wink’ it’s like ‘BOOM! It’s this little daily self-esteem boost – A way of flirting with no consequences and without even having the leave the house”.
Specific For those with a more definite idea of what they are searching for in a partner, these sites promise to sort the wheat from the chaff.
is “Ireland’s number one dating site for single moms and dads” whilst uk offers a forum for “older people who want to meet new friends and companions”.
Plenty of Fish is the largest dating site and has over 90 million users, but you can also get a paid premium service.
According to year long Plenty of Fish member member, Brian*, "Profiles tell you so little about a person.
In a bid to pour some clarity on the issue, I investigated the vast and occasionally terrifying world of dating websites. Standard, Specific sometimes laughably soweird and plain wrong. She also blogs about motherhood and the funny side of life at bibsey.