You've tried conventional online dating, but you have had limited or no luck finding potential partners. If you happen to be black, or gay, or have some other characteristic or preference that narrows your selection of dating partners, general Internet dating sites may not be your best choice. As it turns out, alternative dating sites exist for nearly every dating niche.
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Ethnic, Cultural and Religious Dating Sites
Many members of online dating sites want to date others of their own race, ethnic group or religion. This is especially true of white singles, according to Science Daily, summarising research from the University of California at Berkeley. Speciality sites such as JDate and Black Singles give individuals the opportunity to search for potential dating partners within a preselected database. Speciality dating sites may also increase the number of dating prospects for particular groups, such as black females. Black women often receive few or no responses on general dating sites, even from black males, according to "OKTrends."
Mature Dating Sites
Online dating is not just for twenty-somethings. Men and women over age 50 are the fastest-growing demographic group using online social networking sites, according to "AARP the Magazine." Fully half of all baby boomers have posted profiles on one or more social networking platforms. Although older daters can and do use general dating sites, especially for older women, the odds of finding a suitable match are better on a dating site that caters to mature singles, such as Single Friend Finder.
Gay and Lesbian Dating Sites
Gay and lesbian singles face their own challenges when using general dating sites. Although many websites allow users to specify that they are seeking partners of the same gender, many people hesitate to do so. There is a very real risk of suffering adverse personal or professional consequences from stating a preference for a same-sex partner on a public dating website if someone is even partially closeted. There is even some risk for personal safety, Lavender Liaisons states.
Other Alternative Dating Sites
If you are seeking a "no-strings" sexual encounter or if you have a sexually transmitted disease, general online dating sites often yield limited prospects if you state your preferences upfront. Alternative dating sites such as X-Matches on the "Chicago Reader" or STD Match removes much of the awkwardness of disclosing your personal circumstances to someone who might be unreceptive. However, individuals who decide to use alternative dating sites should be especially careful about maintaining personal safety. Check out anyone you plan to meet in person, XBiz advises.
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- "Psychology Today": Love.com -- The Virtual Dating Game; Jason Williams; January 2003
- Science Daily: In Online Dating, Blacks More Open to Romancing Whites Than Vice Versa, Study Finds; Feb. 12, 2011
- "OK Trends": How Your Race Affects The Messages You Get; Christian Rudder; October 2009
- "AARP the Magazine": Social Networking is Where It's At Among Boomers; George Blooston et. al.; September/October 2010
- "XBiz": Alternative Dating Sites; Paul Lundgren; March 2006
- Lavender Liaisons: What to Expect