Online dating was once regarded as a bit strange, and possibly a last resort of the lonely. Now, online dating sites and social networking are downright commonplace! Thousands of people have joined eHarmony and Match.com, and posted a profile on Yahoo Personals. Social networking sites that are more than dating services (such as Friendster and Facebook) are quite popular. But the size of those pools can be intimidating. You can narrow your search for a date by seeking out a niche service, a dating service that caters to people who are like you.
IBS Dating stands for "Irritated Being Single", but it could also stand for "Irritable Bowel Syndrome". It's a dating site for those with IBS or Crohn's Disease. It was founded by Craig Jex, who says the problem with dating for IBS suffers stems more from the anxiety surrounding the dating experience than from the syndrome itself. He explains why and how he started the service in this interview by Tim Phelan. (warning: mildly explicit discussion).
Dating sites for geeks, golfers, republicans, and more, after the jump.
The philosophy behind Golfmates.com is simple: Golf is the perfect first date. Why? It's a sport men and women can enjoy playing together. The sport provides an instantaneous icebreaker—a common interest that two people can discuss. Golf is a relaxing, safe, outdoor activity that provides ample opportunities for socializing between shots. What is more, after nine or 18 holes, a round of golf comes to an end—if two people are not compatible, the end of the round is the end of the date.
In researching this article, I ran into some sites that I didn't include because they didn't seem to be quite what they appeared. There are two schools of thought on selecting a dating service. One says "you get what you pay for" and why should you go for a partner who won't pay for a premium dating site. The other says if you must pay before you can see what you're getting, then you may be burned. However, some sites require registration only for the privacy of their members. Before signing up for any dating service, do some research on their methods, reputation, and policies.