WSJ: How niche-specific dating apps—designed to pair up pet lovers, vegetarians, gamers, runners and
even astrology zealots—are helping singles find common ground quickly now that we’re no longer confined
(I am sharing this article from Saturday’s Wall Street Journal. I also share my thoughts and insights as an online dating consultant and online dating profile writer on these sites below. The most important things for online dating success: a sense of adventure, a positive outlook and marketing yourself correctly on the right site(s)!)
BY RACHEL WOLFE, WSJ Reporter
AFTER A LONG and lonely lockdown, Theresa Causa was ready for love. To find it, the 40-year-old nurse practitioner in San Antonio turned to the new dating app “S’More,” which helps users pair up by literally shifting the focus from physical appearances to mutual goals and interests. When matches first connect, they see only blurred versions of each other’s profile photos, along with bios, hobbies and answers to prompts like “What are your top 3 qualities in a match?” As they exchange messages, their photos gradually un-blur.
“I was, like, ‘This is for me,’” said Ms. Causa. “I wanted to look for something less superficial. I didn’t want any games. I’m done with games.” After a few weeks, she matched with her now-partner. “It’s what I prayed for, I’m not kidding you.”
Now that singles of all ages can date again less riskily in much of the country—including those rebounding after a spike in the divorce rate during the pandemic’s early months—an
increasing number are opting for apps that narrowcast. The goal: to more efficiently find partners whose passions or identities overlap closely with theirs. The options range from apps for those commit- ted to sobriety (Loosid) and people on the autism spectrum (Hiki), to matchmakers for fitness buffs (TeamUp), dog lovers (Dig) gamers (Kippo), vegetarians (Veggly) and amateur astrologists.
(Stars Align, NUiT and the Pattern). It’s not an entirely new concept: Christian Mingle was launched in 2001, while Grindr, an app for gay men, made its debut in 2009 and Tastebuds, which matches people based on their taste in music, showed up in 2010. But these more-specific-than-Tinder options “never really got the kind of traction I’m seeing right now,” said Julie Spira, author of “The Perils of Cyber- Dating” and founder of an online dating-advice company. “The space is exploding,” she said.
Today, there are over 420 dating apps on the Google Play and iOS app stores, according to analytics firm App Annie. Ms. Spira says that developers of niche sites are responding to a
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Andrea McGinty’s (Founder of 33000Dates.com and ItsJustLunch.com) Comments and Thoughts:
Well, first I have to say that I love how many online dating articles and tips there have been lately in the mass media. The more info shared---the less the stigma of online dating. Though when I look at the stats over the last two years, this taboo must be receding since 1 of 3 couples in 2019 and 2020 met online. This makes my heart sing!
While it is highlighted in the article that there
are 420 dating apps on app stores, there are over 1400 online dating sites out in cyberspace.
That said, let’s get to my primary thoughts and points:
1. You get what you pay for. Many are niche apps with little budget for advertising. Thus, some of these sites have an incredibly low number of single members spread throughout the US, and sometimes the world. It’s difficult for most singles to find a partner this way---and the last thing I want is for my clients to feel instant frustration online.
2. Here is an example of such a site: Meditation Dating | Meet Meditation Lovers Today
Meditation dating and match making service for online meeting of meditation single members from around the world. Meditation matchmaking and new age online dating. 100% FREE! Join us now and meet meditation …
Now, I am not criticizing this site---I love meditation! So do several of my clients.
As I work with singles, I get to know them well via a zoom call, weekly coaching calls, writing their dating profiles, choosing the right sites where I think they will have the most success and choosing photos and more. When a site like this is brought up by a client, I say go for it. No harm. But at the same time, we also
work the dating site that I recommend.
3. I believe in skin in the game! That means all members pay. Once you pay, it’s a commitment and says I’m serious about dating and a real-life relationship!
4. Some dating sites/apps that have been around since the inception of online dating---or been around at least 5-10 years, also will be able to address your specific interests and lifestyles. As I’m not affiliated with ANY dating app/site, I can be pretty objective with my clients regarding which sites are most beneficial for them. For example, a recent client, a
54-year-old doctor, Mark (name changed for privacy) in Nashville had certain criteria, one being she likes to cycle as he does it all over the world. Match.com has a great search engine for picking out dates in his area that love cycling—and we hit the jackpot after one month. They are engaged now---which makes my day….!