Niche Dating Sites: Nutty or Nice?

silhouette woman on laptop for blog

It’s time to shake things up a bit. I’m too impatient to just wait for the “one” so I like to try new dating avenues – whether online or in the wild – whenever I can.

Most singles have heard of niche dating sites. There’s a site or a mobile app for every interest and predilection. From cannabis lovers to those who are gluten free to self described ugly schmucks, there are lots to choose from.

My mission, should I decide to complete it, is to try 5 niche dating sites and to report back to you the results of my test drive. Your mission is to comment on my posts, join a couple of sites yourself, and let me know how it goes.

Having recently briefly dated a black man, I decided to start with ebonyandivorydating.com. Let’s discuss while we have some inclusive black bean salad and skillet white cornbread.

I have some white friends who fantasize about dating black men – fully believing that there is truth in the sexual prowess stereotypes rampant in popular culture. Dating black men has not been on my fantasy list – any more than dating men of any other ethnicity. But I’m open to it and find that I can be attracted to men from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds.

As a young white girl growing up in the 50’s in DC, I recall my first crush on David, an 8-year old black boy. We were great friends and I loved to spend time with him. We often walked home from school together and played at each other’s houses.

One afternoon after school, Agnes, my black babysitter, picked me up at David’s house. As we walked back to my house, she stopped and shook her finger at me. “You can’t play with him anymore,” she said. “You have to be careful about black boys. They’re not nice,” she warned. “David IS nice,” I replied in shock.

I felt I had done something wrong and I don’t recall why I never mentioned the conversation to my parents. But Agnes must have controlled my play dates because after that warning David and I only saw each other occasionally.

It was much later in life that I realized Agnes’ reason for curtailing the childhood friendship of a white girl and a black boy. From her perspective, black boys in relationships with white girls were at risk of serious trouble. As a history refresher, interracial marriage wasn’t legal in the U.S. (aside from specific states) until 1967.

Fast-forward to 2015 and my profile submission to ebonyivorydating.com. As a new member, I won a free 30-day “gold” membership, giving me all of the major necessary functions such as email, flirting, etc. I found it easy to sign up, load my profile and main photo, and fill out the “about me” and “about my match” questionnaire.

Beef #1: The geographic preference section does not function well. The site advises you to hold the shift key down to select multiple locations but that doesn’t work. I was unable to select DC, MD, and Virginia. Finally I chose distance from my zip code as my geographic parameter.

Beef #2: The site sends me matches from all over the US. Not my choice.

The site’s “flirt” game is solely based on a guy’s photos. You are shown a member’s photo and asked, “Do You Want to Flirt With This Member?”

Beef #3: You have to leave the flirt page and search for the man’s user name in order to read his profile. If you like him, then you can go back to the flirt page and say you’d like to flirt. Cumbersome!

I’m not sure yet what kind of “flirt” I will receive if a guy wants to flirt with me.

It’s been less than 24 hours since I signed up so it’s too early to judge the success of this site. However, by comparison, I received many more inquiries when I first signed up on Plenty of Fish, Match, and OK Cupid.

Perhaps this is related to number of subscribers. I’m not sure how many guys are actually on ebonyandivorydating.com. The site claims to have millions of users. Time will tell.

So far it appears that the racial balance on ebonyivorydating is similar to other non-niche sites. When I created my profile, I selected matches in all races.

My plan is to keep the all races preference for now and then to retool it to see what happens. It’s an adventure!

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

Resources:

Articles about niche dating sites:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/niche-dating-sites/

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/date-british-guys-farmers-only-growing-appeal-of-niche-dating-sites/

http://money.cnn.com/2015/02/13/technology/online-dating-that-actually-exists/

http://www.businessinsider.com/15-niche-dating-websites-2012-3