Are Niche Sites Better for Finding Love?
Older daters are looking for love on the big popular dating sites and on smaller, more targeted niche ones. Which is better? Opinion is divided.
As the overall online dating business has grown, sites targeting those over 50 have, naturally, followed. Silver Singles, a dating website for people over 50, OurTime, created for New Yorkers over 50, and Stitch, which emphasizes companionship for 50+ daters—are but a few of them. That’s not to say that those over 50 seeking romance don’t use the more popular sites like Match.com or eHarmony. They do.
Julie Spira, the editor-in-chief of Cyber-Dating Expert, encourages her clientele to use both general and niche dating sites in order to cast a wide net. She advises them to include their passions on their Match or eHarmony profile, but then branch out to a specific niche site that best fits their interests, whatever they might be. And it doesn’t have to necessarily be a senior-oriented one.
“Niche dating sites are good for everyone,” Spira says. “People have their own particular interests, whether they want to date a vegan or vegetarian, or someone who is very athletic.”
Name the hobby or passion, and there’s likely to be a dating site geared towards it. There are literally hundreds of obscure dating sites. Into Ninja warriors? No worries, there’s Ninja Passions. Want to Make America Great Again? Trump.Dating exists. Do you love clowns? Go to Clown Dating. Have you sworn off Gluten? At Gluten Free Singles you’ll likely find other kindred spirits.
The key benefit of niche dating sites, says Krissy Dolor, an executive at The Worthy One, a life coaching website for women, is that users can find others with similar interests.
“If it’s something you’re passionate about, you can guarantee there are people on the site who are also passionate about it,” says Dolor. “That’s a big pro.”
Besides finding others who love the same things you do, Dolor points out that the smaller audiences of niche dating sites can actually be a perk that can’t be had on mainstream sites. In other words, it’s easier to stand out than on a mainstream site where there are thousands of other singles looking for similar things.
“Because the pool is smaller, there’s more of a chance that people will actually see your messages,” Dolor said. “It can be disheartening not to get a response. It’s not like you’re swimming in a sea with many other fish on niche sites. There are probably less than a quarter of people on Gluten Free Singles everyday than Match.com.”
Melani Robinson, an online dating expert living in New York City, said a website made for people over 50 like OurTime would seemingly be an ideal niche site for people in that age group. However, unlike Dolor, she believes online daters over 50 are better off using larger, broad dating sites.
“I’m not even sure that niche dating sites are good for people 50 and over,” Robinson, 56, said. “There’s a limited pool of people. Why limit yourself to this small pool of available single men and women and say, ‘I will only date vegans,’ or ‘I will only date people who love dogs?’”
In the end, she points out, it might not matter much anyway. “It’s my feeling that at my age, the things I thought were important have become less important as I get older,” she said.