In the past decade, most of the world has gone from spurning the idea of finding love online to embracing it with a big bear hug.
Just look at the abundant number of dating apps available, many based on specific needs and interests. Some of these apps are so ingrained in our everyday vernacular that the mere mention brings a smile to our faces.
I once overheard my 8-year-old daughter humming a familiar tune. When I asked what is was, she sang out, “You don’t have to be lonely at Farmer’s Only dot com."
To which I replied, “City folks just don’t get it.” She laughed because she knew the commercial and the jingle. Clearly, Mom and Dad were watching Dr. Phil again, because I’m pretty sure that spot doesn’t air on Nickelodeon.
If you’re lost, go to YouTube and type in “Farmers Only Commercial” to see the original from 2007 and many more ads like it on the FarmersOnly.com YouTube channel.
Not surprisingly, these interest-specific sites report high levels of relationship success (of course they do). But there really is external evidence to support sites intent on matching us based on religion, sports, sexual preference and more.
In an article published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, researchers Sharon Sassler at Cornell University and Amanda Jayne Miller at the University of Indianapolis examined working-class and middle-class couples.
Among other interesting tidbits, they found that where individuals meet romantic partners (e.g., bar, church, online) has a big influence on the kind of support they expect to receive from friends and family.
They also found those common interests were credited for sustaining relationships long after that initial glance at church or the “swipe right” on Tinder.
So if the sea of fish on popular dating sites such as Match.com and eHarmony is just too difficult to navigate, check out some of these interest- and lifestyle-specific sites:
SinglesWithFoodAllergies.com: As the name suggests, this site connects singles affected by food allergies. According to their site, if you’re celiac and sexy or dairy-free and dynamic, they can help you find lactose-intolerant love. If you’re not looking for love, only to make friends with others with similar allergies, this is still a great service for making those connections.
GlutenfreeSingles.com: Similar to Singles With Food Allergies, this site matches people based on food, allergies and lifestyles. So if you’re gluten-free due to disease, intolerance or choice, have no fear. GlutenfreeSingles, is “committed to building a national and global community for those who are gluten-free.”
Vampersonals.com: Looking for a sleep-all-day, party-all-night bloodsucker? This site is for you. In all seriousness, they possess the power to link you with “like-minded individuals in your area to spend time with, hang out, have fun and enjoy the darker sides of [un]life.”
TrekPassions.com: If you’re into “Star Trek,” TrekPassions.com creates bonds based on science fiction and fantasy interests. They even accept “Star Wars” fans.
Dr. Adam C. Earnheardt is professor and chair of the department of communication at Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH, USA. He researches and writes about communication and relationships, parenting and sports. He writes a weekly column for The Vindicator newspaper on social media and society.