Lifestyle

No end to dating world

SAME SAME: Some people prefer to date those within their own work and interest groups
SAME SAME: Some people prefer to date those within their own work and interest groups Ingram Publishing

IT CAN be hard to impress a date in a bunker with tinned food and a human-waste compactor. But there is hope for people looking for love despite believing the end of the world is nigh.

Survivalist Singles, an American website for amorous doomsayers, is among dozens of niche dating services enjoying an unlikely boom in popularity. The niche dating scene is similarly buoyant in Britain, and considerably more positive about the future. UniformDating.com has a disproportionately visible presence in TV ad breaks for "the UK's premium dating service where you can find lots of women and men in uniform", but reports a growing membership.

Elsewhere online, in a global industry worth an estimated $A3.9billion, there are sites designed for most religions (JDate, for Jewish singletons in the UK, has been around for more than 10 years), rich people, horsy people and even married people.

Undercoverlovers.com has more than 500,000 members and has unveiled posters it plans to release at the same time as the Euro 2012 football championships in Poland and Ukraine this summer. The ads feature photos of Wayne Rooney and John Terry and say: "After scoring at home, time to play away!"

Almost one in five newly married couples now report starting their relationship with the click of a mouse. Once seen as the preserve of the desperate, online dating has tipped into the mainstream.

But now it's no longer enough to tick boxes to state interests on general dating sites.

Aussie Tracey Cox, who writes about relationships and sex, says she is not surprised by the rise of more specialised services.

"We already live in an age where we can tailor most and custom-build our lives so it makes sense to narrow everything down when we're looking for a partner," she said.

But is it natural or productive to be quite so exacting? There are dating sites for farmers, vegetarians, druids, gadget geeks, dope smokers, single parents, eco-warriors and celibates.

Perhaps the most intriguing among these specialist sites is The Atlasphere, which connects admirers of Ayn Rand, the Russian-American author of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. Twopianos is a 25-year-old member of Atlas Shagged, as the singles site might otherwise be called. Her profile says: "Hello. I am an anarcho-capitalist pianist looking for like-minded friends."

Cox fears sites such as these only encourage single people to view would-be dates as products.

"People say they want a sensitive guy who reads poetry but can also fix a car," she said. "It's fine to have aims but certain things are not usually compatible in the same person. Dating sites can encourage the belief that there is somebody out there who will tick all the boxes.

"Often too much choice can work against us and leave us feeling dissatisfied - and still single when we're 85."

>> Read more lifestyle stories.

Topics:  dating, lifestyle, relationship




Dance the night away

SWING AWAY: Warwick Salvation Army Lieutenants Lydia and Steve Spencer are excited for their night of swing.

Salvation Army set to raise the roof with 30s swing.

Steam locomotive back on the rails

STEAM POWER: A Queensland Rail steam locomotive is set to arrive in Warwick tomorrow to replace the Southern Downs Steam Railway engine that is currently being repaired.

Qld Rail loco due in Warwick tomorrow

Stroll, swing and Sourced markets: Don't miss it

SOURCED FRESH: Mayor Tracy Dobie and Sourced spokeswoman Amy Walker get kitted up for the Stroll 'n' Swing markets today.

Don't miss tomorrow's Stroll n Swing in Palmerin St

Latest deals and offers

Thy Art Is Murder are killing it

See Thy Art is Murder on their killer tour happening right now. Photo Contributed

We talk with Thy Art is Murder about touring, babies, and new music

Date announced for Prince tribute concert

A Prince tribute concert will take place later this year

Matt Damon is taking a break from acting

Matt Damon is taking a break to spend time with his family

Police foiled terrifying 1m plot to kidnap Katie Price

Police foiled a £1 million plot to kidnap Katie Price and her family

Kristen Bell's baby confession

Kristen Bell once pretended to be asleep when her baby woke up early

Babylon 5's Jerry Doyle has died

Jerry Doyle has died from unknown causes at the age of 60

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

The climb is slow but property on the way up

Michael Matusik, director of Matusik Property Insights.Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

The improvement would be mild when compared to past cycles