Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Is Match.com the Olive Garden of Dating?

There is absolutely no stigma in dating online, that is as long as you aren't using Match.com. Sure their commercials try to give compelling statistics like "more dates than on any other site"-- a stat as convincing as when Patti Stanger says she is a matchmaker "with a very high success rate" during the intro to The Millionaire Matchmaker.

So why has Match.com hit its tipping point for the young, hip, urban set? Think about Match.com as the Olive Garden of dating sites. Everyone gets in and everything on the menu is just okay. You eat the endless bowl of salad and breadsticks because it's there, not because it satisfies you. So what's the alternative? Well as the huddled masses have flocked to Match.com, more young, urban professionals have migrated to sites where they can have a more curated dating experience. It's sort of like going to a small under the radar bar or social club instead of hanging out at a chain restaurant. The fact that people know about it speaks to their level of taste and curiosity--plus you're not left flipping through an endless menu of options with the feeling that everything looks better than it actually is.

So without further adieu, here it is, a rundown of dating sites that give you an alternative from the norm and inject some much needed life into the category. Would you try one?

Alikewise: With the cute tag line "dating by the book," this site appropriately matches book nerds. Although a quick scan revealed more characters than hotties we all know judging a book by its cover can be a major no no. The upside? Meet a mate on here and they might actually understand your dog Daisy is not named after a MTV VJ from the 90s.

Taste Buds: Remember falling for someone because they made you a mix tape that changed your life? Okay that never happened to me, but I believe it happens to others. This site hooks you up with mates based on your favorite song. P.S. if you say it's written by Phoenix or The National expect some stiff competition.

Chirp Me: Started by two brothers and a friend, this site is actually an app that runs through Facebook and twitter pairing you with friends of friends that have similar dining sensibilities. Although the founders look more likely to Yaeger Bomb than to help create a more culturally aligned dating experience, the concept seems promising. If this site doesn't work their plan B is to create a dating site for New Yorkers with a 973 phone number.


  1. All dating sites will appeal to one person or another. Some will want eHarmony to do all the work for them and some will want plentyoffish because it's free and they're willing to screen everyone themselves. The rest fall somewhere in between. The sites you recommend are interesting.

  2. Maureen, thanks for visiting and well said! I'm encouraged that at least there are fresh options out there that give people new ways to connect that don't just focus on their height, salary range and photo corrected pictures. Now I'm just waiting for a site that connects people who love take out and Bravo...

  3. There are a thousand (give or take) dating sites cropping up all over the place. From the dating sites that cater to the hook up to speciality religious sites to sites from single parents...there's a flavor out there for everyone!

  4. Now if only finding the right person was as easy as finding the right site to find them :) Thanks for your comment sir and happy weekend. xo

  5. There's nothing wrong with all you can eat p...asta!

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