Looking for Love: Niche Dating Sites

ByABC News via logo
February 13, 2005, 8:04 AM

Feb. 13, 2005 -- -- Howard Polden had a pretty good idea of what kind of girl he was looking for. His "partner in crime" would have to smile a lot, laugh out loud, be honest and be a hard-core cycler.

Six weeks ago, he and Kelly Carper Erikson found each other on www.cyclingsingles.com. They both are divorced, in their 40s and were tired of the bar scene.

"I've gone out on dates with girls and said to them, 'Well, I've done two Ironmans'," said Polden. " ... They don't even have a clue. And then when you explain it to them, they ... say, 'All in one day?' And Kelly can appreciate that. She understands ... 20 miles on your bike is a warmup."

Howard and Kelly -- the "iron couple" -- are just two of a growing number of computer-savvy lovebirds that are looking for the perfect date on a focused, niche dating site.

From tennis to skiing to scuba diving -- there's a matchmaking site for each of them.

Want your potential companion to be into tattoos? Go to www.tatooedsingles.com.

Really into wine? Then check out www.winesingles.com.

And www.datemypet.com attracts all sorts of animal lovers.

Wendy Peikes, an animal lover, says, "This is a dating service for people who aren't gonna be upset when they meet me and I'm all covered with dog hair and my car's covered in dog hair."

The Web site worked, and she and her two dogs met their match.

"I like most dogs more than I like most people," said Russell Till. "And if I'm gonna meet somebody who likes the dogs, likes to go out and hang out with the dogs, that's where I'm gonna find them."

In the past, both of them had found their dogs to be a deal killer. Now they've helped seal the deal.

Brad Armstrong operates 130 niche dating sites, and there are hundreds more.

"The bottom line is you start out with something in common," said Armstrong. "That's the fundamental difference."

There are sites that cater to the tall and the chubby. Even talking politics isn't taboo when you are searching for a love online.