Do people still go to bars and clubs to find their next hookup or romantic partner? Of course, but online dating has really taken over as the number one way to meet others for all kinds of relationships.
From hookups to friends with benefits to lasting love, the internet can make it happen. I’m of an age where I’ve seen the progression from early days, and even remember when people used personal ads in newspapers. It’s hard to keep up with the cornucopia of dating sites and apps available today, but I like to break it down into mainstream or niche when it comes to dating sites.
Mainstream Dating Sites
This is where most people who are new to online dating start. You’ve likely heard of OKCupid, Tinder, and Plenty of Fish if you’ve been at it a while. It doesn’t take much to set up a profile and start messaging on these, although more sites are becoming female-friendly in that a woman must send you a like of sorts, before you can message her.
I do recommend these for newbies to get your feet wet, suffer the inevitable online dating rejection (it’s really not that bad) and build your confidence. Did I mention most of these sites are free—a big plus and must for many people. If you have been on the same site for a while, and keep seeing the same old same old (including people you’ve met or know) it might be time to go niche.
Niche Dating Sites
When you’ve been around the online dating block a time or two, you might be ready to try something more focused. These sites will all look familiar, when it comes to setting up a profile. What you will notice right away, is that most niche sites charge a monthly membership fee.
You may balk at the fees, but think about what you pay when you hang out in clubs, paying cover charges and buying women drinks. These sites usually offer more interactive features than mainstream sites do. The other thing you’re paying for is the specificity of the site.
If you want to meet trans women on mainstream sites, it can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. Sites like TSdating.com, BDSMdate.com, or CouplesDating.com cater to men with a trans attraction, kinky desires, and those in open relationships. You don’t need to have five dates before you reveal what you really want because you’re on dating sites with like-minded folks.
Either way you choose to go, it’s important to put the effort in to creating a superb dating profile, writing thoughtful first messages, and planning a unique first date—these all matter, even if you’re just looking for casual sex, but especially if you want more.