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Gallery: Meet a Brit, a redhead or an inmate with these strangely specific dating sites

An explosion of niche sites is making it possible for picky date-seekers to find, well, just about anyone.

By Laura T. Coffey
TODAY contributor
updated 2/8/2012 12:43:50 PM ET 2012-02-08T17:43:50

So you say eHarmony leaves you feeling a little blasé? Match.com makes you say, “Meh”?

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Not to worry: An explosion of niche dating sites is making it possible for picky date-seekers to find, well, just about anyone. There are sites for people who want to cheat on their spouses, meet inmates, date British guys, hook up with fellow cat lovers and find people who share their health problems or tastes in music.

Video: Dating sites connect farmers, Trekkies, bikers (on this page)

The options — and the level of specificity — are mind-boggling. Are you a single mom who wants to meet a guy who doesn't mind at all that you have kids? No problem! Just give LocalSingleMoms.com a try. Want to meet someone who shares your political passions? That's easy: Visit RepublicanPassions.com or ActForLove.org (a dating site for "liberals, Democrats, activists").

Image: SaladMatch.com web page
Busy New York professionals can meet their "salad soulmates" at SaladMatch.com by creating an online profile and identifying their favorite salad ingredients.

Motorcycle enthusiasts can meet each other through BikerKiss.com, horse owners can hook up at EquestrianSingles.com, "down to earth country folks" can find each other at FarmersOnly.com — the list goes on and on.

Online dating: The secret science of love at first byte

What other kinds of hyper-specific dating sites are out there? To find out — and to have your mind blown — click on the images in the gallery below.

Need a Coffey break? Friend TODAY.com writer Laura T. Coffey on Facebook, follow her on Twitter  or read more of her stories at LauraTCoffey.com.

© 2013 NBCNews.com  Reprints

Video: Dating sites connect farmers, Trekkies, bikers

  1. Closed captioning of: Dating sites connect farmers, Trekkies, bikers

    >> morning on today's relationships, the business of dating. whether it's a website, professional matchmaker or app, there are more options than ever for those looking for love. they don't have to play the dating game . we have national correspondent amy robach who's taken a closer look at ways people are playing cupid these days.

    >> that's right. it's an industry approaching $2 billion a year in revenue fuelled by 30 million people who have taken the search for romance online . a big chunk of that has come to be known as niche dating. once we counted on finding a mate at church, at work, at happy hour. online dating has changed that and connected people who wouldn't have met any other way. tempted by trekkies? fantasize about farmers? maybe you're an adulterer. there are plenty of those online . or maybe you're into riding.

    >> horses are my passion.

    >> reporter: in north oak, california, valerie keeps lucy and shadow.

    >> i have dated outside of the realm of horse owners and they don't get it.

    >> reporter: she wants a man who shares her passion. so she turned to equestrian singles.com. today, valerie is going on a first date with john paulson who is excited about meeting a boots-wearing, ranch-loving woman like her.

    >> great to meet you.

    >> nice meeting you. i love your hair.

    >> thank you. are you ready for a ride? i love your blue eyes .

    >> thank you.

    >> reporter: of the hundred top dating sites more than half target narrow interests. no one knows how many niche sites there are. they can spring up and disappear overnight. the fastest growing group of online daters is boomers.

    >> really involved, scary.

    >> yeah. i moved my dog in.

    >> reporter: aging boomers jack daniel and hannah hogan have no plans for a quiet retirement. they met through -- where else? bikerkiss.com.

    >> much better to go on a niche site. a lot less work sorting through thousands of people. why not narrow it down?

    >> i see ourselves having a lot of fun until the day i die. i'm so connected with this girl it's unreal. if i was to order something from god it would be this girl.

    >> reporter: valerie and john's date didn't have quite the same result. they share a love of horses. just not enough human chemistry.

    >> we're now riding into the sun set.

    >> yes, indeed.

    >> reporter: there are a hundred million singles in the u.s. and, for now, these two will remain among them. unfortunately no luck there for john and valerie , but there's been a change in how daters connect and a the internet may soon become the most used way to find a mate leaving millions of daters hoping luck might be, ann, just a click away.

    >> very cute. listen, there has been a sig ma attached to dating online with so many people now using online sites to date. what's happened to that stigma?

    >> it's melting away. if you think of the numbers. 30 million online daters now out of 100 million singles in mrk. a third of all people go online to find their mate. the stigma is quickly eroding. one of the fastest growing generations of people online dating , 55 and older.

    >> what stood out for you as you watched the process?

    >> what was interesting is the science that goes into some of the websites, the algorithms. match.com, e-harmony hire mathematicians, scientists, and put together what they call the secret sauce where they know exactly what you want, what you say you want and what you actually want when you go online . you have an algorithm formulated to find that person. they can't predict love but they say they can predict like. then you have the opportunity to find love through like.

    >> good to know there is science behind this. amy, thank you so much. see more of the full report, love at first byte, the secret science of online dating , tomorrow at 9:00 p.m . eastern and pacific on cnbc.

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