Dating apps. They’re everywhere these days, aren’t they? If you’re not actually using them, you’re probably reading about them in the news or watching Netflix documentaries on them–Tinder Swindler, anyone?
And if you’re single and you haven’t used a dating app to meet someone new, then consider yourself one of the few singletons out there who isn’t meeting strangers through an app.
According to a recent study, over 366 million people use dating apps, and what’s more? That same study estimated there’s about 8,000 competitive dating apps out there. So yeah, it’s likely that even if you use dating apps, you probably only know a handful of the more popular ones.
But that’s where I come in. Here to brighten your day, bring a smile to your face, and maybe a chuckle or two, because this time, we’re diving deep.
Within the vast realm of dating apps, there’s an area of unconventional trends that cater to unique and offbeat preferences. These trends challenge the traditional notions of dating, offering quirky folks the opportunity to explore conventional connections in, shall we say, unconventional ways? Let’s be honest, who said there was only one path to seeking love and companionship?
Not only are we going to uncover some of the more obscure apps, we’re going to explore the strange, the odd, and the weird dating apps focused on the niche, the out there, and the untraditional trends you may not know about.
So let’s embark on a journey through the diverse and peculiar world of dating apps and delve into those that cater to individuals seeking connections beyond mainstream.
And maybe, by examining these apps and their associated trends, we can uncover the unique experiences they offer and shed light on the ever-evolving landscape of dating in the digital era.
The Appeal of Unconventional Trends
In the ever-evolving digital era (AI anyone?) we have dating apps, once considered a taboo way to meet a potential love interest, and now the cultural norm. What captivates people about dating apps? The desire for companionship, sure, but you can’t ignore the convenience, the ease, and the effortless way to fill some time?
But because the landscape is always changing, so are the associated trends that come with dating and with it, the rejection of traditional dating norms, and the quest for connections that align with unique individual interests and non-conforming identities.
But what’s the reason behind all this? Well, think about it. How many times have you gotten tired of endless swiping, only to match with someone and have the same repetitive conversation over and over and over again.
In a world where traditional dating app can feel predictable and repetitive, more unconventional, weird dating apps offer an opportunity to break free from the same old same old and explore uncharted territories. It’s the excitement! The novelty!
And of course, the adventure of doing things just a little bit differently, because when you spice things up a bit, then you never know how exactly they’ll unfold. And isn’t that the fun in dating? Meeting someone new to help you discover the unknown?
Many individuals also feel constrained by societal expectations and the pressures of conforming to conventions and traditions, and these kind of apps can give them an opportunity to embrace their true selves and seek connections that align with their specific interests, passions, and identities.
This can empower individuals to step outside their boundaries and embrace their individuality without judgment or limitations. Niche dating apps also brings together individuals with unique interests, offering a means of connection that goes beyond superficial attributes.
By focusing on shared interests, hobbies, or beliefs, these apps provide a more profound level of compatibility and understanding. Users can find like-minded individuals who share their passions and values, creating a strong foundation for a meaningful connection. This appeal lies in the opportunity to forge connections based on genuine compatibility bred from shared experiences and a deeper understanding of one another.
The appeal of unconventional dating trends stems from the desire for unique experiences, the rejection of traditional dating norms, and the quest for connections that align with individual interests and identities. These trends offer a departure from the predictable and a pathway to authentic connections. By embracing the unconventional, individuals can embark on a journey of self-discovery, find like-minded partners, and create meaningful relationships that celebrate their true selves.
Rising Trends in Modern Dating
You could technically claim that online dating as a whole is a trend, but let’s not get too meta. As dating apps have become increasingly more accepted in modern society, people have become more picky in the apps they use, the people they swipe on, and their actual behavior once they start dating.
Some of these are more subtle, things you may not have noticed, while others are gradually becoming more discussed in social media outlets or maybe in the form of advice from your therapist. These alternative trends challenge traditional dating norms and offer new experiences for individuals looking for love or companionship.
- Slow Dating: Not to be confused with slow fade dating, you’ve probably heard it before. Take it slowwwwww. Yeah, easier said then done. But this is actually becoming its own trend in the online dating world. Slow dating emphasizes a more intentional approach to dating and focuses on building deeper connections through meaningful conversations and the sharing of enjoyment in experiences rather than rushing into physical intimacy. No reason to put a label on things if you don’t even know someone’s middle name.
- Adventure Dating: Adventure dating isn’t necessarily the opposite of slow dating, but maybe consider it a bit of slow dating on steroids. Adventure dating takes couples out of their comfort zones, stripping them of the regular ‘dinner and drink’ mentality and bringing them into more heart pounding realms. Adventure dating is all about adding some adrenaline into the mix. It can involve activities like hiking, rock climbing, or even skydiving. But it doesn’t even have to be that exciting. You can take cooking classes, go to a concert, or even jump in a last minute, spontaneous road trip to the beach. Adventure dating is all about doing something different.
- Virtual Reality Dating: With advancements in technology, virtual reality dating has gained popularity. It allows individuals to create virtual avatars and interact with potential partners in virtual environments, offering a unique and immersive way to connect and explore relationships. This became popular after Covid-19, but continues to this day.
- Conscious Uncoupling: This trend focuses on ending relationships in a more amicable and mindful way. You probably know the term from Gwenyth Paltrow and Chris Martin’s divorce, but it’s still a thing for us normal non-Goop people, too. It involves open communication, understanding, and mutual respect during the separation process, prioritizing personal growth and well-being for both parties involved.
- Solo Dating: Solo dating is what it sounds like. Taking yourself out on dates. This trend promotes self-discovery and self-love through intentionally going on dates with yourself. It’s all about enjoying your own company, engaging in activities you love, and prioritizing self-care and self-reflection.
These unconventional dating trends are just the iceberg of what’s out there, but they reflect the growing nature of relationships and the desire for more authentic and unconventional experiences. This very well may explain why more niche and weird dating apps are becoming more popular.
Exploring Niche Dating Apps
Niche dating apps provide a platform for like-minded individuals to connect based on shared passions. What kind of passions, you ask? Well, just about anything or everything you could think. The more specific, the better.
You have dating apps surrounded solely around dietary needs, bringing together people who are picky, have gluten intolerances, or only eat salads and vegetables.
Pet Dating is a super popular growing niche in online, where the entire app–like FetchaDate–is dedicated to our furry friends first and foremost. Sure, you’re trying to find love, but not at the expense at your first four-legged fluff love. The goal is to connect individuals who prioritize their pets, are seeking someone to join them at the dog park, or just want to find a pet friend for their pup.
And of course, there are more well-known apps that you may not have even realized are actually niche. Remember, in the context of dating, “niche” just refers to a specific segment or subset of the overall dating market. It represents a targeted approach that caters to individuals with specific or unique interests and preferences.
It can be weird, but it can also just connect to demographics, lifestyles, or shared interests. Dating apps catering to individuals with specific spiritual or religious beliefs meet that criteria, as they provide a platform for finding partners who share similar values and beliefs.
Christian Mingle is considered a niche dating app because it caters specifically to individuals who identify as Christians and are seeking partners who share their faith and values. The app aims to create a community where Christian singles can connect and build meaningful relationships based on their shared religious beliefs.
Unlike mainstream dating apps, Christian Mingle focuses on providing a platform that aligns with the principles and teachings of Christianity. Users are encouraged to provide information about their religious practices, such as church attendance, Bible study, and prayer, as well as their denominational preferences. The app’s algorithms then utilize this information to suggest potential matches who share their faith.
On the other end of that spectrum is astrology-based matching, apps that focus on the zodiac to connect potential partners. Specific apps like Align and NUiT have gained traction in recent years for utilizing astrology as a tool for matching individuals based on their sun signs and astrological compatibility. Users input their birthdate, time, and location to generate a personalized astrological profile. These apps then suggest potential matches based on the compatibility between their signs.
Astrology has experienced a resurgence in popularity, with many individuals turning to it as a way to gain insight into their personalities, compatibility, and relationship dynamics and online dating has taken advantage of that. Apps like Bumble and Hinge even often users the ability to add their astrology sign in their profile. I don’t know about you, but I don’t date other Virgos. Professionals dating has even garnered a reputation as a niche dating apps. Platforms like EliteSingles target professionals in specific industries or career paths, aiming to connect individuals who value success in the work life, are seeking partners who won’t be turned off by that workaholic mentality, or who just want to be with someone who is more educated and more well off in their career.
Weird Dating Apps you Probably Haven’t Heard Of
So yes, those dating apps, while niches, aren’t even the bread and butter of the weird and wacky. That’s what’s being served next.
The dating app connecting individuals with beards, with those who want to stroke them. Yep, it’s a thing. This dating obsession with beards is all about physical attraction being connected to a partner who sports facial hair, particularly well-groomed and well-maintained beards.
Some people find the presence of a beard appealing as it can evoke a sense of confidence and masculinity in potential partners, but the loss of said beard has created a trend all on its own.
“Shaveducking” refers to the phenomenon where someone’s physical attraction or romantic interest in another person diminishes significantly or disappears entirely after they remove their facial hair.
The term gained popularity in recent years as a way to humorously describe the impact that facial hair can have on one’s perception of attractiveness, helping to perpetuate apps like Bristlr that keep the emphasis on continuing the beard.
Farmers Only is a dating app and website that caters specifically to individuals involved in farming, ranching, agriculture, and rural lifestyles. It was launched in 2005 with the aim of connecting people who share a passion for rural living and agricultural values.
Farmers Only differentiates itself from mainstream dating apps by focusing on the unique needs and interests of those in rural communities. The platform offers a space where farmers, ranchers, and country singles can meet and potentially find love or companionship with individuals who understand and appreciate the benefits of living thirty-eight minutes from your nearest grocery store.
Hater is a dating app that matches individuals based on their mutual dislikes rather than their common interests. Perfect for the Negative Nancy’s out there. Users swipe on topics they dislike, and the app connects them with potential matches who share what they hate, fostering connections through shared negativity. Strange, but you gotta love the ingenuity of it all.
Pheramor takes a unique–and perhaps smelly–approach to dating by incorporating genetic and scent-based compatibility into the matching process. Users are required to send a DNA sample, which is used to analyze genetic markers related to attraction, and then potential matches are suggested based on these genetic factors.
Tudder is a dating app, but not for humans—no this one is for cattle and livestock–and would go pretty well with Farmers Only if you ask me!
Farmers can use the app to find breeding matches for their cows, using features like swiping and browsing profiles for bovine compatibility. May not be meant for you finding love, but you never know what kind of friends you can make when you’re trying to get your cows to have babies.
Wingman turns the dating experience into a collaborative effort, allowing users to create profiles on behalf of their single friends. Users can act as “wingmen” or “wingwomen” for their friends, managing their profiles and starting conversations with potential matches.
These apps are designed for individuals seeking platonic cuddling or spooning partners. Just need the elaborate version of a hug? You got it. With Culldr, users can connect with others in their area who are interested in non-sexual, physical intimacy, emphasizing the importance of touch and human connection. If you’re single, not interesting in sex, but physical touch is your love languge, then this could be the app for you.
No, we’re not talking about red balloons and the clown from Stephen King’s IT. Clown dating is meant for those with a fondness for clowns or a curiosity about clown culture.
Might be strange for the non clowns out there, but it’s a thing! Clown Dating is a platform where individuals who love clowns or even work as clowns can connect and potentially find love or companionship within this unique subculture.
Navigating the Challenges
What’s that? You don’t want to date a clown? Then don’t! While weird dating apps offer exciting possibilities, they also come with their fair share of challenges.
Users may fear being labeled as weird or be afraid of facing social repercussions due to their choices. Overcoming this challenge requires a strong sense of self and the ability to embrace your own preferences without succumbing to societal pressures. And trust me, it’s more than possible!
Unconventional and weird dating apps have emerged as a testament to the evolving nature of dating in response to societal changes, technological advancements, and shifting preferences.
Society has become more accepting of diverse identities, lifestyles, and relationship dynamics, regardless of how weird people may think it is. The traditional notions of dating and relationships are being redefined, creating space for unconventional trends to flourish.
People now seek connections that align with their authentic selves, exploring relationships beyond the confines of societal expectations.
Unconventional dating apps contribute to the broader societal shift towards embracing diversity and celebrating individuality. They challenge the notion of a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to dating and relationships, and I mean, isn’t that awesome? Because ‘same old, same old,’ is boring.
These trends, niches, and apps promote the idea that love and connection can be found in unexpected and non-traditional ways, broadening our understanding of what makes up a fulfilling and meaningful relationship.
And sure, engaging in unusual dating practices may invite scrutiny or misunderstanding from others who adhere to more traditional dating norms, but should you care?
Think about it this way: Women used to not be able to wear pants. Guess what? Things change! So let’s go do what we do best: embrace the weird. ‘Cause that’s what makes life fun.