A new site launching this month called FindYourFaceMate.com uses facial-recognition technology to help users find potential romantic partners who they resemble. The site's founder, Christina Bloom, says facial resemblance can help spark an initial attraction, and there's science to back it up: A 1989 study published found couples are more likely to share facial resemblance than strangers.
FindYourFaceMate.com, is just the latest niche dating site to offer a unique gimmick for finding love online. Here are 12 dating options that are, by design, not for everyone:
1. Brits, please
Date British Guys offers Anglophile ladies the chance to find love with their "very own David Beckham, Hugh Grant, Orlando Bloom, Jude Law, Sean Connery, Prince Harry"... or at least some chap with an accent.
2. Cat lover seeks same
Why be home alone with your cats, when you can target other kitty lovers on Purrsonals.com, "where cat lovers greet and meet!" Even if you're not looking for human-to-human contact, the site also acts as a social network for the feline-friendly.
3. Good looks a must
"Saggy boobs" and "nerdy glasses" are discouraged at Darwin Dating, a site for "beautiful people only." Members rate the attractiveness of those wishing to join through - what else? - a "natural selection process."
4. Pot fans only
"Why toke alone?" asks 420 Dating, a site for those looking to get high on more than just love. Those simply seeking a place to buy weed should look elsewhere, say the founders: "This site does not intend to be an information source for cannabis."
5. Wedding rings will be ignored
Ashley Madison, "the world's premier discreet dating service," is geared toward those in committed relationships looking to have an affair. With more than 7 million members, it seems to have found an audience.
6. Animal magnetism a plus
You don't actually have to be a farmer to join Farmers Only, but it helps. Fans of "blue skies, wide open spaces [and] raising animals" are welcome. If you prefer "four dollar cups of coffee, taxi cabs... and getting ahead at all costs in the corporate world," the site is not for you, say its founders.
7. As recommended by your psychiatrist
No Longer Lonely is an "online social community for adults with mental illness." Potential users are encouraged to first consult with their psychiatrist and/or social worker.
8. College education required
The Right Stuff calls itself the "Ivy League of dating," limiting its membership to "single graduates and faculty of a select group of excellent universities and colleges." But, with nearly 70 universities qualifying as acceptable alma maters, admission requirements are not exactly as rigorous as Harvard's.
9. Got the seven-year itch?
"Connect with singles who share your STD" is the slogan of STDmatch.net, a site geared toward those living with sexually transmitted illnesses. There might be plenty of demand: According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, one in six Americans between the ages of 14 and 49 has genital herpes.
10. Libertarian fiction lovers only
The Atlasphere connects "admirers of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged," novels by the conservative author Ayn Rand much beloved by today's right wing. The site purports to have more than 12,000 profiles of affectionate Rand lovers.
11. To boldly go where no lovers have gone before
"Love long & prosper" is the tagline at Trek Passions, a personals site for those who love Star Trek, Star Wars, and other science fiction. Those seeking "someone fun to attend a sci-fi convention with" should also apply.
12. Seeking lookalikes
And of course, over at FindYourFaceMate.com, you can track down that guy or gal who will make you feel like you're gazing lovingly into a mirror...