Online dating: The good, the bad and the Ugly Bug Ball

plenty-of-fish-shotA few years ago you only had to mention online dating to your friends and they’d all assume you’re either a crazy cat lady or a serial killer.

However, it’s 2012 and nowadays it seems fairly acceptable to write a bit about yourself, publish your most flattering photos showing just how fun and flirty you are and then start talking to random singletons who like the look of your face or the sound of your witty slogan of choice.

Now admittedly there’ll still be plenty of weird people looking for dates online and plenty of disaster stories to boot, but if you’re sad, single and alone then why not?

5 Cool dating sites to try out

1. Plenty Of Fish (POF)

Plenty Of Fish, or POF for short, requires you to fill out a quick “chemistry test”, describe your “relationship needs” and you’re then on your way to finding your perfect match for free via the web or the service’s dedicated mobile app.


Try out the app from iTunes for free.

2. eHarmony

Amazingly eHarmony is to thank for around 2% of marriages in the US and is proving to be a big success here on the other side of the pond too.

The site promises to match you up with people based on deep and meaningful things like core values, which it claims will I’ve you more of a lasting connection with people. Although it all sounds a bit intense if this is your first foray into the world of online dating.


Try out the app from iTunes for free.

3. My Single Friend

The basic premise of My Single Friend is that your mates do all the hard work so you don’t have to. You get them to write your profile, say lovely things about how great you are and convince other singles that you’re worth going on a date with.


4. Guardian Soulmates

It’s free to sign up to Guardian Soulmates, but if you want to be able to chat to other singletons you’ll need to pay for a subscription, which can prove to be pretty pricey at around £30 a month depending on how many months you reckon it’ll take to find that special someone.

However, it’s generally considered to be one of the best online dating locations and has a good success rate, whatever that means…



It’s been one of the most popular online dating services here in the UK for a long time and claims to create “more relationships and more marriages than any other site”.


A few unusual ones…

Ugly Bug Ball

As you can maybe guess from the name of the site, this dating service is solely for… well.. ugly people, or as the site calls it, those who are “aesthetically average.”


Uniform Dating

A dating site specially for those with a bit of a thing for those in uniform, or for those who wear uniform a lot during the day and want to find someone who appreciates it.


5 useful online dating tips

1. Tell your friends you’re going on a date with someone you met online and at least one will joke about him or her being a psychopath.

As funny as it may be looking back weeks later when you’re both happily still dating, it’s not something to be taken lightly. At the end of the day it’s a complete stranger you’re going to see, so be sensible.

Tell a friend where you’re meeting and send them his or her details, then only meet in a public place and don’t feel pressured into going anywhere more private.

2. Make sure you be yourself in your online profiles, you’ll obviously want to be the best you that you can be, but lying, only putting up heavily edited photos or getting someone else to write  your profile will only catch you out in the long run.

3. Remember it’s just a date, don’t put too much pressure on yourself and expect to find your soulmate right away, have a drink or a coffee and a chat and just see what happens.

4. If you’re struggling get a friend to help you out. There are dating sites specially for your friends to write awesome things about you, or just get them to check everything and make sure it sounds like you. It’s easy to spend ages agonising over your profile so much that it stops making sense, so always get someone else to have a quick read, ideally someone of the sex that you’re hoping to attract of course.

5. Don’t be scared of singles or dating events in the real world. It’s easy to get lost in the weird and wonderful land of online dating, but there are plenty of events held for singles to meet and mingle, especially if you’re living in a big city.


About Becca Caddy

Becca is freelance writer specialising in all things tech, web culture and social media. She works as the Editor of Shiny Shiny and the UK Editor of Popgadget and has written for various print and online publications, including The Sunday Times, BitchBuzz and New Media Age’s spin-off publication, Reputation Online. Follow Becca on Twitter: @beccacaddy
  • Derek Collinson

    Good article but you forgot about dating for dog lovers – I founded this site in 2006 and also met my partner on it!

  • Derek Collinson

    Good article but you forgot about dating for dog lovers – I founded this site in 2006 and also met my partner on it!