The weird world of online dating

The internet has given us ever-growing opportunities when it comes to dating and those looking for love now have more choice than you can shake a stick at. That, however, can make it even more difficult to find Mr or Miss Right.

computer keyboard with loveheart key
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So what should you be looking for in an online dating site? First of all, it's important to shop around - if you're looking for the perfect party dress you don't generally buy the first thing you see and the same applies to dating sites. A recommendation, whether from a friend or a trusted magazine, is often a good place to start.

Then there's the cost to consider - if you're unsure about the whole idea of finding the perfect partner on the world wide web, take advantage of the month's free trial that many sites offer.

It'll give you a good taste of how online dating works and an idea as to whether the site is likely to be hiding your ideal man or woman. And always make sure you read the small print or you may find your subscription is automatically whipped out of your bank account - handy for the site, maybe not so wonderful for you.

Of course if you are looking for something very (and we do mean, very) specific, there are a host of sites ranging from the unusual to the downright bizarre that will ensure you're on the right track.

For example, those wishing to boldly go where no man has been before should try Specifically designed for sci-fi lovers, it's a must for anyone needing a date for that upcoming geeky convention.

If it's a case of love me, love my pet, then is the place for you. The site claims to be the number one place for singletons looking to go walkies with someone who shares a similar passion... caring for their pets.

Unashamed gold-diggers or older gents with plenty of cash to splash in search of a pretty young thing should make their first port of call. Similarly if you're a mature woman on the look out for a hot young bod, promises to match you with the toyboy of your dreams.

There are some folk who just can't face uploading their profile picture, however. But fear not - even if you're no oil painting you might just discover love at first sight at after all, they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

At the other end of the scale, those who reckon themselves to be too hot for the average online dater should head to - it's not for the faint-hearted because existing members will rate your looks before deciding whether you are fit enough to join their ranks. But gain entry and you're sure to find someone just as gorgeous as you - strictly for true narcissists.

Have you had any strange online dating experiences? Let us know below...