Whether you love it or hate it, Valentine's Day forces you to think about your love life. And if there happens to be a dearth of love in that life, you're reminded at every turn of the innumerable options available to change that.
Besides matchmakers (unofficial or otherwise), singles events and random encounters, online dating sites are the one spot every unattached person finds themselves at one point or another.
"I have a lot of clients who thought they'd never get into a relationship and struggled to find someone in the real world, then found love online" says Kimberly Moffit, a psychotherapist and Match.com's Canadian relationship insider. "The filter is so large, so you've got an endless supply of people that could be compatible with you."
Statistics on dating site usage range in estimates from 10 to 25 per cent of the population, but there's no question that getting online to find love is far more common today than even three years ago. And for people trying to perfect their "pitch", honesty should always be the policy.
"If you have any quirks or personality traits that people will find cute and endearing, definitely include them in your profile," says Moffit. "It's a good idea to be specific and not be embarrassed about the things you're interested in."
If you're less inclined toward a massive pool from places like Match.com or eHarmony, there's also an entire world of genre-specific sites out there, targeting particular interests and people on their own. Beyond sites that focus on religion or -- at the other end of the spectrum -- sexual proclivities, it's hobbies and passions that are inspiring more matches. And though finding a partner who shares your interests is only natural, the people behind the sites have been surprised to discover that the similarities are only the jumping off point.
"Our original assumption was that people would want to seek out others with a specific taste in books," says Matt Sherman, co-founder of ALikeWise, a site that focuses on book choices. "It turns out that our users are more interested in the fact that a person is interested in reading at all! In fact, many people tell us that they don't have similar reading tastes with their significant others -- but that they do like smart, engaged people."
Check out these niche dating sites that focus less on what you look like (we said less) and more on what you love to do: