Discover unusual tactics dating sites now use to match you up.By Kristi Dosh
While the days of creating an online dating profile or swinging by a speed dating event aren't over, companies have had to get more creative to attract users. And the results are often hilarious. You can now sniff out your soul mate by smelling dirty laundry (yes, really), find singles within a 100-yard radius of your location right this minute and more. Click through for the scoop on the 10 wackiest ways to find your match. Photo by Thinkstock.
1. Date My Friend Parties
These gatherings go by a variety of names ("Friend-of-a-Friend," "Stock the Pond," "Date My Friend"), but the concept is the same: Everyone brings a single friend of the opposite sex with them to the party. The idea is to meet people who've presumably been vetted by someone in the group. One problem: "You need a matchmaker/fairy godmother type swishing around the room making introductions," says Laura Schreffler, author of Internet Dating 101: It's Complicated…But It Doesn't Have to Be! She sat at the bar with her friend all night when she attended one of these events.
Related: Discover these 10 things your husband's friends won't tell you.
2. Pheromone Parties
While you likely never thought you'd find your match by sniffing unlaundered shirts, the hosts behind pheromone parties say science is on their side. Pheromones have been shown to affect attraction in the animal kingdom, and the phenomenon may carry over to humans. Here's how it works: Before the party, you wear a T-shirt for three days straight, and then seal it in a plastic bag with a number you're assigned. At the get-together, you sniff shirts of the opposite sex until you find one you like. A picture of you with the bag's number is projected on a wall. The shirt's owner can then approach you-or not.
3. Musical Matches
Wish you could find a partner who appreciates your playlist? TasteBuds.fm allows you to import your "Likes" from Facebook, upload your Last.fm profile or simply type in a list of your favorite artists to see singles who share your taste. The premise is that you'll have at least one big thing in common with these other people-and they're likely to be truthful about their musical preferences, unlike these common dating profile lies. The Event Matchmaker option takes things a step further, letting you see which local concerts members plan to attend, so you can go together or meet up at the event.
4. Singles Tracker
The Singles Around Me mobile app takes the guesswork out of choosing a bar or restaurant with plenty of available patrons. Type in the name of a locale to view profiles of singles there-or let your phone's GPS alert the app to your location, and it'll generate a map of singles around you. Contact members you're interested in for an impromptu meeting-or just show up where they are. Sound too stalker-friendly? You can control whether other users see your exact location or an approximation displaced by 1 to 2 miles.
5. Reverse Online Dating
Too shy to strike up a conversation with a handsome stranger you encounter in person? With Cheek'd, you set up an online profile and then order a set of cards with prewritten witty remarks like "Our future is in your hands" or "This card is good for finding me again." Guys lucky enough to receive your notes enter the number on the back at Cheekd.com to view your profile. "The best part about doing this is it's safe," says Schreffler, who got a deck of cards herself. "Your contact details aren't visible, and if he messages you with something unsavory, you can write him off."
Related: Check out these 9 ways to initiate sex.
6. Group Blind Dates
If the one-on-one thing isn't your thing, Grouper Social Club might be. The site finds you someone based on your Facebook profile, taking into account city, age, educational background, profession, interests and general lifestyle. The night before your date, Grouper tells you your match's name and where to meet-and that's it (it is a blind date, after all). You each bring two same-sex friends (who don't have to be single) so that you meet as a group of six; then, check in with the bar host or hostess to meet the gang. Each attendee prepays $20 to cover the matchmaking service and the first round of drinks.
7. Niche Speed Dating
"Speed dating is less intense than a traditional one-on-one date, and if it's awkward the time commitment is minimal," says Leslie, a single in Los Angeles. But Pre-Dating.com ups the odds you'll like whom you meet with events for people who share an interest or a characteristic. And they're not afraid to get a little silly. Their first happening: zombie speed dating on the eve of the Walking Dead premiere. Other niche nights have had themes like "Tall Men and Women" and "Advanced Degrees Only."
8. Presenting: Me
Me So Far "Story Sessions" puts to use those PowerPoint skills you've honed at work to tell a group of people all about you. During a six-minute presentation, you cover details from a wide variety of provided prompts. At the end, you give out a temporary email address where others can reach you. There's also time between speakers and after to mingle. Groups are gathered based on something everyone has in common like age or profession. Me So Far is currently only in Chicago, but the creators have plans to expand in spring 2013.
Related: Learn about the best body language for any situation.
9. Look-Alike Located
Dating your doppelgänger may seem weird, but we're naturally attracted to peoplenaturally attracted to people with similar features. So after you upload your photo to FindYourFaceMate.com, the service uses facial recognition software and a proprietary algorithm to discover your double. Schreffler's on the fence about her experience since it took nearly two months for the site to match her. However, she admits, "I do oddly resemble my current boyfriend, so there must be something to it." Kelly, a single in Atlanta, was matched faster but says getting to know her match "was slower because there aren't profiles with information on the person like other sites have."
10. Love at First Call
Tawkify was created for those who don't want an online profile for fear a colleague or friend will see it. Instead, you submit photos and answer 10 questions about yourself. If the site owners accept you, they interview you by phone and attempt to match you with another member (based in part on your Klout score) for a phone date. With the exception of a few tidbits the site's creators might provide, you won't know anything about the other person until your call. But during your chat, you'll have to decide quickly if you want to exchange numbers: The line cuts off at 10 minutes. Luckily, you can request to talk again the following week under the same rules.
You Might Also Like:
8 Sexy Ways to Burn Calories
The Best Sex Positions for Every Situation
10 Surprising Facts About Orgasms