The Top Sites & Apps for Alternative Dating UK
Published: 15th September, 2022
Do you ever feel like sometimes you just don’t fit in? Like you will never find your clique or other like-minded people - let alone find love? Most of us go through this sort of identity crisis at some point in our lives so don’t worry, you’re not alone!
In 2022 we were heading perilously close to having 8 billion people on earth so the idea that nobody else is into the same sort of things that you are is ludicrous! There is no need to dilute who you are or what you are interested in to try and fit in with the masses. Having more alternative interests and not following the mainstream makes you unique and this should be celebrated!
When it comes to dating, things might get a bit tricky and you can sometimes get the feeling that there is nobody out there who gets you. But have you considered that maybe you just haven’t been looking in the right places? We are here to show you the amazing and technicolour world of alternative dating to give you the best possible chance at finding your other half who is just as unique as you are!
What Is Alternative Dating?
Alternative dating, or altdating, is a tricky thing to define - it’s one of those things that you struggle to explain but when you see it, you instantly know what it is. Picture this. You’re on a dating app and swipe past profile after profile of people who seem to have used the same script to set up their profiles. “Hiking, coffee, wine, movies, walks on the beach, etc…” - you know exactly the sort of profile, right? Well, we can safely say that these are part of the mainstream dating world. There’s nothing wrong with these sorts of interests but it generally seems to be the same things that are shared by the masses.
Swimming with the current and following the crowd isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. So, for those lucky individuals who make their way into their own unique niche, finding and meeting like-minded people can be quite difficult.
But, what do you do if none of the usual lists of interests plaguing most people’s dating profiles appeals to you? What if you are into dressing up like a 6ft tall fluffy fox in your free time? Or, you like to spend hours and hours getting through the most complex and exhilarating video games as well as immersing yourself in the lore of the game? Maybe you’re into spiritualism and a peaceful and green lifestyle, or you like to dabble in witchcraft every now and then!
Hopefully, you should by now be getting a clearer idea of what “alternative” means. There is no single interest that would fall under the alternative umbrella. Instead, it is an all-encompassing term that provides a safe space for anyone who feels that the usual interests shared by most people are not for them.
Alternative dating is basically tracking down other people who share the same passions that you have and making connections with them. Often this relies on bypassing the usual mainstream dating apps and trying ones that are a bit more specialised. And the good news is that, from what we have seen at least, the variety of alternative dating apps out there means that there is something for everyone!
Alternative Lifestyles UK People Live
The UK is a true melting pot of people from all backgrounds and walks of life so the sheer variety of alternative lifestyles within its borders comes as no surprise. Trying to list all the different kinds of communities that have sprung up in recent years is an immense undertaking that we won’t attempt here but we will mention a few that stand out in particular:
From the era of peace, flower power and love over war, these shared living arrangements started back in the 1970s and generally involve a community of people living in harmony on a large piece of land. Farming, nature and sharing resources with your neighbours are the main themes and people seem to want to avoid getting caught up in the materialism and consumerism of mainstream society. One of the most famous communes in the UK is the Lammas Ecovillage in Pembrokeshire.
There is a slow but steady move away from organised monotheistic religions in favour of more spiritual and nature-oriented ways of looking at our place in the universe. Wiccans, Druids, Hellenism - there are many different faces to neopaganism but they are all based on the natural clockwork of our world, from the seasons to the movement of stars and planets. Modern pagans feel a very strong sense of connection with their ancestry (specifically Norse, Saxon and Celtic) as well as a desire to move away from a more technological way of life in favour of a natural one.
Travelling communities in the UK are mainly from Ireland and most of them live in the southeast of England. While in the past they were very mobile and nomadic, modern travelling communities move about much less and most no longer live in caravans or temporary housing. These communities are very close-knit and oftentimes interactions with people outside of the group can result in conflict. For a small portion of the population who keep to themselves, travellers, unfortunately, experience quite a lot of discrimination as a result of their culture and ethnicity.
Few places in the UK illustrate alternative living better than Spielplatz in Hertfordshire. It might look like a typical small English countryside village but what makes it different to the others is that it is the oldest naturist community in Britain! People here choose to live life without the constraints of clothing and it’s a place where everyone is accepted - as long as you don’t mind wearing only your birthday suit.
Alternative Dating Sites To Try
So now that we’ve covered some of the basics of what classifies as “alternative” as well as showing you a glimpse into some of the alternative lifestyles people lead, let’s get to the good part: dating. Because of the sheer variety of what could be deemed alternative, it would be almost impossible to list everything we found while exploring this topic but hopefully, you will be happy and intrigued with the selection that we have managed to round up!
Dating With Disabilities
Dating with any sort of physical or mental disability can be a very daunting prospect. On top of the usual stresses of dating, you add to that the fact that you might not be as able-bodied as someone is used to and you wonder if they will be okay with this. We are normally very self-conscious beings but this is intensified even further if you have some form of impediment, regardless of whether it is visible or not. But thankfully there are dating platforms catering specifically for this!
Aside from being a dating site, Dating4Disabled doubles as an online community where you can access tools, and resources and connect with other people in a similar situation to yours. It prides itself on being strictly confidential and is also completely free to use! As a place to find support, friends and even romance, this is a great platform to try out!
This might be one of the lesser-known sites, even in the disabled dating community, but they are a force to be reckoned with! Special Bridge has a very big emphasis on connecting you with other people with disabilities and in addition to this, they take great care in making sure that you are safe. What other dating platform actively does background checks on anyone you are potentially meeting up with?
Much like Dating4Disabled, Disabled Passions is more than just your run-of-the-mill dating site. It hosts a whole community of people where anyone can post about various issues on disabilities, videos to make you laugh, games to keep you busy as well as many other resources. One thing is clear about dating in the disabled community, there is no shortage of support from others!
The Surprising World Of Goth Dating
We’ve all heard about goths before but do you really know what makes someone goth? It might surprise you to know that it’s not all about black eyeliner and being pale! Modern-day goths have their roots in music, movies, and literature so there is a lot more depth to them than you would expect!
Yes, it may be true that most goths tend to wear black clothes, and like to mix leather and lace but there is a historical element as well that draws influences from Victorian-era clothing. Darkness, edginess, steampunk - these are all words that can fit in the goth spectrum. It’s easy to see why most goths would not see themselves as fitting into the mainstream so looking for love needs some specialised platforms.
One of the leading sites in the world of goth dating, Goth Passions is one to add to your shortlist. Much like some of the top mainstream apps, they have algorithms in place in order to best match you with someone you are compatible with based on your interests. While it might not have the largest user base out there, it is a very secure website and is the perfect place to meet fellow goths!
If you are looking for a goth dating app or site, Goth Scene will tick many (if not all) of your boxes! They really offer everything: the chance to match with potential love interests or friends, a place to connect with others and share thoughts and ideas about all things goth, exchanging ideas and opinions, etc. Calling Goth Scene just a dating site is almost doing it a disservice because of all the other things it offers!
One can almost think of Gothic Match as the Facebook or Twitter for goths. On top of being a great way to meet people, they go one or two steps further than this and the result is an impressive social platform for the goth community. Users have the ability to post as many photos as they would like on a public forum as well as access to reading and creating content about myriad topics from dating and marriage, to stories of success about goth people and much more! It seems that along with killer taste in fashion and music, goths know a thing or two about what makes a stellar social media platform!
Dating For Hippies, Nature Lovers And The Free-Spirited
“Make love not war” - what better slogan is there for this peaceful and still prevalent group of people? Having started way back in the 1960s, hippies were all about being free, world peace and loving your neighbour.
These days, the spirit of the original 1960s hippy has been mixed with a dash of social and environmental activism, self-expression and also spirituality. It’s a wonder that more people do not actively promote these peaceful and surprisingly timeless and progressive ideas! For people as passionate as they are, finding other like-minded people can still be tricky - but it doesn’t need to be! While finding a dedicated hippie dating app could have been easier, these sites are more than good enough.
It only takes a few minutes of exploring Hippie Dates to realise that most of the users are looking for something a bit more than just a quickie! While there is no dedicated app, it is still an amazing place to find other people who share a similar outlook and want to avoid the often oppressive and materialistic mainstream. Echoing hippies' simplistic lifestyle, this is a refreshingly back-to-basics platform that focuses on matching and chatting.
One of the main perks of joining Green Singles is that because they are part of the larger Conscious Dating Network, your profile will be available to others who might not have joined this specific site but still share the same interests! If you love all things nature, green and the environment, look no further! This site has been around since 2000 and they are still going strong over 20 years later - a true testament to its success!
Dating For Hippies
On top of being a site where hippies can connect, Dating For Hippies also prides itself on being very inclusive and all members of the LGBTQ+ community are welcome here! It seems that there is no shortage of what is on offer when using this platform too. Group chat, webcam chatting, sharing virtual gifts, creating a video about yourself for your profile - the list goes on! Unfortunately, this is not a free site to use but the sheer range of what is on offer makes it worth every penny!
Furries Can Find Love Too
For those who aren’t familiar with this group of people, furries are basically fans of anthropomorphised animals (animals with roughly human proportions). Many of them like to wear full animal costumes to embody their furry persona.
A common misconception is that it is some sort of fetish that they get off on and while there are a few who are into this side of things, the reality is different. The vast majority of furries are in it for their love of the characters and the sense of community on offer. Most of them just enjoy getting together and watching movies, going out for food, playing games and really anything else that most people like doing! This unfair assumption about it being some weird fetish is what can make things difficult for furries when it comes to dating but there are many options to get around this.
This is one of the leading dating apps for the furry community, which is saying something since they only started in 2016! Ferzu is a great place to connect with other furries and you will be impressed with the high number of active users. The app has a free version so be ready for those pop-up ads but bear in mind that paying to upgrade your account gets rid of these and gets you a few extra features.
A slightly more adult option for lovers of all things furry, Furfling has a very large user base spread out across North America and the UK. Much like Ferzu, the free version of the app should be good enough to do basic things although a paid membership only enhances your experience.
The final of our furry dating recommendations comes in the form of Furrymate. This site has made a name for itself as one of the leading platforms for furries who are looking for friends or something more serious. To emphasise just what a big deal Furrymate is, they have been featured in The Wall Street Journal and GQ! While there is no app for this site, the desktop site is easy to use and with its credible reputation, it is definitely worth a try!
The Season Of The Witch Is All Year Long
When it comes to alternative dating UK Wiccans are in a league all their own. Wicca is a modern pagan religion that was created in England in the early 1900s and, unlike most religions, Wicca is much more open and free. Wiccans come in all different varieties from theists to atheists and those who see the Wiccan gods as literal gods while others see them as more symbolic. There is an outdated and narrow minded assumption that Wiccans are witches who will put spells on you and curse you but that’s not what they are about at all!
This LGBT-friendly site is free to join and puts you in the welcoming waters of the Wiccan dating pool. Being a member of Wiccan Personals means that your profile will also show up on many other dating sites (some also specifically for Wiccans) as they are part of the Online Connections dating group. It’s a great place to see if you can make some magic with someone special, whether you are looking for something serious or just something casual!
Date A Wiccan
Date a Wiccan is another promising platform where you can connect with fellow Wiccans and people who are open to new things. They proudly call themselves “the #1 Wiccan Community on the Net” and they might just have a point here! There are plenty of active users to reach out to and even though a subscription is required to make the most of the site, Date A Wiccan is sure to be worth it!
Plant-Based Love In A World Of Carnivores
Worldwide there is a growing movement toward a more sustainable and plant-based lifestyle. There are many reasons why people try to cut out meat and other animal products like health, ethics and environmentalism. It can be challenging to find a partner who respects and supports this lifestyle choice as many people still have outdated stereotypes of vegans.
To the uninformed, vegans live in huts, bathe in rivers and wear shirts made of wheet while munching on raw cabbage but this couldn’t be further from the truth! If you want to skip interacting with all those narrow-minded people, try these green and vegan-friendly dating sites!
At over 40 years old, not only is VeggieMatchmakers very likely the oldest vegan dating site but it’s also one of the oldest dating sites in general! You don’t last this long in the dating business without good reason and few sites are safer and more reputable than they are! Completely free and with an active admin team that continually reviews updates to your profile, there are very few shortcomings with VeggieMatchmakers!
If you are looking for a dedicated vegan dating app then look no further than Veggly. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian or just open to being more plant-based in general, Veggly is perfect for those who are looking for genuine connections. While the user base is relatively small compared to some mainstream platforms, it makes up for this by offering an easy-to-use and intuitive dating experience as well as blogs about veganism and other relevant topics.
Another completely free platform to find other vegans to connect with, Veggie Connection makes a strong case for itself. There are absolutely no hidden costs and as a stepping stone into the world of vegan dating, few sites are better suited! While it may not be the most advanced or intricate platform, it is almost refreshing to come across a site that does exactly what it says on the label.
Altdating: Pros, Cons And FAQs
Pros Of Alternative Dating
• Finding a match is much easier because you are immersing yourself in a dating pool that is full of like-minded people.
• The vast majority of altdating communities are extremely open and welcoming to people of all backgrounds.
• Fewer interactions with potentially judgmental and narrow-minded people.
• A space and a community where you can be your true authentic self.
Cons Of Alternative Dating
• Your dating pool might seem a bit smaller due to the generally smaller user base of more niche dating sites.
• Many smaller dating sites have quite limited free capabilities and require some form of subscription to make the most of them.
• There could be a very small percentage of people who fetishise or objectify some aspect of the alternative community you are part of.
• The further away from big towns and cities you are, the fewer your options become (although this is also true of dating in general).
What If I’m Not “Alternative” Enough?
That’s no problem at all! The magic about dating in any of the various altdating communities is that despite each being wildly different from the other, virtually every group is extremely welcoming and receptive to people of all backgrounds. As long as you have an open mind and approach altdating in a positive and constructive way, you don’t need to worry about not fitting into whichever community you are interested in!
Are Dating Sites For Alternative People Secure And Safe?
With regards to personal safety, the vast majority of people in alternative dating communities are extremely kind and welcoming but it’s still wise to exercise the usual degree of caution that comes with online dating.
What If I’m Not Into The More “Carnal” Side Of An Alternative Group?
Much like more mainstream sites, if you are not after something physical it is still possible to make genuine connections. The best way to approach this is to make it very clear on your profile what you are looking for so that there are no mixed signals. You will find that there are plenty of people out there who are on the same page as you!
I Can’t Find An Alternative Dating Site For Other People Like Me, What Do I Do?
Don’t despair! Just because there is no dedicated app for your particular interest or lifestyle doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. Consider trying a site that caters to people who are into something similar (even though it might not be the exact same thing). Or maybe even use one of the bigger mainstream sites - in terms of the number of users on those sites, your chances of finding someone like-minded are pretty good!
Is It Still Worth Trying Out More Mainstream Sites?
Of course it is! The advantage that mainstream sites have is the sheer volume of users on their platforms. You might have to go through a few more dead-ends and mismatches than on a more specialised site but there are bound to be a handful of people that you can connect with.
Alternative dating comes in an endless variety of shapes and colours but the common thread that ties them all together is openness and inclusivity.
You would imagine that having their own unique niche and a community of like-minded people would make outsiders feel unwelcome but this isn’t the case! It does not matter if you are new to an alternative scene, or you’ve been part of it for years, or you are not even part of it at all! One thing is clear and that is the fact that there is a seat for everyone at the alternative dating table!