Farm dating websites
“So we decided on an event-based app, as that’s the way people socialise in the country.” In 2006, when the Reeves sisters decided to give online dating a go – secretly, because the notion of finding love with a stranger via the internet had only recently started to lose its stigma – they failed to find a dating site aimed at young, country-minded singles.
“Rural internet dating sites were all very much Last Chance Saloon; images of two badgers disappearing off into the sunset — that kind of thing,” Lucy explains.
Muddy Matches now has more than 100,000 members and Lucy has stopped counting the weddings, although the total has reached well over a thousand.
“Our users are nice, normal people with similar interests,” says Lucy. ” The site is designed to cope with painfully slow broadband speeds found in some rural areas and the fact that a proportion of members are still using dial-up internet connections, but it is also now fully responsive, as 50 per cent of Muddy Matches traffic is via mobile phone and tablets.
“It’s Tinder for country types,” she explains, likening it to the cult dating app that connects users and allows them (anonymously, thank goodness) to “like” or “reject” after seeing someone’s profile picture.
Lindsay tried networking the traditional country way – attending rural events such as the Sheep Dog Trials at Northleach in Gloucestershire, but she struggled to persuade her London friends to accompany her, and when she did, the group never met anyone new.
Lucy and her sister, fearing it was unethical to join their own site but eager for a success story of their own, eventually signed up to a rival, and are consequently both in long-term relationships.
“At an event people aren’t going to want to read a load of text,” she says.
“They just want to see if they like the look of the photo, you’re a similar age, and that you don’t live 600 miles away.” And what if Lindsay’s dream man flashes up on her screen? “It’s amazing how easy it is to talk yourself out of a date.” The Get Muddy app Android and i Phone users can download the Get Muddy app for free on the App Store, log in via their Muddy Matches account (or register an account if they are not already a member) and add/edit a quick profile, ready to start messaging other singles at the Country Life Fair.
“I sent her a message asking if she was well and she replied that she was enjoying a gin and tonic in her garden,” he writes in the success stories section of the site.
“I suggested she came round for further gin and tonics and the rest is history!
The biggest platforms like Match, Zoosk, e Harmony, Plenty of Fish and Ok Cupid have millions of monthly users, but a sizeable user base and a dominant spot in the market doesn't mean they've ultimately cracked the code when it comes to solving everyone's love lives.