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The Short Version: Even though Australia boasts a large population of singles, its culture doesn’t always make it easy for them to find one another. While Australian singles may be more likely to go out with a group of friends than on a date, Spice of Life offers a solution for those who are ready for love. The online dating site has been around since 1999, and it’s free to join and create a profile. Spice of Life also offers matchmaking services to help members meet compatible matches around town, across the country, or somewhere around the world.
While Australia is famous for many things — including the Outback, the Sydney Opera House, and the Great Barrier Reef — its dating culture rarely makes the list. In fact, The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Australian singles are less likely to go out on dates than their counterparts in the United States. They tend to go out with groups of friends instead.
Thanks to that culture, many Australian singles have gone online to find love. Spice of Life, founded in 1999 by Ann Baxter, is one of the longest running and most popular dating sites in the country.
Spice of Life was designed as a professional service to connect people from Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Hobart, Perth, Brisbane, and Darwin, among other Australian cities. However, over the last two decades, the platform’s membership has grown to include singles from other countries. Most members are looking for friendship, companionship, romance, and, often, marriage.
“I’ve always believed that there is someone for everyone,” Ann said. “The only problem is finding that special person, so my mission was to create a safe place for people to find each other.”
The site is designed to be intuitive and fun to browse. With just a few clicks, users can create a profile and start finding matches. They can upload photos and add information they’d like to share with the site’s other members. It only takes a few minutes because the site doesn’t prompt users to enter pages of extra information. Instead, they fill out basic details, including their age, location, and marital status.
The site then offers an instant match service that allows users to review potential partners. The site considers this process similar to a matchmaker scouring the country — or even the world — to find that special someone.
Users also have three different ways to view their matches. They can see who is looking for them, browse profiles of other singles, or view two-way matches — which are provided based on mutual compatibility.
“Our motto is very simple: Keep it genuine. Keep it simple. We don’t pretend to be a huge empire or have all the latest bells and whistles either — our site is just easy.” — Founder Ann Baxter
The site offers two levels of membership to encourage the most connections: basic and full. A full membership puts users in complete control of who they contact by allowing them to send, receive, and reply to an unlimited number of messages. The full membership is available in six- and 12-month tiers.
“These services are extremely useful for viewing potential future dates, and it is so exciting for you to be able to see specifically who is looking for someone exactly like you,” the site reads. “You can alter your match criteria anytime you wish, you can view and receive your matches either from within a certain amount of kilometers of your postcode or all major cities.”
Once users create a profile, they can connect with hundreds of compatible singles in their area — or wherever they choose. Singles can even create a list of favorites and reply to those who pique their interest.
“Our motto is very simple: Keep it genuine. Keep it simple,” Ann said. “We don’t pretend to be a huge empire or have all the latest bells and whistles either — our site is just easy.”
Everyone, regardless of age, ethnicity, or sexual orientation, is welcome to join Spice of Life. The platform aims to connect people and help find the love that they desire.
“We are all looking to find love in our lives and, sometimes, we feel we will never find it, but we believe that everyone has a soulmate somewhere and it is just a case of finding a place where can you find love,” the site reads.
Although traditional means of connecting with other singles may be successful, they can take a lot of work, and it can get exhausting to keep going to pubs and clubs.
Spice of Life is designed to help singles find matches whose lives don’t center around the pub culture, as well as those who haven’t had dating success through traditional methods. Also, it’s perfect for singles who are busy and don’t have many opportunities to get out and meet other singles.
The site is also ideal for those who don’t want to get rejected in real life.
“No one can ever tell what the reaction will be, and of course rejection is a top priority in our minds,” the site reads. “This is where Spice of Life is the ideal answer to your dating dilemma as we offer a secure, safe environment for you to take the plunge and ask someone out on a date.”
Australia’s dating culture may be lacking in-person encounters, but Spice of Life is trying to create a different culture online. The site offers Australian singles the chance to connect with confidence.
Spice of Life also has scored plenty of success stories since its inception.
“This is the best site that I have ever used, and I’m meeting so many nice people,” Spice of Life member Regina said in an online testimonial. “Just thought I would drop you a line to let you know. This is so much better than other sites.”
Another member, Paul, shared that he wouldn’t trust his love life to any other dating site.
“I have met an amazing girl thanks to Spice of Life, the only dating site I trusted and was confident that the majority of profiles were real, unlike other dating sites,” he said in his testimonial. “I have also met, and remain friends with, other great people thanks to SOL. So, in closing, thank you.”
Spice of Life set out to help ease the burden of Australian singles who weren’t finding love through traditional dating avenues. After 20 years, the site still has a lot of love stories left to help write.