I looked at various dating sites looking for common trends and inspiration. Some of these sites include eHarmony, Match.com, Elite, Zoosk, Uniform dating, mature dating and POF. The most common trend in the design of the sites was that they had no user profiles on the home page and that it was there almost entirely to get people to sign up, containing not much more than sign up form. I also noted that it was common to use a large image and that the Headers and footers were larger than when logged in. My theory for this design is that it looks cleaner (less complex) with the focus on signing up and that people are now freer with their details than in the past, so they can get away with this strategy. Even when people don’t use the site much after signing up, the site has obtained their details and can promote offers to them. Another observation was that it is rare to see the whole form, usually they try to entice people by appearing to only require a few details, but ask for more after they click next.
An example of this is eHarmony. I found it interesting that with this particular site, if you refresh the page it loads a different home page. This could be to keep a fresh image to visitors returning or to test which pages convert to sign ups best.
Below are my first wire frame ideas. The first two are for home pages, the third is once logged in, viewing a profile. As can be seen, I decided to adopt the trend I observed of a simpler homepage for these wire frames.