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Eleanore S. Wells

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Dating, in These Modern Times

Posted: 03/08/2013 4:40 pm

When I think of dating in these modern times, I'm reminded of a song by the Temptations --"The Further You Look, The Less You See" -- about the continual search, by some, for true love:

"Some find true love before their hopes are gone, others lose hope and they have to move on... The further you look, the less you see. I'm hoping you'll be the treasure for me..."


This occurred to me as I read yet another article about the latest "tools" that facilitate finding The One. Admittedly, everyone who's looking to date isn't looking for true love, but many are.

When did dating become so complicated? And, why? Actually, it isn't the dating part that's so complicated as much as it is the meeting someone to date part. It almost seems that the more options for meeting someone that there are, the harder it is to actually find the right someone. So, I decided to do a 'roundup' of the many options modern-day daters have to help them find true love. Surely, something should work. (Our grandparents had it so much easier, didn't they?)

These dating tools go from methods I'll call old-fashioned to those that are more new-fangled:

Friends. Asking friends to introduce you to someone is still one of the best ways to find Mr./Ms. Right. Your friends know you and should be able to assess who would be a good fit. Plus, they probably aren't going to introduce you to someone who's going to be a disaster. (Unless they have a nasty sense of humor. Try not to have friends like that.)

Flirting. See someone interesting? Smile. Wink. Hope for the best... including that he's available.

Matchmakers. Professionals who will find "the one" for you... for a fee. Could be a waste. Could be money well-spent, if it works.

Singles Party. Throw a party. Only single people allowed. Ask invitees to bring other single friends. Start mingling.

MeetUp.com. This is an informal online social networking site that facilitates offline group meetings of like-minded people for a range of activities, including dining, bowling, hiking, cooking, biking, etc. Some are focused on singles, some not. Either way, it could be a way to have some fun while making new friends.

Singles Events. Stir by Match.com offers social events, such as cooking classes, happy hours and cocktail parties for members of Match.com. I prefer this to Match.com because I'm just not feeling online dating these days. Plus, I prefer to meet people "live." I want to check out eye contact, body language and voice inflection right away, not after 5 emails.

Online Dating. Match, OKCupid, eHarmony, Christian Mingle, JDate, Black People Meet, How About We. This is not an exhaustive list of online dating sites, but these are among the most popular. They all work pretty much the same. Complete a profile questionnaire, add a picture (or don't), then search for your true love or let the site do it for you. Apparently, one out of five couples met online.

Grouper. Grouper sets you up with three Facebook strangers, but they don't like to call them "dates." It's a social service that sets you and two friends up with three strangers based on your Facebook profile. Sign up for Grouper via your Facebook account, and it sets you up with someone of the opposite sex whom you're not Facebook friends with. There are no profiles on the site; they do the matchmaking, and you all meet at a place of Grouper's choosing. Grouper says 93 percent of participants want to do another one. Currently, the service is about twice as popular with women. (Wouldn't you know it...) This is something I might have tried in my college days. I don't really do group dates now, though.

Crazy Blind Date. This is an iPhone/Android app. An OKCupid profile is not required, but it makes it much easier. Choose a date and time, a bar or coffee shop from the app's recommendations, then choose from among four people the app suggests. You're supposed to spend only 20 minutes on the date, then rate it on the app. Cost is about $3. The name of this app sounds about right to me.

Other Blind Date Apps. Tawkify. MeetCute. Meet Moi. These apps set up blind dates for you. All you have to do is just show up... and hope to be pleasantly surprised. Clearly, it can go the other way, as well.

Location-based Dating App. Tinder is location-based and identifies people nearby who the user might know, and connects them if both are interested. Feels creepy to me... but I'm sure it could be fun, as well. I'm sure It helps if you like surprises.

I'm not sure if the techy tools are more effective at helping find love than the old-fashioned ways are, but they certainly are more creative.

So here we are with seemingly a zillion options at our disposal for finding everlasting love, and yet the rate of singles is higher than it's ever been in this country. I wonder what it all means? Are we seriously looking for The One, or does having this many options make it harder than ever? How can you choose just One, when there are so many?

 

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