The Rise of Offline Dating and the Promise of the Singlepin

blog on single pin  penguins

I have many complaints about the online dating world. Problems abound, including catfishing and extreme window-shopping.

No surprise – I’m not the only one feeling frustrated by the virtual world. Singletons around the globe are finding it difficult to meet quality matches through the various sites and apps. And they’re taking action.

Let’s chow down on some summertime crunchy noodle salad and review the evidence:

*Rob, a single man in New Zealand, recently posted an “Off-Line” Dating Sign/Want-Ad in hopes of meeting a “fun, adventurous and gorgeous lady.”

Rob

*In a counter-move to online dating, a wearable Singlepin launched in the U.K. The pin identifies the wearer as a single person open to meeting and connecting with other singles.

*An increasing number of daters are supplementing online dating with offline dating or switching to meeting and pursuing their matches in real life.

Of these three examples, I’m most intrigued by Rob in New Zealand and the Singlepin. I don’t know how to find Rob (though an investigative trip to New Zealand would be wonderful). I was able to track down artist Dianne Harris, the inventor of the Singlepin, in England.

“Singlepin represents real life connection and is a reaction to online dating,” wrote Harris in an email. “(It’s) a wearable icon for people to instantly connect and recognize each other.”

“Singlepin is a very good ice breaker,” added Harris, “and (it) gives people an excuse to talk to each other – in reality!”

“Online dating has gone one step too far and there are thousands and thousands of people disillusioned by it and (they) are now finding meeting people in reality very hard,” she said.

Harris was inspired to develop the pin after hearing about the many negative experiences online daters were having. “Why should we continue to put up with being ‘catfished,’ lied to or misled?” she asked in an article in The Telegraph.

Thousands of Singlepins have been sold since the unisex sterling silver jeweled icon debuted for £15.00 last February.   A portion of the sales profits will be donated to The British Heart Foundation, said Harris.

What happened as a result of these purchases? Lots of dates are being reported, said Harris, but with only a few months since launch, it’s too soon for marriage announcements.

The pin has not launched in the U.S. but it’s available via the website: http://bit.ly/29Lwmtn.  I think we need the Singlepin in America and I plan to wear one. It’s a real-life alternative to my fantasy wearable tech device, the Attracto Band-Ring.

Would you wear a Singlepin? Let me know!

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

Could Wearable Tech Help Singles Connect? A Scientific Fantasy

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Lately I have been wondering if scientists and medical engineers could create a new wearable tech device to help singles connect with each other.

Let’s discuss over a lovely mushroom leek and fontina frittata.

There’s definitely a need for such a product. Just look at how many millions of people are on dating sites.

And there’s money to be made! Love is a multi-million dollar business if you factor in dating sites and apps, matchmakers, writers, bloggers (minus one blogger not earning anything), therapists, coaches, etc., etc.

So, we have identified both a population need and a viable economic industry.

What would this wearable tech device do and how would it work? You may be wondering if I’m imagining an orgasmatron-like device as conjured by Woody Allen in Sleeper. No, I did not say I was imagining a device to help singles sexually connect.

I’m thinking of a device that single men and women could wear that would sense and signal mutual chemistry and attraction. Let’s imagine that this product is a pin, a watchband and matching ring duo, or a special vest.

There is already technology to sense heart rate and respiration, research on sensors that measure the skin’s electrical properties, and studies on devices that detect emotions. Wearable tech is still a growing research field but is it that much of a leap to think that a chemistry/attraction wearable device could be invented? One challenge: Some of the research involves MRI scanners– a bit large scale for a wearable device.

The Product in Action 

What would happen if this device was developed and used?

Here’s an imaginary scenario involving two singles who are wearing a watchband/ring combination device that I call the Attracto Band-Ring:

Nadia is at a local health food store sampling the free cheese. Just as she reaches for a lovely morsel of Brie with truffles, her hand grazes another customer’s. She looks up to see an attractive man who smiles and apologizes for crowding her selection. She’s immediately captivated. Almost instantly, the tiny LED lights in Nadia’s watchband and ring start to glow. She looks at the man’s hand and confirms that his watchband and ring are also glowing. Just like a “match” on Tinder, they both know the other person likes them.

Will Mr. Attractive Stranger suggest a green tea latte at the health food store café? Will Nadia ask for Mr. Stranger’s number? The next step is up to them. The glowing watchbands have given then a sense of security. They each know they won’t be rejected outright if they choose to connect. And isn’t fear of rejection often the reason people don’t reach out?

Would you wear an Attracto Band-Ring? Let me know.

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

 

 

 

A Change in Dating Tactics

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Online dating and dating apps are not working well for me. In the spirit of “I’m not giving up yet,” I decided to change my approach to meeting men.

Have some cheesy rice with asparagus and I’ll explain my reasoning.

I am frustrated with the caliber of the men who reach out to me. With apologies to Lady Liberty, don’t give me your tired, your poor, your uneducated, unkempt, and uninformed. Do give me an age appropriate educated man with a sense of humor. Age appropriate is difficult to find.

I believe – and my single friends will back me up on this – that the men about my age who are online are reaching out to much younger women. Some of them try to get away with this by lying about their age. I have caught men in an age lie (e.g., a reference to a 50-year-old son by a man who is supposedly 60). Sometimes all it takes is a close look at the guy’s photo to know the age on the profile is inaccurate.

My profile has my real age and perhaps that is the problem. If most of the men are lying, I sometimes wonder if I need to shed some years to be competitive with the younger women they are pursuing.

I recently met with a matchmaker who confirmed the ageism reality of online dating. When a man plugs in his search criteria – or just browses online – he may disregard women in their 60s, even though these women may be in great shape and able to pass for women a decade younger.

If that same man met an attractive 60+-year-old woman in person, he might ask her out without even knowing her age. I believe age discrimination may also explain why a man who matches me on Tinder immediately unmatches me. My guess is that he selected me based on my – recent – photo but balked when he saw my age.

We all know that people age at different rates.   Appearances aside, many “baby boomers” have a young outlook on life, are active, social, interested, and interesting.   Jumping down now (despite my aging knees) from the soapbox.

My new approach involves a combination of stepping back from online dating, embracing in-person opportunities, and, in a case of turnabout is fair play, seeking out younger (not crazy young) men who appreciate a woman of a certain age. Like many of my about-faces, this approach may not last long.

How will I put this strategy into action? Here’s my plan:

Online Dating Pullback:

I’m on a lot of sites and apps. I won’t be checking these sites as often and I’m considering hiding my profile on a couple of them. I also will stop going to the online dating sites on weekends. Some dating coaches recommend a temporary total break from online dating and I may try that at some point.

For my no online on weekends experiment, the traditional dating sites (Match, OkCupid, etc.) will be off limits between Friday at 6 p.m. and Sunday about 5:00 p.m. Not only will this give the impression that I am dating up a storm all weekend but it will also give me a break from the tedium of the online experience. To feel like I’m doing something proactive, I will still swipe on the Tinder and Bumble apps. These apps require less work and no one can tell when you were last on them.

Meeting Men in Real Life: 

In recent months, I’ve been gravitating toward meeting men in the wild – going to a Match happy hour for example. The matchmaker I recently met thinks meeting men in real life is my best tactic. It’s a work- around men who search for younger women and won’t consider someone their own age. Pros: I will know if there is in-person chemistry and what the person really looks like. Cons: I’m shy in certain social situations so this will be tough for me.

To implement this approach, I signed up for memberships in the Smithsonian (classes, films, concerts, and trips) and the Phillips museum (events, concerts). I also joined The Writer’s Center (classes and events).

I’m already in a number of Meetups and have met some great women friends. I plan to seek out new groups that offer more potential for a romantic connection.

Younger Men: 

Let me start by saying I hate the word cougar. I think one of the male equivalents – manther – is just as bad. Let’s just call it what it is – dating younger.

On the dating sites, I see 60-year-old men seeking women 30 to 45. I’m not that unrealistic and that would be too much of an age gap for me. However, I’m o.k. with a 10-year-difference give or take a few months.

Apparently, there are a number of women who don’t mind a substantial age gap. I’m currently reading Raven: My Year of Dating Dangerously by a 60-year-old woman who has a wild time with men several decades her junior.

The Raven’s experience aside, I doubt I will have the same success as 60 something men who wish to date 50 something women. But if I strike a 54-year-old’s fancy, I’m open to dating him.

Wish me luck dear readers and let me know how your dating life is going.

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Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

 

The Meet-Cute

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About a year ago I had what could be described as a meet-cute encounter. I had been working to control my resting bitch face in hopes of meeting men in the wild and so when a meet-cute opportunity presented itself, I grabbed it.

In honor of the first day of spring, let’s have some pasta primavera while I share my story.

I was walking home one late afternoon after a stroll in the park. As I approached a basketball court in typical full man-watching mode, I noticed a tall grey-topped specimen with diminishing plumage who was shooting hoops. I walked by just as he scored. Remembering my resolve to be open to all opportunities, I smiled and gave him a thumbs up. Mr. B (for basketball) looked at me, grinned, and threw me the ball. We shot hoops for about 20 minutes.

During this time I learned that my new friend was a teacher at the local community college, had survived a heavy recreational drug-using period during his youth, and was now practicing some kind of “higher power” philosophy that related to him having two first names. I also learned that he had a former girlfriend who had been living out of the country and texted him while we were shooting hoops to say she was in town.

When it was time for me to leave, we exchanged first names (two first names for him) but no numbers. As I continued my walk home, I thought about Mr. B and decided he was mildly attractive (too sweaty to get a full read on this) but had a couple of red flags. He had a somewhat flaky persona typical of former heavy pot smokers and he practiced the mysterious higher power philosophy.

Despite these reservations and the fact that I didn’t even know if he was single, I wandered back to the basketball court several times over the next few months. I never saw Mr. B again.

Had we exchanged contact information and actually dated, this would have been a perfect meet-cute.

Although the term meet-cute has been around since the 1940s, I had not heard of it until a friend used it to describe my basketball encounter.

According to the Urban Dictionary, meet-cute is a “scenario in which two individuals are brought together in some unlikely, zany, destined-to-fall-in-love-and-be-together-forever sort of way (the more unusual, the better). The way the characters meet in “Serendipity” or “When Harry Met Sally” or at least half the romantic comedies out there.”

I’ve always been a hopeful romantic so I love the idea of a meet-cute relationship launch.

I have a number of meet-cute fantasies. Here’s a sample.

Fall In Love

I’m not into spectator sports but a date at a Washington Capitals game revealed a hockey loving audience of tall, hunky guys.

In this meet-cute fantasy, I’m trying to navigate the bleachers to find my seat when I stumble and land in the lap of a particularly handsome fan. Think Claudette Colbert when the bus swerves and she falls into Clark Gable’s lap in It Happened One Night. We both laugh and after I apologize and stand up, my soft landing partner asks for my number.

Double Uber

It’s been a long day and after a late happy hour I don’t feel like taking the subway home. I decide to treat myself to an Uber ride. As I approach the car and confirm that the license plate and vehicle match the message on my phone, I see that a sophisticated looking gentleman is approaching my ride. Just as I’m about to open the car door, he says in a lovely British accent, “Pardon me, but I think this is the car I ordered.” “I don’t think so,” I say and show him the message on my phone. He has the same confirmation on his phone. We laugh and decide to share the ride.

Dogtopia

As a favor to my daughter, I bring my grand-dog Rover to the dog park. Rover encounters Lucy, a sprightly golden retriever, and the two fall madly in love. They engage in tail wagging, lots of sniffing, and even kissing. Lucy’s owner, an age appropriate athletic-looking guy, and I have a great conversation. We plan a double play date for the dogs and for us.

Given the right circumstances and the attitude to move things forward, these meet-cutes could happen.

Do you have a meet-cute story you can share? Write me!

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Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia