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What Happens When You Try To Date Offline

A couple on a date.

The beginning of a new year is a busy time for new singles. According to the websites Match.com and PlentyOfFish, Jan. 3 is the busiest day of the year for new signups to their sites.

But those are just two in the plethora of dating apps and websites. There are big names like Tinder, OkCupid and Hinge. But there are lots of niche apps that target specific groups. For example, there's JDate and JSwipe for Jews; Tindog connects dogs and owners alike; High There is for marijuana enthusiasts; and of course there's Sizzl, exclusively for bacon lovers.

As people spend more time on their phones, much of the dating world has moved there with them.

So what happened to meeting people in person?

Lisa Bonos tried to find out. Bonos writes and edits pieces about single life and dating for The Washington Post's Solo-ish blog. She recently took a three-month break from dating apps and tried to meet people IRL. Bonos chronicled her app fast in a recent blog post and talked about what she learned with NPR's Michel Martin.

Interview Highlights

On how important the Internet is for modern dating

If you want to be meeting people and going on dates on a regular basis, yes, it's important. If you want to go on one date a week, you are going to have to enlist the Internet, or all of your friends, to set you up.

On the increased pressure she felt going offline

Anytime I was in a situation where there might be single people, like a bar or party, which did not happen every night, I would be like, "Oh, my gosh, I'm in a situation where I could meet someone. I need to talk to more than one person." In one situation I ended up talking to two people and cutting off a perfectly good conversation to go talk to somebody [else]. Turned out, he was married.

On what she learned from the experience

My takeaway from the time away is that I might do it more often. Just take a breath when I'm feeling overwhelmed. I might not say, "For three months I'm not going to use the apps." But maybe two days or three days.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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