• Connector Street

Dating App Woes? Try This Old Solution.

Updated: Mar 5

New Years is a magical time. The world is full of possibilities. We make New Year’s resolutions and will ourselves to exercise more, find that new job, or meet the right person. The pandemic makes things a bit trickier this year, especially on the romance front.

For students attending classes online, there is no way to serendipitously bump into someone in class or at an extracurricular activity.

“That route is completely cut off,” says my older daughter, Sarah, a sophomore at NYU. “We don’t want to use dating apps.” But there is no other option.

My younger daughter Lauren, a first year at Barnard College agrees, explaining “my only prospect was my Nemesis match.” Nemesis Match is a service created by her school’s humor magazine that deploys an algorithm for finding your anti-soulmate. Certainly, not the makings of a serious relationship.

Sarah’s and Lauren’s friends echo their concerns. Talia, a Junior at Temple University, says “dating apps may be well intentioned, but they foster a hookup culture that I’m not interested in. That’s not the kind of relationship I’m looking for.” And students aren't the only ones stuck in this dating quagmire.

This dilemma challenges all ages.

3 girls - My daughter Sarah & her friends at a social event
My daughter Sarah & her friends at a social event

Dating apps are big business. But that is because they are the only game in town, especially right now. People use dating apps, and then quit them because of the bad feelings and experiences they engender, only to be drawn back to the dating app world.

According to a survey of 4,000 adults, a majority viewed dating apps unfavorably, with women viewing dating apps more negatively than men.

There is another way. It harkens back to a simpler time before social media and dating platforms. It’s so straightforward that it's right under our noses: the blind date. That is, a set up by someone who knows both of you and is willing to stick their neck out to make a connection.

It’s the age-old meet cute.

Basic Rules of Blind Dating

But if this new, old strategy is going to work, there has to be ground rules.

  1. Don’t be shy. If you want to meet someone, tell your friends that you would like to be set up. There is no shame here. Who do you trust more, your close friends or a computer algorithm?

  2. If you get set up, don’t look up the other person. No need for preconceived notions. Trust your friend, and use the date to get to know them. Social media is not your friend.

  3. Start thinking about which of your friends you can set up. Keep things informal and don’t sweat it. If it doesn’t work out, neither person will hold it against you. It just shows you care.

  4. When you decide to make a match, get both people's OK. We want everyone on board. Then, send off a short message to introduce the two of them. (I recommend Connector Street for making the intro.)

We can bring back romance. And it just takes a little nudge. Take a leap of faith and set up a friend in the New Year.

Andrea Tinianow is a Delaware attorney and founder of the Connector Street app. Andrea is a frequent speaker and Forbes author on a range of topics related to making connections, innovation, blockchain technology and the law. Watch Andrea’s TedX talk on The Power of Making Connections or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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