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Over the past two years, sites like Ok Cupid and have added meet-in-person events, like beer tastings, trivia nights, or simply co-opting a bar space for drinking.
members can bring single, non-member friends to the events, too."Our events have definitely become very popular and we keep expanding," said Cayla Gebhart, a spokeswoman for
Deliberate event-going is something New York City dating coach Nancy Slotnick advises her clients focus much of their attention on when trying to find a mate, not spending hours online."I think there's a swing-back to people wanting to meet organically," Slotnick said.
"There's no perfect way to meet someone, but you have to let yourself be open and vulnerable — go to an event without cowering in a circle — it's getting back to the basics of personal interaction without being able to hide behind a computer or phone."Slotnick herself runs an online-based dating service — Matchmaker Cafe, an app that works through Facebook — but once participants express interest in each other based on a brief profile, one of Slotnick's employees immediately contacts the pair to set up a date.
A few dates followed and the two are friends to this day.
Going out to events, even those not specifically dedicated to dating, can expand a singleton's social circle and bring him or her closer to meeting the right person, dating experts say.
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He took over the New York City franchise of 8 Minute Dating, a speed dating service, in 2003.
In the early 2000s, speed dating became hugely popular as a rebound to the first generation of online dating websites, according to Cervini.
Media headlines and blogs might herald the popularity of online dating, but there are many who keep their love life offline or have returned from the digital world exhausted and burned by smartphone apps and websites that promised a soul mate.