For the unattached, online dating is starting to feel as old-fashioned as the computer-based matchmaking agency featured in Robert Altman’s A Perfect Couple
. (To understand why, the uninitiated should peruse Messages From Match
.) However, singles seeking a fresh route to a summer fling need look no further than the following services, which are giving digital dating a needed makeover.
: Bar patrons no longer have to flirt with a potential date only to realize too late that the target of their affections is not on the market. Skout is a new mobile app for iPhone
that mutually identifies singles within each other’s vicinity. (Some may describe it as a “hook-up” app in the vein of popular gay service, Grindr
.) Despite the possibility of having an impromptu date, the most enticing feature may be the comfort in knowing that there are other singles cruising the same places. And unlike a disappointing first date after weeks of messaging on OkCupid
, users can find out immediately if the sparks will fly.
: Copious daily deal sites already offer shoppers exclusives on everything from shoes to tunes
, so why not dates? Like a Groupon for romance, Inbox Cupid showcases a daily single in each of its markets, among which are Santa Fe, Seattle and Syracuse. Those interested in the featured person simply click an “Inbox Me” button to make contact, the cost of which is only the completion of a brief dating survey consisting of five questions selected by the date of the day. Anyone who wants to be featured can apply, and their chances look good, as only 15% of members are brave enough
to make themselves available for all to scrutinize.
: Men who desire the veritable buffet of single women as featured in a certain reality show
now have the chance to be the star bachelor, minus the rose ceremonies. Similar to Inbox Cupid, eDealduJour is a French website that, while it appears to be on hiatus
, showcases a different (male) love seeker every day, including a bio, photo galleries and short videos. Though any woman can contact the highlighted stud, there is a catch: free access to the featured profile is only available for a 24-hour period. However, archived and future profiles can be accessed for a fee. A female version is reportedly in the works.