THE most romantic day of the year is almost upon us – but more people are unlucky in love than ever.
University of Vienna psychologist Marina Thomas discovered that dating apps – which millions of people use every day in a bid to find the one – are making it more difficult to find a lasting connection.
She found that excessive swiping on services like Tinder and Hinge can cause a “partner choice overload” and spark anxiety rather than romance.
Meanwhile, new research from online dating site eHarmony shows that, despite spending about an hour daily on dating apps, 70 per cent of singles believe the love gadgets have a negative impact on them mentally.
Edinburgh-based matchmaker Laura Smyth reckons old-fashioned methods have a better chance of working when it comes to love.
The 34-year-old said: “Whenever you’re on apps and you spend an hour on them, you start to think, there are so many people here, why can I not find someone?
“When you have so many choices you end up not making any because you feel like there’s going to be someone better out there.”
The modern Scottish matchmaker shared six tips on ways people can ditch the devices and find romance in real life.
TRY going out with a friend of a friend. Ask your mates if they can find you a date, because nobody knows you better than your own pals.
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They know what you’re looking for and will also have connections to people you might never meet otherwise – through their jobs and their own partners.
It also means you have a conversation starter and something in common when you go on your first date.
IT is harder to meet a significant other at the workplace now, because of policies against mixing work and play – and the possibility of HR getting involved.
But attending networking events gives you the chance to meet people in your field.
There are a variety of groups young people in Scotland can attend, including Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen Young Professionals. These are good spots to find like-minded people who are also career driven, if that is what you are looking for.
ANOTHER good way to connect with people is over shared hobbies.
Most cities in Scotland have a variety of meet-up groups available for pastimes that range from indoor gaming to hiking in the Highlands.
Some activities are more time consuming than others so it can be hard having a partner who doesn’t share the same interest. Having a hobby in common can help couples bond as they share time exploring activities together.
VOLUNTEERING with your local community could be the key to you meeting the hunk next door.
Charity groups and local clubs could help you find someone with shared passions.
Think about the type of person you want to meet. For example, going to a dog home if you’re into animals, a gardening group if you’re into nature, or projects like cleaning up the beach if you’re interested in conservation is a great start.
MINGLE WITH SINGLES
GET mingling at single nights for a fair shot at love – but don’t bring your friends along.
A lot of men go to these events on their own and find approaching a big group of girls off-putting.
Meanwhile, knowing your pals are sitting on the side-lines judging pick-up lines can make you and your prospective date feel nervous.
Going solo also is a show of confidence – and everyone knows that is is sexy.
LAST but not least, matchmakers provide an old-fashioned service that works.
I run Match Made in Scotland, a professional dating agency which does all the legwork – we screen potential candidates for love so you don’t have to. No more wasting hours sifting through pics of strangers on the apps.
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Instead you can focus on your career, friends and hobbies – and all you have to do is show up for the dates.
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