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NEW YORK CITY — When Erica Horning, 26, walked along a Midtown street, she found herself locking eyes with a beautiful stranger — a tall man with olive skin and green eyes dressed in skinny jeans, combat boots and a T-shirt. The man ran over to her, started up a conversation and got her number.
'" said Horning, a recruiter who lives near Prospect Park in Brooklyn.
RELATED STORIES:► How To Pick Someone Up While Waiting in Line► New Yorkers Share Their Dating Deal Breakers► How to Pick Someone Up on the Subway Speed dating and singles groups are seeing a small influx of refugees from the latest dating websites and smartphone apps, such as Tinder, according to Dave Cervini.
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.
Match.com, which claims to be the first dating site, started in 1995.
A few dates followed and the two are friends to this day.It can be rewarding to step out from behind your phone or computer and into a potentially unnerving context, Cervini said."You will wind up going to an event to sit with people face-to-face who have also given that same commitment to be there," said Cervini, who claims that there have been 85 marriages from the different singles events and services he runs.The meet-cute — a term for a film or television scene in which a couple with a romantic script ahead of them meet for the first time — is sacred to Horning.It's why she doesn't date online and swears she never will.
Whether or not the meet-cute turns into a relationship, "those moments, I don't want to miss out on them," said Horning, describing them as "special, exciting and unexpected."In comparison, online dating for Horning seems transactional while lacking the energy of an offline meet-cute.
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.