online dating virtual reality augmented reality

Virtual Reality: Taking the Online Dating Game to New Heights

Three in every 10 adults in the US say they have used a dating app to meet someone, with the largest share of online daters being in the 18-to-29-year range. The tech world is consistently seeking to up the dating experience, however, with virtual reality playing an important role in lending a ‘Ready Player One’-style ambiance to those first moments of contact. Imagine chatting to someone for the first time dressed in anime-style clothing, choosing a beautiful garden and a sunny blue sky as your backdrop. There is something infinitely more creative, inspiring, and imaginative when VR makes its way into the dating experience—particularly if technology is an important part of your daily experience.

Virtual Reality and Meaningful Connections

The idea of connecting with new people in a virtual world is not new. Games like World of Warcraft and Second Life have long permitted people to make meaningful connections that are often taken into the real world. It wasn’t long before online app developers realized that the ability to take part in virtual activities like dancing with someone and giving them a hug could add warmth and artistry to what otherwise might be a mundane experience. Developers like Flirtual (a non-VR app which matches VR users through their interests) offer users the chance to meet in VR if they want to. Instead of uploading real pictures, though, users utilize avatars of themselves, as well as creative nicks, while telling others a little about themselves in their ‘cards’. It might seem a little risky to invest time in someone you have literally no idea about (in terms of their appearance) but some users prefer to focus on interests and personality as a means of establishing initial compatibility.

Matching Virtual Reality Experiences in Real Life

VR worlds can be incredibly exciting, vivid, and colorful but this doesn’t stop users from meeting in real life. Those wishing to transfer the magic of their imagination into reality can opt from a host of unique activities for couples such as stargazing, enjoying a racing car driving experience, or going to an adventure park. Couples should ideally aim to engage in ‘self-expanding’ activities; those which promote greater awareness and an expanded sense of self or deeper knowledge about the world. Studies have shown that couples that take part in these activities feel a greater sense of romance and desire—similar to what you might experience when you first shake hands in a VR world.

Meeting Someone Quickly

As stated by Maria Sullivan of the Dating Group (which runs around 30 online dating sites), the one downside of VR dating is that some users can feel isolated in a relationship that may never come to fruition. The online world is, indeed, rife with Catfish and other people who are not honest with their identities or intentions. To avoid this happening, users can aim to meet their VR ‘crushes’ quickly, in a safe, public place. Doing so will immediately reveal whether or not virtual and real are the same thing when it comes to love.

Sites like Flirtual are appealing to daters who wish to dip their toes into dating slowly. Virtual Reality is second nature to Gen-Z and older users for whom technology is vital on a day-to-day basis. Using VR sites doesn’t mean users don’t meet up; in fact, for those who are seriously interested in finding someone, meeting in person sooner rather than later is a no-fail way to filter out ‘catfish’.

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