iDate: Romance in the age of apps
These iPhone apps can take you from date to mate in just a few clicks.
"If I tell you that you have a gorgeous body, would you hold it against me?"
Until the advent of the iPhone, a line like this was one of the few tools guys like me had in our arsenal. How remarkable that our species hasn't reached extinction. Anyway, in the age of mobile apps, lame pickup lines are completely unnecessary. It's the 21st century, folks, and iDating is all the rage.
If you don't have a Valentine's Day date lined up, or have just been too busy to plan ahead. Here are some apps to get you on your way.
[ See also: Geek Valentine Gifts...that send the wrong message ]
Step 1: meet someone
Trying to meet a potential mate at, say, a bar is about as efficient as shooting a shotgun into the air in the hopes that sometime you might bag a duck. Luckily, there are people out there with the foresight to develop applications to help you meet someone that might actually not care that you prefer Picard over Kirk.
Match.com: this free app from the well-known dating site is an excellent way to kinda jump into the dating pool to see who's out there. As with all things in life, do your due dilligence and remember that photos in the iPhone may not actually look like the person who posted the pic.
OKCupid: Another free dating site/app that has a similar interface and setup to match.com. The reason to download? You're more likely to catch a fish if you throw more than one line in the water...! Just be warned that OKCupid really enjoys analyzing the data it collects about its users.
SpeedDate: Okay, now you're looking a little desperate. Potential mates can sense that a mile off. Pick two of these and be done.
[ See also: Online dating for nerds ]
Next page: Where to eat?
Step 2: Find a place to eat
Hey! You made a date! Way to go. Now, you need to decide where to go to have that all-important first dinner. You'll note that I said 'dinner'...not 'coffee' or 'a movie'. We're going for the gusto here, folks. So where to go? Does she like Thai? Does he hate Italian? Better make a good, informed decision.
Where to eat?: this app does not just have a straightforward name. With this app, you can not only find a restaurant that has a recent rating, sort by cuisine or food types, but you can also find out how close it is to you. Thank the stars for GPS capability in smartphones, huh?
Next page: Red, red wine
Step 3: Pick a wine to go with your meal
There are few things in life better than when you look like you're educated in uncommon areas. Picking a delicious wine to go with your meal on your first date is a skill most of us wish we possessed (yours truly can only pick out a good dark beer).
Average Joe Wine Reviews: (different Joe). This is a great app that can tell you if a wine is good or not by simply telling you, um, if it's good or not. A lot of terrific information about wines without all the snooty attitude you might expect.
Next page: Talk to me
Step 4: The conversation
You can pick a great restaurant. You can select a decent wine. Heck, you can even hold her chair for her. But bad dinner conversation will have her planning her restroom window escape. There's a reason they call conversation an "art". And honestly, you have to just be yourself. If your date scoffs at who you are, it's over. That said, sometimes we get a little stagefright and could use a fallback.
Conversation Starter: meet the fallback. Conversation Starter has a number of great opening lines that can help the wary in times of stress or need. Okay, you probably could think up these on your own. But how handy to have an app that can instantly throw you one while you sit there tongue-tied and the awkward silence crushes your soul like an anvil on an ant.
Next page: Taxi!
Step 5: TAXIIIIII!
With your date going extremely well (or horribly wrong, I suppose), there comes a time when you need to call a taxi to take you home. With or without company. Either way, after picking terrific wine from the menu, it shows your date that you have a tremendous sense of responsibility not to endanger either of your lives getting behind the wheel.
Call a Taxi: this app uses your GPS location to find the nearest and dearest taxi service for your travel needs.
Next page: Can't get enough of your love, babe
Step 6: Bolero or Barry White should do the trick...
You're back at your place. The candles are lit, the mood inviting. All you need to complete the ambience is some romantic tunes to keep the night going in the right direction. Naturally, you have an iPhone doc which will allow you to pick a sultry station to listen to.
Valentine RADIO: with this app you can choose from a nice selection of romantic radio. And from there, let's pull the shades for a little privacy.