TAMPA — Maybe you're single and looking.
Or maybe you've been married for decades.
Either way-- odds are you or someone you know has tried online dating.
And now there's a new app that could take some of the mystery out of online dating process.
It's called Wingman, and it hooks up with your Facebook account and lets you set your friends up with each other.
So the connections you’re making aren't just random.
I wanted to see if an online app like this could make a more meaningful relationship - one where you already have someone in common - than just swiping right on tinder.
So where to go? Singles night in Tampa, of course.
I met Lea Murray randomly at a Tampa Speed Dating event.
She's single. Runs a veterinary clinic.
And really really likes possums.
“It's almost impossible for them to get rabies. They are immune to venomous snake bites. They eat 5,000 ticks in a season. I can go on and on and on,” Murray said.
She can - she has three of these guys at home!
So what's it like on the dating scene right now?
“Obviously I'm single, so I haven't picked the right people. And my friends know who I should – I think that's a great idea because they’re like the kind of person I can see you with - because I keep choosing the wrong people, the wrong kind of people. My friends are like, 'I can see you with this kind of person,'” she said.
So having that third party might make a difference?
“Yeah, yeah. My friend Beth keeps telling me the kind of person that I need to look for. And everytime I go look, what about this and this? And she's like, ‘No, Lea... come on!’”
So, could the Wingman app really make a more meaningful relationship possible because YOU are setting your friends up with each other?
Take it from University of Tampa Sociology professor and sex therapist Katie Schubert.
“I think it will help. I do. And it also reduces the expectations you have for yourself.”
“Statistically we are awful at picking our own partners. We pick people who aren't necessarily compatible. They say opposites attract, and they do, and that's part of the problem. Because in reality what we need is someone with similarities. Without similarities, relationships don't work,” Schubert said.
So, while not all online dating works, Wingman starts you with at least one friend in common - and common ground makes a difference.
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