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Singles tackle dating in Utah in person and online

With Valentine’s Day nearly here, the race is on to put yourself in front of cupid’s arrow. For those in relationships, this day might bring the stress of one-upping a friend or outdoing yourself from last year. But for those playing the singles game, it’s a tough puzzle to figure out.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 UTAH)- With Valentine’s Day nearly here, the race is on to put yourself in front of cupid’s arrow.  For those in relationships, this day might bring the stress of one-upping a friend or outdoing yourself from last year.  But for those playing the singles game, it’s a tough puzzle to figure out.

This time of year has almost everyone thinking of finding someone.  But doing it like our parents or grandparents did is out of the window.  The world of online dating and mobile apps might put the love of your life at your fingertips.

“It's hard to date, it's hard to meet people,” said AmberMay Dating Services Founder & Owner, Baya Voce.

If you’re single and looking, that might be the understatement of your lifetime. In a world where everyone is just too busy, how in the world can you squeeze in time for dating?

 “We want to introduce people who wouldn't normally meet.  And everyone says it's really hard to meet at bars, but when you come to a place and that's exactly what you're doing, you know the people here are single,” said Voce.

It’s a Valentine’s Day Singles Mixer held by AmberMay Dating Services in downtown Salt Lake.  Owner Baya Voce says singles put a number on their shirt as soon as they walk through the door.

“We have an awesome flirtboard that we invented, where you write someone a note in the envelope that corresponds with that number and you start a conversation from there,” said Voce.

Doing that in person could just be too much.  So maybe behind a screen is easier?  For 20-year-old Bethany Stoddard, it sure is.

“So here's my profile right here,” said bachelorette Bethany Stoddard.

Stoddard signed-up for Tinder last year, it’s a mobile app that finds people near you.  And it’s pretty simple to use.  Swipe left if you’re not attracted to the person who pops up on your screen.

“So I’ll just press ‘yes.’ I'm interested and ‘yes’ another match,” said Stoddard.

If you both swipe ‘right’ or both like each other, you match.  And once that happens, you can start chatting.

“Soon enough I had my first Tinder date, but it turned out to be a not so good Tinder date,” said Stoddard.

Well…no one said the app as fool proof.

“It actually ended up being in his house at night and he had candles lit and I was like are you joking me?” asked Stoddard.

Despite a sketchy first-time Tinder date, Stoddard kept going. And soon enough Stoddard found someone she had a real connection with.

“You talk to each other, you have this automatic connection, and then you have to FaceTime them and make sure they're real, and then we FaceTimed and that went really well,” said Stoddard.

You’ve probably heard of the MTV show ‘Catfish.’  It’s where people meet online and pretend to be someone else.  The victim falls madly in love with the impostor only to find out they’ve been played.  So meeting face-to-face could eliminate some of those problems.  And a Flirtboard helps get the conversation started.

“It's intimidating to approach a really pretty girl, but how often does a girl get to approach a really pretty guy?” asked Voce.

Bachelor Darin Thomas decided to take a shot.

“I drew a picture on it and it say "tu eres muy bonita y me gust tu estilo" and that means you are very beautiful and I like you're style,” said bachelor Darin Thomas.

Thomas could be on his way to securing his Valentine.

“When you meet someone who's the right person, there's that connection there where you're drawn to them,” said Thomas.

Is that what love is all about? Finding someone who speaks to the real, inner you?

“I hope they fall in love. And whatever that means for them, whether that means dating for years and years and never getting married. Or if that means getting married right off the bat, or you're not looking for something long term. I want to cater to whatever you want,” said Voce.

Through AmberMay Dating Services, you can figure out what’s holding you back from finding the one.  Not just Singles Mixers, but one-on-one help called the ‘Date Doctor.’  Maybe your problem is simple.

“People talk way too much about themselves and really you want to be doing the asking,” said Voce.

And once you figure out what’s going on with you…then, Voce says, it’s time to start looking.  And in this multi-media world, you’ve got plenty of options: Match.com, e-Harmony, Zoosk, Tinder and new ones popping up each day.

“We've developed this concept of next up, better than, more perfect and so we keep going on to the next, on to the next,” said Voce.

That’s essentially what Tinder allows its users to do.  Keep swiping until you’ve built a rolodex of admirers.

“We stopped giving ourselves the chance to fall in love because we are pushing people away because there are so many people out there and we have access to it,” said Voce.

But Stoddard says it’s the direction dating is moving toward, especially for the younger generation.

“I use Instagram. If I see a cute I say hey maybe I should comment on his picture and say hey where you from? And start a little conversation from there,” said Stoddard.

And it could be the start of something…ok a little cliché…but it’s what we’re all looking for, right?

“I think we all think about love a little bit and meeting that right person,” said Thomas.

Whether you’re finding love online or not looking at all, playing the singles game isn’t like it used to be.  To check out AmberMay Dating Services for professional help with love, click here.

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