When it comes to relationships, what does the future hold? Will we meet via online matchmaker? Set the sheets on fire with cell phones-turned-sex toys? Or sip piña coladas served by cute robotic cabana boys? Regina Lynn, our Nostradamus of romance, peers into the next five years.
Video kills the coffee date. I don’t know what Starbucks is going to do, but in 2012, awkward first encounters will no longer take place over vente mochachinos. For those searching for a mate online, “First dates will be on live video,” says dating industry expert Mark Brooks of OnlinePersonalsWatch.com, “and videos don’t lie like pictures do.”
Though he also predicts that the single among us won’t necessarily be cozying up to our computers while auditioning pixelated Mr. Rights. “By then,” he says, “that video date will probably be on a mobile device.”
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I know, I know, it sounds dreary and disconnected and oh-so-Sandra-Bullock-in-The-Net. But think of how much time you’ll save when you can screen potential mates quickly and efficiently—without even getting dressed below the waist if you don’t want to.
Even where we meet prospects is about to evolve. “Rather than canned profiles and emails, people will meet other people at events—concerts, movie screenings, etc.—in virtual worlds,” says Brian Shuster, CEO of Utherverse, a 3-D social network. “They will get to know each other in a more natural way, even have virtual world dates before real world dates.” Raising the question: Is it possible to have a virtual bad hair day?