Tired of dating apps? Toronto singles turn to live virtual dating events to connect – Toronto Star

Tired of dating apps? Toronto singles turn to live virtual dating events to connect – Toronto Star

Ben Yeung never had much luck with dating apps. He’s tried his hand at Bumble, Plenty of Fish and OkCupid, but he’s always felt that apps were like being “at a club.” “It’s based much more on appearances,” Yeung explains.

While he’s used to meeting people in person at salsa classes and volleyball tournaments, the pandemic has put those meetups on hold. So he’s turned to an alternative way of meeting romantic prospects online: at virtual dating events.

Since November, Yeung has been attending one dating event per month through a new organization called Toronto Dating Hub. Most events are casual happy hour chats, but Yeung has also participated in a “yoga for singles” class and registered for a dance social that happened on Valentine’s Day.

“In these events, you can actually have conversations with people,” Yeung explains. “Your personality takes the spotlight in these situations.” Yeung has met up with a few people in person after matching with them through a dating event. And while none have led to a relationship, he’s still hopeful. “I have a lot of faith in these events,” Yeung says.

Andrea Lo is the founder of Toronto Dating Hub and hosts each event. “It’s like being at a virtual pub or house party,” she explains. “You can talk as a larger group but also in smaller groups and individually.” Lo moderates the conversations with icebreaker questions that help participants to get to know each other. “I watch for who’s more
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