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After finishing our interview post with Raynold, the creator of the Virtual Dating Sim titled “One Secret Fantasy” last week. Girl (my best friend and partner; and on occasion, the other writer on this website) and I got to talking about some of the various possibilities that VR could hold for augmenting the online dating experience; Here are some of the things we came up with.

As it is, there are a great many sites out there that are geared towards hooking up: Plenty of Fish (tried this briefly years ago before I met Girl, it didn’t work out so good) Eharmony, Lavalife, Perfect Match, Match.ca, LoveAwake, etc, etc; and they all do pretty much the exact same thing; which is ok, but it could be so much better.
It is immediately apparent how cool these kinds of dating experiences might be if you could “meet” prospective partners face to face in VR. Not only would it be a great way to break the ice, but you would have the chance to see somebody in such an immersive and personal way that it would be like a real encounter, with none of the risk.
With the proper camera setup (like the still-quite-expensive panocam3d) a user could record virtual reality enabled introductions, allowing prospective partners to get a first-hand look – albeit virtual – and possibly increase their chances of finding a good match.
The dating website itself could also play host to a number of VR establishments and venues, so that interested couples could have their first date in the virtual world; which would not only be an experience in itself, but would further reduce the risk of a negative experience; this could be especially helpful for those with trust issues, or just people who are shy in general.
You could have virtual speed-dating in virtual restaurants,  fly to space together, or go swimming with the dolphins; all from the comfort and security of your living room.
It would be amazing; and amazing is an excellent way to start a date.

VR Dating: Know what you're getting into.
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VR Dating: Know what you’re getting into.

The truth of the matter is, I was never a regular user of any of these sites because it always seemed like such a risk to go and meet somebody you had never actually met before; VR could eliminate that and give people a chance to get over the initial “awkwardness” before they ever step within 3 feet of each other.
The one and only time I did use a dating service, Plenty of Fish, I met a girl who seemed great on chat and looked cute in her pictures, but when we finally did agree to meet, things became more than a little strange and uncomfortable; she also had terrible teeth. The entire experience was an embarrassment for both of us, and something I would’ve rather avoided. Perhaps if we’d been able to speak to each other in VR first, we would have had a better chance to decide whether or not there was any chemistry, before we actually met; and avoided all of the trouble. Now wouldn’t that be great? It could change the internet-dating scene forever.

So what do you think? Do you see VR being an integral part of the internet-dating of the future, or do you think that people should stick to the age-old tradition of meeting for the first time in person?
Leave a comment and let us know what kind of other creative ideas you may have for using virtual reality to make the online dating experience better; or even just more interesting.
The future of dating depends on it!

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