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“So just put down whatever you need to keep track.”He turns his scorecard to me. ”The scorecard is blank, apart from the word CHASER–slang for “clingy”—printed angrily next to Number 7.* * *Perhaps surprisingly, the speed-dating demographic also includes a number of people in their 20s.

In my experience, events for the 21-to-31 age category are some of the busiest and most successful.

Together, they are a unique group that tells an overlooked part of the story of how we meet each other in 2014.

* * *Man Number One is blind and arrives a lot earlier than the other daters.

Maybe they’re not comfortable with a smartphone, or maybe they have qualities they feel can only be appreciated face to face.

During the break, Man Number Two comes over to my table and asks if he needs to write comments about the women he’s meeting.“The scorecard is just for your own reference,” I tell him.

I spend half an hour setting up the room, putting café numbers on the tables, and writing out name badges.

I ask her why she came along.“My friend just wanted some support,” she says. In China, her parents are telling her that she needs to find somebody, she needs to date. ”“Oh,” I say, trying to cover up that I find her story sad.Woman Number Four sidles over to me, waving a ringing phone.“It’s a man! Maybe this stranger just has more potential, simply because he's a photograph, than, for example, Man Number Four sitting in front of her, with his almost empty pint of beer and pinkish stubble.* * *With the industry’s change in speed has come a change in depth.Using a dating app is an inherently shallow process, like shopping through a catalog of faces.", app daters should leave their baggage off-screen.“No photos of weddings or babies in your profile—especially if either is yours,” it suggests.

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