Toronto, Canada --- Two people enter a lounge where fish swim behind them
in a large fish tank. A couple dances in the background. The conversation
begins with a laugh, generated by an emoticon. This couple is enjoying a
virtual date on OmniDate.com, where they can laugh, talk and flirt, all from
the comfort and safety of their home.
"A woman can stay home on Saturday night and still "go out" on a great
date. You won't be lying to the office about your great weekend on Monday
morning!" said Ravit Abelman, vice president and co-founder of OmniDate
with her husband, Igor Kotlyar, Ph.D.
In a study by the Harvard University, the researchers found that virtual
dates gave participants a more positive opinion of each other and these
effects carried over into meeting in real life.
The goal of OmniDate is to move people from the computer's virtual world
into the real world. Through the free dating service, single moms can decide
on who they want to meet after they find their best potential matches.
"Nothing makes people happier than a satisfying relationship true connection
is the greatest gift of life. It is our mission to give women better
ways to find
true love," said Abelman.
Romance aside, safety is also a concern for daters. For single moms
especially, getting to know a person before an actual meeting can add an
extra layer of security. Through the practice dates on OmniDate, they can
play compatibility games and chat, moving through those initial stages of
filtering out the undesirables and encouraging the potentials.
Another advantage: it's easier to say goodbye to an avatar than to a person.
Many times, women continue to go out with people simply because they
have not mastered the word "no."
"When the first step in getting to know someone is taken in a virtual setting,
it substantially reduces the emotional and physical investment upfront. It
can be so exhausting to deal with someone you don't want to continue
dating. And what mom has extra emotional energy lying around?" said
Single moms cannot afford to put their children through the "parade of men"
as well. Sometimes, women will continue dating the wrong person just
because their children have bonded with them or simply put their search on
hold until the kids grow up. By virtual dating, women can do trial runs online
before letting someone come to the house to pick them up for a date.
And there is the savings: no dating wardrobe required, no make up, no
drinks to purchase, no car to gas up, and according to Abelman, the best
benefit of all.
"Guilt free" dating as you don't leave the kids alone and no babysitter," she
OmniDate utilizes the latest in virtual technology to create dating scenarios
to introduce people to each other. The setting may be a lounge, a restaurant
or a resort, with games to help further the mission of getting to know
someone new. The goal of OmniDate is to take the dating experience from
the small computer screen to the bigger screen of life. The company was
founded by husband and wife team, Igor Kotlyar, Ph.D. and Ravit Abelman.
The beta site launched in 2008. Based in Toronto, and has members across
the U.S. and Canada.