“Online isn’t doing well," she tells me in a phone interview. Online dating works for some people, but the basis of it is chemistry.

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There are no red and pink decorations, no cheesy indication of what the event was marketed as. Pamela and I are directed to the back of the bar, where the good people of NY Minute Dating gave us our name tags and pieces of paper to record the people we met.

The next day, we will be able to log onto the website and select the names of the dates we felt we had a genuine connection with.

” text or an overpriced polyester bear holding a heart.

, Katherine Heigl in, like, 90 percent of her movies.

People beeline to the platters of snacks, and I turn to Pamela, eyes wide. Should I just skip years of online dating and guys named Chad and just join a convent already? After a date that felt the need to speak to me all but three inches away from my face, I began to wonder what my 50-yard dash time would be in the pair of gold Lauren Conrad heels that I had donned for the occasion.

” I rub my temples, thinking about how I already wear all black and have minimum contact with men, so pivoting to being a nun wouldn’t be that much of a stretch for me. I told the last two guys you were my sister.” “Oh my gosh, no, you didn’t. A rolled ankle would be significantly less painful and easier to deal with whatever was ahead of me for the next hour. Was I better off aimlessly swiping, hoping that out of 100 matches, I could find one decent person to Snapchat for a week before forgetting about them?

In my jeans pocket, my Bumble was full of gross messages, my Hinge was devoid of anything promising, and my DMs were drier than Death Valley.

Staring me down was a red and pink reminder that for the next month, I felt worthless to capitalist America, just sad and single, ready to buy all the clearance chocolate on Feb. I felt starved of a basic human connection, of something more real than a “u up?

Be open and friendly and curious and not focus on the end goal of it all.” And so I painted on my best, “I’m having fun!

”, smile and hoped for a happy ending or a silver lining, whichever came first.

So, that was truly the confidence boost I needed before walking into a bar full of over 80 strangers, half of whom I would have to spend three minutes conversing with. “Yeah screw it, let’s do the damn thing," Pamela says.