THE END OF INTIMACY: You can get as close as you want but you'll never be able to look into each others' eyes
THE END OF INTIMACY: You can get as close as you want but you'll never be able to look into each others' eyes Facebook

Is this the future of dating?

In the boring, work-a-day world, you do not get to go on a blind date with a dancing starfish, or visit Egypt's pyramids moments after meeting a guy in a bar.

But that's exactly what virtual reality dating give you: that experience you never realised was missing from your real life!

Facebook's recently released Virtually Dating show has got people talking.

It sets couples up on blind dates in an ever-changing VR world.

First, the participants are scanned in 3-D, to create a (semi-realistic) avatar, and then they are kitted out with motion sensors before the date begins.

The couple are in the same room but cannot see each other in the flesh as they are wearing headsets.

They spend most of their date chatting about the virtual reality experience itself.

As an ice-breaker it's a damn good one - but will this thing take off?

Samantha Jayne, relationship expert and dating coach, based in Sydney, is far from sold on the idea of VR dating.

"It might be of interest to a certain personality type who is very tech-savvy and loves the idea of a 'second life'- a virtual world which minimises the risk of emotional vulnerability," she said.

"(But) I'm not convinced it will take off with the everyday individuals who are genuinely wanting to start a family and, get married."

The technology undoubtedly has a long way to go. Participants in this series have trouble even shaking hands and their legs do weird things when they walk, but perhaps it's just practice, or all part of the charm?

Ms Jayne notes "even Mark Zuckerberg believes that VR is in it's infancy and has another 10 years to go before it will become popular. This is coming from a man who has spent three billion dollars on the technology."

But, Ms Jayne thinks it's not just technology standing in the way of VR dating.

"People need human touch, real connection it's a deep human need. VR dating is very superficial,"she says.

In fact she thinks over-use of VR could prove damaging.

"VR removes the human element and, overtime the person will feel lonely and potentially lose the ability to connect with people," she says.

"Meeting someone the old fashioned way is an opportunity for you to be authentic. Nothing can ever replace real human touch, the chemical release of oxytocin that cuddles give you.

"I know it can be hard, it can be nerve wrecking going on a date, heck it can even be disappointing, we have all been there including myself. But...if you persist it will be worth it because eventually you do find love."



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