ECHO Winter/Spring 2014

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Page 43

Face Time


How to meet the love of your life in person By Lisa Schulz | Illustrations by sarah swenson


hile keeping our online profile statuses up-to-date, uploading photos we would never want our bosses to see, and conforming our “likes” to our public personalities, there is no doubt we’re missing out on the physical world—that cutie across the train aisle or in the laundromat. But how do we get our offline swagger back? “A lot of people understand that online dating is unfulfilling, but they’re not able to articulate why,” says Lakshmi Rengarajan, founder of Me So Far, a Chicago-based, face-to-face event hosting company that encourages its participants to skip the small talk and delve into meaningful conversation. So how do you meet people without the help of the Internet? Echo has a few suggestions. Wink, wink.

Search for thoughtful conversation Rengarajan suggests attending events at which intelligent conversation is expected, such as Chicago Ideas Week, the Chicago Humanities Festival, and The Public Square. Get comfy with strangers Cuddle Parties begin with a Welcome Circle to break the ice and establish boundaries, followed by opportunities to meet, chat and, yes, cuddle with a new friend. Deep conversations quickly create trust, according to Madelon Guinazzo, certified Cuddle Parties facilitator, who has seen several relationships bloom from the program.