The makers of dating apps such as Tinder and the newer the Grade will no doubt see a huge uptick, thanks to this weekend's snowy forecast.
Weather forecasters are calling for accumulations of more than 10 inches in Philadelphia, and also are predicting possible power outages, periods of low visibility due to whiteouts, and lots of bone-chilling cold. Is it any wonder that many singles are scrambling about, trying to find a weekend love connection?
"People are reaching out to exes. They are reaching out to crushes ... so that they don't have to be bored alone and horny," said Annie White, a North Philly-based dating coach (sosdaters.com). "My neighbor is plotting for this maintenance man. He's fine as hell, too."
Last year around this same time, as Philadelphia braced itself for a blizzard that turned out to be a bust, I wrote about how dating desperados had turned to the website Craigslist looking for so-called blizzard buddies. On Thursday, amid all the hype about the impending storm, I got curious about whether it was happening again. It didn't take long before I started spotting the ads.
"Looking to cuddle with someone this weekend?" a Horsham resident wrote. "There's suppose (sic) to be a lot of snow this weekend and I don't really want to be stuck in my house by myself all weekend. So I'm looking for someone who wants to come over and hangout, and maybe get snowed in with me. ..."
Then, there was this posted Tuesday morning: "... lets (sic) take a chance and get snowed in this weekend!!!! We can chat some and see what each other's party materials are and maybe find a Jacuzzi. Lol ... Hope to hear from someone. The snow is on the way!!!!!"
Most of the ads were from men looking for women or other men. Not all seemed to be for quickies. Some of the guys appeared to genuinely want connections.
"LETS BE SNOWED IN TOGETHER," one post reads. "Let's make the most of this impending snowstorm cuddling up keeping each other warm at your place ..."
The best-written one I spotted Thursday afternoon was this: "It's the calm before the storm, except at the supermarket where it's a full blown French toast emergency and the hardware store where everyone is stocking up on snow removal supplies, yes snow is coming. I'm looking to get to know someone and see what happens with hopes of developing a meaningful long-term relationship, but of course we start off slow and work our way up to that point ..."
Around this same time last year, usage on the Grade, which calls itself "female friendly," increased 340 percent over the previous day. An estimated one in four messages were about the snowstorm and making plans.
"We were actually rooting for snow every day," recalled Cliff Lerner, president of the Grade. "It makes sense."
"People are pretty much at home," Lerner pointed out. "They're not going out with their friends, but they're still looking to meet someone. ... You've got Valentine's Day not that far away. All they are thinking about is, 'I'm lonely.' "
But not everyone thinks that a whole lot of scrambling around pre- blizzard makes sense.
"If you don't want to be snowed in by yourself, it's probably because you are a boring - person," pointed out White, the dating coach. "As soon as the snow melts, he'll be running for the hills. You've got to have fun being just one, before you can have fun being a plus-one."
Besides, "short-term gains can sometimes equal long-term pain," she warned, referring to the unplanned pregnancies that can result during snowstorms. As for White, 28, she could see herself happily being snowed in alone if she had to.
"If bae (sic) weren't going to be here, I would be in my living room watching Beyoncé videos," she told me Thursday. "I would be dancing around my living room in a leotard pretending I'm Beyoncé."
More singles should take a cue from White.