Love Potion No. 207 - Part One

BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - First it was finding a society-approved match.

Then gentlemen callers paved the way to courtship.

In the 50's it was about going steady and the 60's and 70's brought the free love revolution.

These days, for many, it's all about the perfect online bio.

The ways in which two people meet has evolved through the years.

A nationwide survey says the number one way singles met last year was online through websites or apps.

But Colleen Owens, Director of Counseling Services at Husson University who helps students navigate the world of dating says technology hasn't changed everything about dating.

She says, "I think the ways that people meet each other might be more different. There's more online stuff opposed to just parties or being hooked up by a friend. So, in terms of changes I don't think there's that many."

Use of online dating has surged among all age groups according to the Pew Research Center.

Owens says, "Some people use them to find a partner. Some people use them just to have a hook up so, it's varied but they use a lot of them and they use varieties of them."

Singles spend up to 10 hours a week on dating apps according to research.

She says, "I think casual dating is a lot more these days than back when my parents were around so, I think the technology allows that to happen. I think a lot more people are more willing to just explore and kind of see what happens as opposed to thinking this is the person I'm going to end up with forever."

But the key is being honest about what you want.

Owens says, "Somebody might have the idea of oh this is casual and that's all it is and the other person might not have that idea. So, again it's really important to be able to talk about that."

So, whether you're swiping right on Tinder, looking through a sea of possible matches on Plenty of Fish, or hoping for a match notification on Bumble…you're not alone.

Owens says the advantages to online dating are:
1. It's sometimes easier to be yourself via written material
2. Communication is very open
3. You can find out if you're really interested in someone before meeting them in person.

The major disadvantage:
1. You don't always know who you're actually talking to.

No matter how you meet first dates should always be in a public place.

While dating apps seem to be the wave of the future, many Mainers I talked to are still meeting in much more traditional ways.

Mainer on the Street: "We met in high school."
Emily Tadlock: "You did? Where did you go?"
Mainer on the Street: "We went to Belfast Area High School."

Mainer on the Street: "The University of Southern Maine in Gorham. He was a fraternity brother and I happened upon the fraternity party.

Mainer on the Street: "We actually met at work. We worked for the same company doing two totally different jobs and then our paths just crossed about nine years ago."

So, then what's the trick to dating?

Owens says, "The trick to dating? Keep trying! It doesn't matter if you're meeting someone at a church event or some party or if you're meeting someone online. I think what makes for a successful relationship is both people willing to be vulnerable. You are showing them the real you. All the struggles, all the good stuff, all the bad. If the communication is good and the ability to share things is good then you have a better chance."

So, dating hasn't changed too much but you can meet that special someone in many different ways.

But do they all work?

Tomorrow in Part 2 of Love Potion No. 207 we meet two couples, one who met by happenstance, the other met online.

We'll see if they're able to make it work.