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Swallowing my doubts – and fears of being rejected – I ‘add’ half a dozen women on each site.

I’ve resolved to be open-minded and have just two criteria for my choices: they must look friendly and we should have one shared interest.

During the month that I used social dating apps to find new buddies, I sent countless unrequited salutations, offered up priceless New York City travel recommendations, and even gave my number to a guy who wanted to discuss first amendment rights. When I started, I believed that, with millions of people just searching for company online, I'd easily find my new bestie or at least someone down for a platonic hang.

A friend finder app, after all, didn't seem too far away with Tinder for cats and other spin-off matching services debuting. Lyke Me, an app three Michigan State University students have designed to match people based on interests, is launching this fall.) On a personal level, I wanted more friends.

He asked me if I wanted to hang out, and I said sure.

"Just want to give you a heads up, though," I wrote.

After an hour, conversation is flowing more naturally – though, saying goodbye, my nerves return. It feels like a safe middle ground, and I’m grateful.

By the time I meet my second date, Juliana, a 36-year-old barrister I come across on Citysocializer, I feel like an old hand. I was quite nervous about meeting for a whole meal – there’s no easy get-out in the way there is for a coffee. Juliana’s reasons for joining the site are similar to mine.

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She split from a long-term partner and lost friends in the process.

I’ve discovered that I’m not the only one who feels lonely.

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