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Awkward Dating Ideas for Single Travelers

Need someone to hold down the top of your suitcase while you zip it closed? Good news. Dating sites aimed specifically at travelers have come up with some innovative (yet dubious) ways for you to meet the nomad of your dreams. Some of these concepts require a bit of nerve, but they’re probably less uncomfortable than finding love, say, on a reality television show or during a teeth cleaning.

“Share a drink with an attractive stranger in the totally safe environment of a public airport,” suggests, a dating website for single flyers. On my list of totally safe environments in which to pal around with strangers, airports rank near Internet chat rooms and black-market kidney expos. (For more information, watch the movie “Red Eye.”) But the site gets points for leveraging technology. Sign up for the service and you can use your smartphone to see if other interested travelers are at the same airport as you. This, at least, is a more streamlined approach for Larry Craig.

Lavalife “Ride the First Car” Event

If bars and nightclubs aren’t working for you, try finding a date in a less obvious, yet slightly more inappropriate place, such as the subway. More specifically, the first car of any subway in Toronto on Valentine’s Day. Lavalife is encouraging the awkward advances of lonesome commuters by setting up a one-day singles mixer on February 14. Participants will be wearing Lavalife buttons, so you’ll know whom to approach—or whom to avoid eye contact with, depending on the purpose of your ride.

Have you ever been stuck next to an irresistible charmer on an eight-hour red-eye? Well, if you failed to exchange cards, can help. It’s sort of like a missed connections page for flyers. You post your hopeful tale of instant kinship, and then wait for your sky crush to reply. The site encourages users to share their stories on social networking sites, where friends, coworkers, and former elementary-school teachers will be alerted to your vain in-air connection.

Meet Market Adventures

If you can get past the ill-advised name, which references all that is unholy in the world of dating, untold adventures await. This site’s offerings run the courtship gamut: singles events, matchmaking, message boards, free online dating. It’s the virtual Wal-Mart of Web dating for travelers. Events are offered in various U.S. and Canadian cities, including skiing, snowboarding, and art-gallery tours. Oh, and singles intro to Thai boxing, during which you will learn to “punch, use elbows, knees, and kick some butt Thai style.” This could be of use if your date goes awry.

What’s your take? Are these sites preposterous or practical? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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