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Half of British Singles Have Never Asked Someone Out IRL

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Remember the days of standing in line for coffee and striking up a conversation with the cute girl standing in front of you? And maybe you asked her out on a date? If you are single and living in Britain, you probably don’t.

A recent study found that almost half of British singles have never asked someone out on a date face to face. In fact, the trend of meeting potential dates has moved online, to the point where people prefer having a conversation over text rather than in person where things could get awkward or uncomfortable. Most singles meet eligible dates over dating apps and social media, which means they have little incentive to practice real life face-to-face conversation.

The study was commissioned by U.K. food brand Grace Say Aloe, a manufacturer of beverages. Researchers surveyed 1,500 single adults in the U.K.

The study also found that two-thirds of respondents had never used a pickup line to meet someone, say at a bar, and 67% had never once written a love letter to someone they were interested in.

Another rather cynical statistic: 46% of respondents had never broken up with someone in person, choosing to do it online. Ouch.

Dating expert Nadia Essex told The Sun,a newspaper in the U.K., “Some would say Internet dating has a part to play. We are becoming a nation of disposable daters where we judge everything based on a picture, and chatting for hours online is considered being sociable.”

It seems the ease of online dating also lessens the impact of rejection, which is incentive for many daters who aren’t so resilient when it comes to asking someone out in person. But only 40% of people surveyed admitted they would know how to approach someone in a bar or restaurant and ask if they’d like a drink. The majority would rather check Tinder and see if the person in the next barstool is also on the app, rather than actually talking to her.

According to survey results, 25% felt dating apps allowed them to feel more comfortable and to be themselves in dating scenarios, while three in ten felt they don’t have to worry so much about what they are saying while on an app.

Perhaps it’s worth it for daters to consider striking up a conversation with a stranger in order to stand out from the dating crowd, instead of posting the perfect photos on Instagram.

Essex added: ““Technology has definitely helped make dating faster but I’m a big believer that dating and relationships should be a marathon not a sprint.”