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The Toolbox assists you with planning and designing classes and expanding your own gender and diversity competencies.Alex used to be a member of Introvert Social, a Toronto-based group for self-described “introverts” who discover one another on the Web. “I’m not interested in online interaction; I want people to meet in person,” says Buxton, who discovered the club after splitting up with her fiancé, and credits it with helping rekindle her social life. It’s just where people log on to RSVP for the next event.” The event that Alex RSVP’d to was at Caffé Demetre, a sundae shop on Bloor Street West in The Kingsway that features fluorescent lighting, ’50s music and kitsch.“They started dating, and now neither of them are in our group anymore.” For a rising number of single Torontonians, fleeing the confines of cyberspace comes as a tremendous relief.A survey released last week by magazine claims “digital dating,” i.e., contacting someone through Facebook, Linked In or Twitter, has made us more promiscuous, and that 72% of women have snooped around the Facebook page of their boyfriend’s ex.There are no new reports about Alex and his waitress-girlfriend from Caffé Demetre — once they met, neither of them were ever heard from again — but Aimee Buxton is happy.“I met someone recently and he seems nice, but we’re kind of taking it slow,” she says.“It’s about time that people get back to looking into each other’s eyes,” says Ben Castanie, 28, the Frenchman who opened the hot spot with his girlfriend after assessing Toronto’s social scene.

“Expectations can become the biggest barrier in dating,” Dr. “That’s why meeting in a comfortable, friendly environment obviously holds great appeal.” That appeal isn’t lost on Amanda Blakley, founder of The Society, a Toronto-based social group with 4,000 members and a minimal presence online.

“People rely on Facebook to communicate, which is tragic, and Skype is fake and the Internet is gross — I don’t believe in online dating at all,” says Carraway, who advises singles to look for love at activities they enjoy, which in her case means hitting Lee’s Palace or the Opera House to see shows.

“People need to get off the Internet and get out in the world.” The members of Introvert Social have been doing just that and the results seem to be paying dividends.

But as we trudge through the throes of winter and become awash in Valentine’s Day hype, singles are now logging off from their online dating sites — and seeking out the social equivalent of comfort food.

“I want to meet the man of my dreams in person, and I’d prefer him not to know a whole heck about me based on my profile on Facebook,” says Mika Bareket, owner of The Good Egg, a cookbook shop in Kensington Market that features popular meet-cute evening classes on everything from knife sharpening to wine appreciation 101.


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