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Love in the Time of Uber

05/29/2015 05:12 EDT | Updated 05/29/2016 05:59 EDT
Adam Berry via Getty Images
BERLIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 02: In this photo illustration, a woman uses the Uber app on an Samsung smartphone on September 2, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. Uber, an app that allows passenger to buy rides from drivers who do not have taxi permits, has had its UberPop freelance driver service banned in Germany after a complaint by Taxi Deutschland, a trade association of taxi drivers in the country. The company, which operates in 42 countries over 200 cities worldwide, plans to both appeal the decision made by a court in Frankfurt as well as, at the risk of heavy fines, continue its services in Germany until a final decision has been made on the matter. (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)

I recently re-located to Los Angeles from Vancouver and have become somewhat reliant on Uber to get, um, everywhere. Naturally, my interaction with the multitude of drivers I encounter each day has become quite loose, as getting into a strangers car can be somewhat of an intimate experience. Every driver has a tale to tell. Every one has picked up some nut job or another.

But not until recently was I alerted to the dating opportunities that exist for Uber users. Move over Tinder, there's a new dating app in town that includes transportation, complimentary bottles of water and a breath freshener, if so desired.

During a recent trip to San Francisco, a lovely gal picked me up to head to Haight for some shopping and we immediately hit it off. This is what happens with Uber! I've had screenwriters, former executives and students all chauffer my ass around, and the conversations are in most cases worth more than the nominal fare. This particular driver launched into a story of a couple she had driven to Napa the night before and I couldn't believe what I was hearing.

First, she picked up a woman who then added another trip to pick up a "friend." The friend turned out to be a blind date -- destination, wine country. These two strangers ended up stringing along their driver to winery after winery until they eventually ended up back in the city at the same address, intoxicated and touchy-feely, as they staggered to the front door. She didn't seem to mind, though. They were paying the fare so she stayed the course.

How about having your entire date facilitated by Uber? I've had drivers complain to me about having to play the role of relationship counsellor during a trip. Picking up one party who is clearly looking for a wingman to ride things out, should the date fall apart. Having to bear witness to the awkward niceties typical of a first date, until someone decides to pull the plug. I suppose there's no better way to end things early than having the ability to book your escape car from your pocket or purse.

What seems to make up for these "added services," though, is that Uber drivers are regularly subject to and delighted by riders carrying out a walk of shame. Equal parts entertaining for the driver and somehow less humiliating for the user. It just feels better to secure transportation home by someone who has undergone a series of background checks in comparison to staggering down your street in stilettos and last night's mascara (spoken from experience).

Finally, all my single friends are swiping right and left like fiends on Tinder, when they could simply select Uber Pool to meet people. If you're not familiar, Uber Pool scans everyone in a certain vicinity trying to head in a similar direction and opens up your Uber request to a ride share of sorts. If you're not in a hurry, it's definitely the way to go. Kristen Bell recently live tweeted her experience with Uber Pool, but sadly the mother of two noted her ride mates were both "male mutes."

Of course, you never know who is going to join you in your shared journey, so a love connection is not always on the table. But it's an excellent way to meet likeminded people, potentially get laid, or in some cases, find love.

Would you leverage your Uber app to find your soul mate? Or at the very least, your next Friday night guy or gal? After all, the first thing the app asks for is your "pickup location" which sounds suspiciously close to a dating app if you ask me.

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