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Beyond my unexpected hookup, this experiment reminded me how much I enjoy the thrill of live flirtation and spontaneous attraction.It might be easier to talk to boys behind the safety of my i Phone, but that seems more like killing time than making memories.

Let’s start with the differences, since it is always interesting to compare “us” to “them.” Perhaps most salient is the number of people on the street at almost any time of the day, and long into the night.

The other night I was wandering around the streets of Alicante (a medium-sized town on the Mediterranean coast south of Valencia). on a Sunday night, yet the squares were crowded with hundreds and hundreds of people, including young children, college students, and elderly couples, most sitting in large groups outside bars, sipping beverages, munching on tapas, and watching a soccer match.

It had been six months since my boyfriend and I broke up, and the likelihood that I would meet another tall, dark and handsome stranger at a Brooklyn BBQ seemed slim.

My confidence shot, I’d been perusing dating innovations—Sparkology, How About We, Tinder—but all resulted in dead ends.

So over Labor Day weekend, I resolved to look for love where I had last found it: in person.