The Kiwi dating scene

08:07, Apr 30 2009

- Rant starts -

I went on a date.

Well, not really a date, but more of a first meeting between myself and a stranger who I met on online dating before I chucked in the towel.

Over coffee, we began the process of swapping life stories; upbringings, choice in careers, thoughts on the role the weather plays on the collective psyche.

Yep, pretty serious stuff.

- Rant starts -

I went on a date.

Well, not really a date, but more of a first meeting between myself and a stranger who I met on online dating before I chucked in the towel.

Over coffee, we began the process of swapping life stories, discussing our upbringings, choice in careers, thoughts on the role the weather plays on the collective psyche. Yep, pretty serious stuff.

We broke the rules of things not to talk about when meeting someone for the first time, namely: ex-partners, money, and thoughts on casual sex.

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Seriously, short of debating religion and politics, we pretty much nailed everything taboo that two people could ever discuss.

One of the major things we talked about was our thoughts on the Kiwi dating scene, or lack thereof.

My new friend, from Canada, explained to me how blown away he was at then New Zealand relationship style - which basically involves two people drunkenly meeting, kissing, going home together, waking up and BOOM! You're in a relationship.

(I don't believe he actually used the term "BOOM!" - I just added that for effect).

When I lived in Hamilton, it was very much the way. The expectation was if you "hooked up" with someone, then you were therefore seeing them exclusively and your parents had the green light to begin wedding preparations.

Here in Wellington, there seems to be someone for everyone too... Most people I know are happily coupled up.

In New Zealand, he said, there was no scene for singles. New York, Wellington is not. (Therefore Carrie Bradshaw, I am also not. I can but try).

I hadn't thought about that before but I think he was right.

People don't date anymore.

Sure, they think they go on dates. After meeting on Courtenay Place on a Saturday night, they may catch a movie on Wednesday, but by the following weekend - it's full steam ahead to relationshipville (i.e. the change of Facebook relationship status - the ultimate relationship barometer of Gen Y), despite barely knowing this person.

But they're not dates - they're box-ticking exercises done because, well, that's the way we do things in these parts. But it doesn't mean that it is right.

To me, dating is what smart women (and men) do.

Why and how on earth could or would you get in to a relationship with someone who days, maybe even hours before, you didn't know?

New Zealand seems to treat singledom in a very odd way. Not only is it a failure, it's a situation to be avoided at all costs because, socially, it's not the done thing.

I want to start a revolution, and give happy singles a voice. Who's with me?

Do you think there's a dating scene, or the culture is to settle down asap because everyone else is? If so, what on earth is the hurry?

You have to nab them before someone else does? I don't get it - at all.

- Rant ends -

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