Ditching Tinder - can this Brit find love in 33 old-fashioned dates in NZ?
I've had one date in New Zealand since I Brexit-ed out of London six months ago, and it was from Tinder. It definitely wasn't the worst date I've had - believe me, there have been some shockers over the years.
The chap in question was a thirty-something guy and after an hour of chat we called it a night, and I planned on not contacting him. The next day, he sent me this courtesy text: "hey Rachael, thanks for a fun night last night, you were defently a barell full of laughs, probably not that many sparks there tho am I right??'
A polite decline which is refreshing compared to those who never text again. I feel a little mean writing out his whole text (spelling and all) so don't get me wrong, this isn't intended as a grumble about men, rather a conversation about the challenges of meeting single men in 2016 - it genuinely feels to me, and all of my lovely single friends, that dating apps are the only way we can meet men.
When we ask coupled up friends if they know of any eligible bachelors who could be suited, they always say that they "don't know any single men" or they "know someone but he's a d*ck". When you've 'exhausted' your social circles by the time you're in your early 30s, where else can you find men without spending hours and hours scrolling through Tinder?
After many moans my boss came up with an idea. Why don't we use me as an experiment (er...ok) to see what happens when you go back to the traditional way of dating - finding a man through the old fashioned way of matchmaking. So my friends, colleagues and clients have been tasked with connecting me with eligible bachelors.
Is it Tinder that's the problem? Or are there just no single men out there? Or am I just Bridget Jones destined to be single forever (without the baby)?!
Join me as I embark on a quest to find Mr Right as I turn 33, and, let's face it, by society's standard I'm getting on a bit. Or maybe Mr Right Now. Or maybe just even some friends.
This should be easy right?
Who? Brendan, from New Zealand (somewhere North)
Connection: University friend of a colleague's sister
Date: Beer tasting at 16 Tun
The chat: Lots of public sector based banter (way better than it sounds). He was such a nice guy and I could easily meet up with him again and know we'd have a great night. At times I couldn't quite understand his accent so I just laughed at a few things even though I wasn't quite sure what it was... I knew it would have been funny though. We have the same taste in TV and films (lots of murder mysteries/ phsycological thrillers).
How it ended: Great courtesy text the day after with more public sector based banter.
Who? Matt from Scotland
Connection: Used to live next to one of my friends
Age: Late twenties... I think
Date: Cocktails and sharing plates at Thai restaurant Saan. Then more drinks at the bar opposite
The chat: Great chat, I think sharing a dry British sense of humour helped that along. I didn't want to ask him for a picture so ended up sneakily taking a picture of his hand next to our cocktails. We ended up drinking for seven hours and after I knocked my handbag off the chair I knew it was time to call it a night (these Scots know how to drink). A fun evening but it's my belief that after you put someone in a taxi home after a seven hour drinking session you should text to see if they got home ok, or ask how your hangover is the next day. Matt didn't :(
Non starter. He was a 28 year old rugby player that a colleague's stepson plays rugby with. Unfortunately by the time I emailed him (as I went on holiday) he was seeing someone. It's a shame as he sounded nice.
The learning here is that you need to snap them up. Quickly.
Connection: Lives with a colleague
Date: Drinks at Citizen Park
The chat: It's a running joke between my friends that I'm partial to a younger man. This is completely unfounded by the way*. The colleague who set me up with 22-year-old Hugh had provided a fair few 'warnings'... so expectations were minimal. Despite one of my clients walking in half way through (cue raised eyebrows and a smirk), it turned out to be a thoroughly enjoyable date. Hugh was charming, chatty and interesting and the age difference didn't matter at all... until we exchanged stories about how Christmas Eve is the best night out of the year. Mine were from a decade ago, and his were from last year. A true gent he dropped me off home, beeped his horn and sent a great follow up text. Based on the good chat, I'd totally go out with him on a second date.
*I may be lying
Connection: Works with one of my friends
Date: Glass of wine at Neighbourhood
The chat: I'd just returned from a whirlwind work trip to Sydney so in all honesty wasn't on top date form. A very laidback and chilled chat ensued, which was perfect for my mellow state. John* is a skydiver after all. We exchanged stories about driving in NZ - the poor thing had just come from failing his test, and I can't drive, so we are well matched in that sense. It was great to have conversation with someone whose background was so completely different to mine and I loved hearing about his Argentinian food and family tales. There might be a second date... in the air.
*Fake name used. He is actually an Argentinian skydiver who wishes to remain anonymous
Do you have someone in mind for a date with Rachael? Is it you? Email us firstname.lastname@example.org with 33 dates in the subject and a bit about your potential suitor.