Dating alternatives blossom for singles
Love-birds swooning over weeds, sweaty gym bunnies flexing their muscles, or an afternoon firing guns to see if sparks fly.
Unusual singles events are transforming the dating scene away from dodgy internet profiles.
In a twist on speed dating, single greenies last week "weed dated" at the Rahui Kahika Reserve in Titirangi, west Auckland. The weed dating event encouraged potential couples to discover if romance would blossom while pulling weeds from the reserve.
EcoWest designer Chloe Waretini organised the event with the message "make love, and war on weeds". The event was part of the annual EcoWest festival, but Waretini said she hoped to make weed-dating a regular event.
If you lack a green thumb, how about working up a sweat with potential lovers?
D J Wang organises regular gym-based date nights for energetic singles, who work-out and then head for dinner afterwards. "We were surrounded by people who were single and socialising at the gym, so we thought why not set up an exclusive event."
It appears to be working, with Wang saying some of the gym-junkies have found love among the barbells.
If you prefer your sparks flying from a gun, how about clay-bird shooting? The Auckland dating event invites singles to "come out west and blast the crap out of little ceramic ‘birds"'.
Dating guru Denise Corlett said New Zealanders are becoming more upfront and comfortable with what they want from a date.
Corlett, who founded a dating advice website, said the internet offered a new way to date in the mid-2000s, but our romantic habits continue to evolve.
"Online dating was seen as such a new and unusual way of meeting a prospective partner."
Now there's a whole new range of options, with the alternative events offering a great chance to meet people with common interests, Corlett said. "The relaxed nature of all this and the fun component can put people at ease which is always a positive."
Her dating advice is to be open to meeting people anywhere and always smile. "Don't close yourself off to new situations and experiences or to meeting people in everyday places from the supermarket to the coffee line. Be open to approaches and be prepared to flirt."
Sunday Star Times