As featured in Belfast Live!
A couple who met while speed dating have launched a new dating concept which they hope will tackle the negatives of online dating.
Gerard Auld and Leona McGlinchey from North Belfast launched RateMyDateNI in 2021 to bring what they believed were the best elements of speed dating to Belfast.
After listening to feedback from their event attendees, the pair have now launched their latest ‘for six’ concept which sees six singletons come together to enjoy an activity.
Speaking to Belfast Live, Gerard explained that a number of their customers felt that the four minutes they got to spend chatting to someone while speed dating wasn’t enough.
“People had been giving us feedback and suggested that they would like to see activity based dates or going out for food.
“They wanted to spend more time with their dates and share an evening with them so we had to think of a way we could do it which wouldn’t make people feel uncomfortable or awkward.
“We looked for concepts which could work and we came up with Table for Six.”
Gerard said that they thought six was a nice number because it was small enough but not too small that there would be awkward silences.
Explaining how their events work, he said that attendees buy their ticket online through the website and that includes a main meal and a drink.
“Once attendees arrive, we are there front of house to show them to the table where there is little gifts and we will then explain how the evening works.
“We typically have three men and three women but we do also run LGBTQ events.
“The events start with little ice breakers then some games after dinner to break the ice a bit further.
“After the evening is over, our attendees typically stay on for a few drinks. Beyond that, the next day we will send them an email to ask about their experience and if they would be interested in meeting anyone from their table again.
“If we get a match, we then arrange for an exchange of details so that they can contact each other again.
“It has given us the confidence to launch other event under the ‘for six’ brand with Mini Golf for Six and Bowling for Six about to launch.”
Gerard told us that these events have proven to be quite popular with a wide range of interest across all age ranges.
“These events are proving a great alternative to speed dating and online dating. They are proving quite popular with single people from 25 to 45 but we have run some events for those aged 45 to 60 and they have been really popular too.
“Our events typically go in ten year age groups so we will have 25 to 35, 35 to 45 and then 45 to 60.
“While we don’t know the exact figures, we have at least 10 stories of relationships who have met at our events.”
When it comes to competing with online dating, Gerard told us that since the pandemic ended, people have had the desire to meet face to face.
“Online dating has come full circle and there is so much happening with the like of fake profiles, filtered photos and people having conversations for weeks on end without meeting.
“Dating apps are designed to keep you coming back for more, whereas we are genuinely interested in allowing you to meet people in real life where you can have a face to face conversation outside of the digital space.
“A lot of people have come with no expectations and have said that it has been a brilliant night.”
Full article courtesy of James McCarthy @ Belfast Live : Read article HERE