First Dates: 'Why I went looking for love in front of 17 TV cameras on RTE'
Published 21/04/2016 | 07:15
When an Irish mammy says "there'll be time enough for boys when you're 30", you don't imagine that you'll end up, aged 25, signing up for a blind date TV show.
Growing up, I was always a bit of a hopeless romantic but, to date, I've never been in a relationship. Disney movies and romcoms always led me to believe there is a prince charming out there for everyone.
Fast forward 10 years, Prince Charming is now swiping left or right on all the potential princesses in the land.
There are many routes to get a date and none of them has worked out in the long run for me. I have tried real life, the infamous Tinder and Plenty of Fish.
As an aspiring journalist, I was beginning to think my last hope was getting placed in an American high school as an undercover reporter where the hot English teacher would end up falling madly in love with me.
Sure it worked for Drew Barrymore in Never Been Kissed, didn't it?
Enter First Dates Ireland.
I had never actually seen or heard of First Dates before I applied for it. My cousin tagged me in the comments section under an article shared on Facebook about the show coming to Ireland.
My hilarious history of dating mishaps classified me as a prime candidate for the show in her eyes.
One Friday evening after a few glasses of wine, I applied.
A month later, I received a text from the production company, COCO television, telling me I'd made it through to the interview stage. This was either going to be my best or worst mistake.
Naturally enough, I had to see what I was signing myself up for.
I soon became obsessed with the English version. It's heart-warming TV - the awkward conversations and the insight into people's lives made me instantly fall in love with the show.
Television can be a fickle business, but First Dates Ireland is different.
The producers and all those involved in the show genuinely want to help you find love. By the end of it, they know more about you than your own mother.
I also hope that they also do some neat editing to make sure your mother still talks to you after the show is aired.
During the date, even though you know 17 cameras are on you, it's easy to forget them.
Before you know it there are inappropriate jokes and innuendos flying back and forth.
That's what will make the Irish version stand out from its English counterpart - our sense of humour and our ability to laugh at ourselves.
The whole experience was a confidence booster and I met some amazing people.
It's nice to see Ireland embracing a television show where couples try to meet their match, considering we only recently started to realise you can meet people in places other than Coppers.
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Whether my Irish mammy approves remains to be seen.