IF YOU’RE intent on bagging yourself a beau in time for Valentine’s Day, it might take more than one or two Saturday nights on the razz to conquer the dating world.
After all, when was the last time you read a love story which started with the girl in a dingy club dancing to Shakira? Or even the one where the girl is sat in front of the TV, painting her nails, eating chocolate and feeling sorry for herself?
So snap out of Bridget Jones mode and try one of these five dating techniques to find lasting love in the New Year.
Internet dating has been sold as the great solution to 21st-century loneliness, where in a ‘world of infinite possibility you can meet anyone’.
This is partly true. While internet dating used to be a signal that you were a bit of weirdo, failing miserably in the social and relationship circle of your life, it has now become the norm. Research has found that one in five married people between the ages of 19 and 25 met their partner online.
But the people for whom it works seem strikingly similar; they don’t take it too seriously, they aren’t fragile and they aren’t seeking to fill some aching hole in their lives.
If you’re going to chance internet dating, go into it with an open mind, don’t believe everything you read and don’t be lured into a false sense of security. Meet somewhere public and tell a friend exactly where you are going.
The love of your life could just be a click away at the meetingpoint.
Why not try one of the many speed dating events organised all over Ireland, and meet 15 or more available men in the one night.
This can be the ideal way to meet someone while saving yourself a whole lot of hassle.
At three minutes, the dates are too short to really bore you and have you racing for the exit, but long enough to spark interest.
Dating expert Simone Bienne says: “We spend weeks looking for a car or a house, but when it comes to relationships we expect it to fall into our laps at three a.m. on a Saturday night. “With speed dating, you have a good chance to get up close and personal with different men. Relax and let your body do the talking. If there’s chemistry between you, you’ll know about it.
For info on some of the events being held around Ireland go to www.speeddater.ie
Put your nose to the test with this unique way of dating. The rules are similar to any speed dating event, but you must bring a scented item to woo potential suitors.
Daz dubbed it sniff dating, and it comes highly recommended by former glamour girl and Brookside beauty Jennifer Ellison, who is also starring in the Daz Cleaner Close advert: “I was surprised when I first saw how well this worked,” Jennifer tells SWM. “Three in four women wouldn’t give a man a second chance if they didn’t like his smell.” she says.
Daters have one minute to impress each other by bringing a scented gift - such as a cake or a flower - for their date, and then they must bring a smell they think represents them.
“I love seeing daters instantly spark up really intimate conversations based on the topic of scents,” explains Jennifer. “When I first started dating my now husband he use to always chew spearmint gum. Even now whenever I smell that scent it gives me goose bumps and reminds me of when we first met.”
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure - so while you might think your mate Dave is totally unfanciable, he might be exactly the type of guy one of your girlfriends is looking for.
So why not set up your own personal singles night? Choose a pub or cafe where you can section off an area. Then ask your single mates to send details of your gettogether to their extended circle of friends inviting them to the party.
Then don your glad rags and wait for the magic to happen.
You might be surprised at the amount of single men that turn up - and if nothing else, you might make some new friends in the process.
Join a new club
It’s one of the most obvious pieces of advice, but don’t forget January is a new term and the ideal time to join a new class or activity.
So why not widen your social-circle by joining something that you are genuinely interested in, such as dance, cookery, language or music lessons?
Clubs usually meet for social drinks too, which is the ideal way to make friends with likeminded people. Even if they do turn out to be all girls, the more new friends you make the more chance you have of being introduced to your new friend’s brother, cousin or flatmate.
© Sunday World Magazine