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To dump or date: New hope for lonely hearts

Had enough of Tinder, Hinge, Bumble, and other online dating apps promising a prince or princess but delivering only a frog?

Lonely singletons can take heart – help is at hand in the form of a new in-person speed-dating option coming soon to a Wairarapa town near you.

Inspired by the depressing online experiences of a single friend, Wairarapa local Lorna Sandbach teamed up with event planner Kimberley Williams to deliver a new way to meet and find out fast if the connection is a fizzer – or a keeper.

“We had been talking about it for about two years. She was on Tinder and some other dating apps, and she had been on a few dates. Obviously, you are a bit anxious meeting people that way. We were saying, if we were single, we would be going on speed-dates because you get to meet 10 guys in one night, and you get to see them in person,” Williams said.

“I can’t think of anything worse than swiping and then talking to someone you don’t know online for two weeks, and they might not even look like their photos. Often when you meet someone face-to-face, you know instantly if you will get along or not,” said Sandbach.

“I don’t know how, in an online app, you even judge that.”

After the pair saw how disillusioned their friend was by her encounters on the apps, they decided to set up their own alternative.

Although speed dating is not a new concept, it is unusual in a world where almost every new connection [romantic or not] is now made online.

The pair’s new website describes how a session works and allows people to sign up for the first sessions planned for next month.

Each session is intended to have 20 participants, 10 women and 10 men. After an initial drink, each woman will have a timed five-minute mini-date with each man. If there’s a spark, they’ll be able to connect afterwards through the organisers if they hadn’t already exchanged contact details. Ice-breaker chat ideas will be available for nervous or shy participants.

Two sessions are scheduled next month in Lower Hutt, with a Wairarapa session in March.

    More information, including upcoming session times and how to register, is at dumpordate.co.nz

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