In a technological world everything is simplified, and many know finding your soulmate is merely a swipe away, right?
Well, for those of us who don’t find love in four highly altered photographs and a cheesy bio, it would appear Ditch or Date events are here to offer salvation.
Ditch or Date is a speed dating event hosted throughout the UK and Ireland. Boosting on their website www.ditchordate.com events are “held in the latest, stylish city centre venues”, they continue “our hosts are professional and friendly and always go out of their way to make sure that everyone has a relaxed and enjoyable evening”.
Keen to visit one of Belfast’s lavish bars, attending the event at The Tipsy Bird www.thetipsybird.com seemed an exciting opportunity to test the age old technique of ‘dating’ with actual human contact for a fee of £20 per person, a small price to pay for a happy ever after.
Unfortunately two hours before the event a blunt text message was sent to alert a change of venue to Errigle www.errigle.com, not quite the chic bar promised at booking, but nevertheless still a bar full of singles excited to mingle.
Awkwardly, this was a far call from the reality met on arrival. What can only be described as floodlighting made it handy to see how few people where there, and luckily the lack of any music at all made it undeniably easy to overhear everyone’s disappointment.
As the host explained this was her first event, not wanting to flummox her more than she already seemed everyone gracefully took a seat at a table each and waited for further instruction.
With thirteen women sat at tables, the seven men in their element of choice, it became clear each woman was spending half of the two hour event sitting alone, likely the exact thing they were trying to avoid on Valentine’s day.
In my opinion the event continued as it had begun, unorganised, scattered, confused and all nicely packaged in the least atmospheric venue imaginable. The shy first-time host was either unsure or unable to communicate to the group of twenty how exactly this event takes place, disappointed with the management of the event, and any lack of clarity as to what was going on, many of us constantly unaware if the event was over or not – perhaps mostly wishful thinking.