Night out offers romantic rush
Matamata singles can enjoy the thrill of romance in the fast lane at the town’s inaugural speed-dating event next month.
Hosted by the Matamata Club, the event is the work of primary-schoolteacher-turned-entrepreneur Sonia Morris, who runs Lara’s Lounge, a social club for singles.
In speed dating, an equal number of male and female participants are paired off for dates lasting eight minutes each.
The short duration of each date is just enough for participants to decide if they would like to keep in contact after the event.
Each single is issued a checklist with the options ‘‘interested’’, ‘‘coffee’’ and ‘‘friends’’ which they use to indicate whether and how they would like to maintain contact with their dates.
Post-event, Miss Morris evaluates the checklists, taking note of attendees who have indicated a mutual interest. Such participants are then contacted and advised that their interest has been reciprocated.
Despite the male-female pairings during the event, Miss Morris was adamant that she did not run a dating service.
‘‘I’m an event planner for singles. Lara’s Lounge just provides the service through which people meet, it’s what happens after that that makes the difference,’’ she said.
Miss Morris likened her role to that of the mutual friend who introduced her to her partner.
‘‘It’s like I’m their new friend and I’m introducing them to people I know,’’ she said of her speed dating participants.
Miss Morris said speed dating was a great way to make friends – even those of the same gender.
The half-hour drink session before the event allowed participants to loosen up before their dates. According to Miss Morris, this was where the socialising began.
‘‘Even if you don’t meet anyone special, at least you make new friends. Being able to sit down and have a face-to-face conversation with a person of the opposite sex is a big confidence booster.’’