Night out of­fers ro­man­tic rush

Matamata Chronicle - - Classified - By XING YI TAN

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.’’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.