In the age of Tinder and online dating apps, why is speed dating still so popular? We head to a pre-Valentines event to find out.
Since speed dating first appeared in New York City in the 19th century, the activity has quickly become spread to cities around the world. Even though online dating apps seem to be very popular currently, Latin Americans in Cardiff seem to prefer to celebrate valentine’s day by attending speed-dating events in a bar.
“You can meet interesting people here, who you wouldn’t normally meet in the normal course of life,” said Chris Davey, the president of Cardiff University Latin American Society. “Here straight away you get a lot to talk about with people from different cultures.”
People are not limited to the traditional speed-dating model —they have to change dates in three minutes —they take a more relaxed approach to finding their ideal partner.
Arnold Petersburg was just moving from one conversation. He explained that an event like this one was a better way to meet people. “Online dating is like a massive gamble, you really don’t know who they are,” he said.
“I got distracted when I dating online,” he smiled politely, “Rather than speed dating party, where you can get an instant picture of someone, it’s more of a high-risk investment.”
Edith, another member agreed with him: “I feel more comfortable talking with people face-to-face, rather than having an online conversation and having to meet that person by myself.”
Nowadays although a variety of dating apps springing up in our daily lives, face-to-face interaction remains popular among young people. Over the past four years, SpeedDater activities are gaining pace rapidly, increasing fivefold on Eventbrite, the event management website.
When speaking of the disadvantages of online dating, most people concerned about insufficient communication, low entertainment and untruths. The reasons behind it become clearer when bar scenes leaping to the eye.
Washington Naula, who took part in the event expressed his preference for the face-to-face events: “I don’ t literally take it as a sense of dating, but a way to connect with people from different cultural backgrounds and make more friends. However, by picture, you even can’t tell the expression of that person.”
“If you are a shy person, you could find an easy way to interact and socialize with many people in a short time. That’s one of the positive things I have seen on speed dating.” Jorge Garzan, one of the participants said, with a nervous and excited glint in his eyes, “It definitely would be a challenge for me, but it also a great opportunity to overcome the shyness.”
After the conversation, people danced in passionate Latin American music. At the end of a song, people exchanged dance partners with each other, which is undoubtedly one of the best ways for them to understand each other.
“These events are much better, not just for finding ‘the one’ but because it’s just a fun night out with your friends, a few drinks and meeting people,” according to Robert Ryall, the man who runs dating events company.
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