Published on February 18, 2014 | by Juliett Atto and Sean McKee

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Tried and tested dating tools for modern day romance

For those who refuse to spend another Valentine’s Day alone, ALN finds the best ways to find love (or get laid). Juliet Atto and Sean McKee get intimate.

For us modern, progressive single ladies, we claim that we’re over this hyped commercial holiday. We’re just going to hang out with our favourite girls – but we don’t mean that, do we?

The question each single girl asks this time of year is: Where are all the boys? That is where ALN’s special Single’s Guide to Romance comes in handy. We can’t promise you Prince Charming or Mr Right, but we can almost guarantee you a guy that will be better for your body than that large meat feast pizza from Domino’s you would have ordered instead.

Man and Woman hug in the park

Tinder is a modern form of dating that continues to grow in popularity.

Tinder

If the idea of spending your hard-earned student loan and describing yourself using 50 words gives you heart palpitations and makes you question why you were even put on this earth, then Tinder might just be right for you. Launched in September of last year, the online dating app for your phone – has now become a staple in many broke-but-horny peoples’ app collections.

If you’ve already convinced yourself it’s another waste of a dating site, think again. Tinder is by far the most convenient and easy to use dating service out there. It’s for your smartphone – which may be at all times glued to your hand – and you don’t have to come up with lies about yourself that you wish were true, like how ‘spontaneous’ and ‘adventurous’ you are.

When, in fact, the last time you left your flat and went on one of your ‘adventures’ – Wetherspoon’s, we’re not judging – you came home before 1am so you wouldn’t miss the last tube.

You can still write those dating site clichés if you’d like, but Tinder already has the important stuff covered. The fact that it’s connected to your Facebook account, with no private details shared, allows you to see how many interests you share with someone based on the pages you like on Facebook, and if you have any mutual friends. If you feel a ‘connection’ then swipe their profile to the right and, if they feel the same way, it’s a match.

That’s when the real fun starts– sitting around waiting for your match to actually write to you. The good thing is you can only chat to people who like you back. The bad thing? trying to get over that really cute guy you liked but didn’t like you back. But don’t fear, there are plenty of boys in the sea of Tinder and, while they might not be Mr Right, but they most certainly can be Mr Right now-and-whenever-you-are-bored-and-lonely.

Speed Dating

A speed dating event takes place twice a month in the trendy Shoreditch hot spots Juno and Bar Kick. It claims to be the ‘go-to date night for creative singles in their mid-twenties to mid thirties’, which sounds perfect for us creative, arts college ladies.

If you’re unfamiliar with the speed dating way of life, it’s a simple concept to grasp. There are an equal amount of men and women, usually no more than 20-30 each, and the women sit while the men rotate and sit with each woman for no more than five minutes. After that, you are free to mingle with all the singles.

When the event is finished, you write down which guys you liked and you are emailed by the organisers if any of them liked you.

Often speed dating events can cost a minimum of £20 and usually have a strict minimum age of 21-24, but Last Night a Speed Date Changed My Life is only £13, with a £1.30 booking fee, and as long as you are of the required age you are welcome. Keep in mind, however, that these events are very popular so book ahead.

Online dating agencies

Man and woman walk across bridge, hand in hand

Speed dating events remain popular, despite the increase in new ways to meet people online. [Flickr: photo fiddler]

Another unconventional way of meeting that special someone – or just to make new friends – is meetup.com. Whilst most websites merely trick you into thinking they are free, meetup.com actually is 100 per cent free. What makes this dating site different is that it has groups you can join based on what you like.

Say you are a film buff/just love stand up comedy/a full on metal head – meetup.com has groups for most interests and is a way to meet like-minded people. You just set up a profile, choose various interests and start searching for groups to join. The groups have meetings almost every week where they participate in whatever interest they cater to.

Like Tinder, you can also log in with Facebook, which means you don’t have to come up with a silly username that makes you cringe. Also, it can be a bit daunting meeting a whole group of strangers alone, so it might be good to have a few friends sign up and join the same groups so when you meet up it won’t be as scary.

That is what romance is all about – not being bored and not being lonely. So get out there ladies and find that special guy. However, keep in mind that he might not be so special when you wake up the next day hungover, so please drink responsibly.

If you manage to get a date for next Valentine’s Day, congratulations – if not, hopefully you know some other single girls to share that pizza and movie with.

For more information on events click here.

It’s hard out here for a single male in London. Although the city provides an endless amount of things to do, it does not provide an endless amount of people to do them with; especially that elusive special someone. And don’t we just love to be reminded of that every February 14? If the thought of spending another Valentine’s Day alone fills you with dread, fear not. You have almost a year to prepare for the next one, and ALN is going to provide you with the tools to do just that.

Tinder

Swans on a lake

Mobile dating sites such as Tinder, makes meeting new people convenient and stress free. [Flickr: photophilde]

Although this app does have questionable tactics to find the one you love – swipe right for the fitties, left for the uglies – there have been some success stories from this kind of approach to dating. The majority seem to use it for one-off hook ups, but if it means not spending Valentine’s Day alone, then I say go for it.

Online dating agencies

I like the idea of match.com events. Not only do you get the chance to know a potential date’s interests from the website, but if things go a little pear-shaped there’s a mob of others there to stifle the awkwardness around the ‘catfish’. Just be careful of dark corners, or someone trying a little too hard to walk you home.

Speed dating

If you’re looking for something where you can bring along a mate for an extra bit of confidence, look no further than speed dating. The rules are simple: very short chats with a variety of potential dates, you ‘rate them or slate them’, and at the end submit your interests and they may get back to you if you are a match.

Websites like speeddater.com keep you up to date with all of the up-and-coming events, right across London. This seems to have really taken off in London, as there are events almost on a daily basis, catering to every age group, which is nice.

Jewel, in Covent Garden, seem to throw quite a few events – it’s got a great vibe inside and everyone is really chatty. The downside to this is trying to keep track of everyone; if you like someone, trying to register your interest and remember them by the end is a pain.

Slow dating is much more suited for me. This time you get six minutes with a person; enough time to get to know someone compared to a sixty second pitch; you can even order a drink and have time to get it to your table!

Prices for these events are quite expensive at £15-30, but if you want to grab single life by the balls give these events your all.

Slow dating offers all the benefits of speed dating but with the added time to get to know each person.

Go Traditional

If none of these float your boat, then there’s nothing we can do for you – you’ve got to help yourself. Why not fish around your mates and see if they have any peers who’d be up for a blind date with you? Or next time you see someone on the tube on the way to uni who you think may be the one, then ask them out – be brave!

For information on slow dating, click here.

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