Dating in wicklow town

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The stereotypical story goes that gardaí and teachers make perfect partners, having first met in the popular stomping ground of Copper Face Jacks. In modern-day dating Ireland, the routine often becomes the local pub, the same corner, the same huddle. Kate turned up with two friends, having got her ticket from one of her friends who “became too mortified about it and bottled it”. QUIZ NIGHT Second in the popularity ranks after speed dating are the “speedy singles pub quizzes”.

Sean, who lived abroad for some time, says Irish women are simply harder to chat up. Later that night, having met some people who were “mad characters but 90 per cent of them were sound”, Kate struck up conversation with Seán. Apart from a close circle of friends, the couple tell relatives and acquaintances they met in a pub. There’s still a perception that internet dating is for the sad and the lonely. The advantage of a quiz over speed dating is obvious – there is no time for awkward or intrusive questions, with the focus on brainstorming answers and drawing on people’s innate competitiveness.

But after being coaxed into going on a Supper Safari, he embraced everything that followed. I’d go every second week if it was organised,” he says. Recently single, open-minded and sociable, the idea of a supper club aroused her interest. Kate, a garda, and Seán, a teacher, are both in their late 20s and met at an arranged event some months ago.

She’s quick to add that she wasn’t on “some desperate man hunt . They don’t give their real names here, conscious of gossiping gardaí, parents or boards of management. “They don’t hold eye contact, they don’t show interest, so you’re left guessing as to whether they want to be chatted up or not.” After a chance sighting of an advert for a singles party on Facebook, what followed was like any other night out, except Sean knew the room contained “potential singles”. I think people just don’t know enough to make a judgment,” says Kate.

But the events remain a taboo subject among many, carrying a curious stigma that is difficult to articulate.

The following day, if there’s a match, they receive an e-mail.

SOCIAL LIFE: Are you a single sommelier or a solicitor still searching?

Fancy a round of silent speed dating or a supper safari?

They have the house, they have the dog, but they don’t have a partner. They are the forgotten generation.” But once a month, they are mixing and mingling, and meeting dozens of new people in organised nights out.

THE SUCCESS STORY Laboratory supervisor Celine Robbins (55) and civil engineer David Galbraith (58) could be recruited as mascots for the entire online and novelty sector, such is their enthusiasm for the alternative outlet.

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