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24 Dates in 7 days: A week-long mission to meet HK's most eligible bachelors

Andrea Yu looks for eligible bachelors by any means possible

I could sit here and complain about it being another Valentine’s Day and how I’m still single and how boys are stupid (throw rocks at them). But this year I’ve swallowed my pride and gone on a week-long whirlwind mission to meet some eligible bachelors – by any means possible.

Round 1: Online dating
Soon after registering on a dating site, messages start beeping my inbox. Sadly, my suitors are either a) ugly, b) old – ‘seriously, gramps’ or c) ‘in town for a couple of days’ creepy. No thanks. Finally, I see what looks to be a nice young chap. We share excellent online banter, but in person he is beyond cocky (tell me again, in punishing detail, all about your pampered upbringing). Next!

Round 2: Speed dating
I opt for a ‘Happy Hour for Busy Executives’ from local speed dating service Coffee Matching. Most attendees are local Chinese and nearly everyone comes with groups of friends. In other words, zero mingling. Armed with my complimentary caipirinha, I venture into the unknown – and return empty-handed. Are my standards too high? Or is staring at my shoes in mute mortification the incorrect approach? Exit stage left.

Round 3: Matchmaker dating
Maybe I need the help of a professional. Mei Ling from Hong Kong Matchmakers suggests a fella via a cc’ed email, leaving it up to me to make contact. Anyway, date number three (or is that 23?) and I successfully meet up. There is friendly conversation, but no requisite sparks. Forlornly I move on…

Round 4: Self-solicited dating
One of my girlfriends likes to slip hot men her number on a napkin. She does quite well for herself, so following her lead we go on a champagne-fuelled night out where I blushingly dangle my digits to a tall, dark, handsome gent. He gets in touch soon after and we meet up for post-work nibbles. I’m worried I had champagne goggles on that evening and accidentally picked up a dud, but luckily Mr TDH ticks all the right boxes. He is certainly the best of the bunch so far and I’d like to see him again. Note to self: bring a pen and paper to the club more often.

Round 5: Blind dating
Time Out intern, Maddie, comes to the rescue as I frantically try to cram in as many dates as I can before my seven days are up. She graciously sets me up with her friend, who meets me in a 30-minute window on my last night of the week. Truly a blind date (no Googling beforehand), he was pleasant enough, but incredibly hard to read. Did he actually like me or was he suspicious of me notching his name on to my mental date bedpost? I don’t see a future with suitor number 25, but at least we leave with a solid ghetto handshake. Which means…

Conclusion
I ended my mission just as I started. Good men are still hard to find – but I feel a little less weary and a little more confident for having taken the plunge into the alternative dating pool. I’ll keep looking, but if you think you might be able to save me the hassle, read Date Our Readers 2012 and check out my humble deets. And if we meet, I promise not to slap my forehead.

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