If you're sick of making connections through the digital world, then maybe it's time to meet new people in the flesh. Speed dating has well and truly shaken off its stigma, and is now a valuable resource for bringing together people with common interests in a low-pressure and fun environment. Here, we recommend some of Melbourne's best speed dating nights, for men of all persuasions.
Dear Pluto’s Emma Daniels launched Dear Pluto as a vintage clothing shop in Sydney in 2008, and branched out almost immediately into craft workshops, parties, film screenings and speed dating. Five years on, Dear Pluto’s speed dating nights, pitched primarily at a younger crowd, sell out in Sydney faster than swiping right. Finally, she’s brought the concept to Melbourne, and is launching with two sessions in October at 1000 Pound Bend – one for straight singles, and the other for queer men and women in collaboration with Sydney party collective Heaps Gay. The format is four minutes per date, with 20 dates on the night. Daters indicate that they’d like to see their date again by ticking a box on a card during the night. Emma then emails everyone with their matches and let’s you take it from there.
Several years ago, Alan Sender was a regular at speed dating nights, before he decided to start his own. These days, Sender’s Amourlife is one of the most established speed dating organisers in town, running relaxed singles nights across the country in small bars. The way it works is simple and much like a game of musical chairs: guests chat for six minutes, then the bell goes and the guys move along to the next table. At the end of the night, participants tick ‘yes’ on the matching card. If two people tick each other, it’s a match!
CitySwoon holds the Guinness World Record for the largest blind date, and as for their speed-dating services, they go above and beyond in that area too. Instead of circulating the night’s players amongst tables, people are matched live at the event via text message. The night’s participants hang out as they would in a normal bar, and can message their matches to meet up with them where they choose to. That means that instead of going from table to table, the young single professionals that come along can meet at the bar, hang out outside, or invite their matches to join them at their table.
The Melbourne branch of Speed Dating Australia offers a large number of nights for guys and girls in different age groups around the city. At each session, you’ll meet around 15 potential dates for six minutes each — just enough time to get an idea of whether you’re both interested in getting to know one another more at a later date. They also guarantee that there will never be uneven numbers of the sexes, thankfully.
Conscious Speed Dating markets itself as being for people “who enjoy being a little outside the box”. A range of activities are planned to give participants a sense of one another’s vibes, including “impro, fun Conscious Relating, non-physically-intimate Tantra, and even very basic Psychodrama warm-ups,” according to their website. The night doubles as an opportunity to learn how to open up and communicate with others better, meaning you’re likely to take something home no matter what.
A new singles service in Melbourne, Spark Dating has only been around for eight months but is gaining popularity quickly. Right now, they offer heterosexual speed-dating for age groups between 23 and 55, with hopes to expand into the homosexual dating world in the future. They host nights at The Royal Melbourne Hotel in central Melbourne, at the Victoria Hotel in Brunswick (which has $12 burger nights!) and Day Of The Dead in St Kilda, so they’re quite down-to-earth affairs.