THE FIRST MONTH of the year is typically a boon time for dating websites, as singletons people who are single look to start afresh after a month of socialising and family get-togethers in December (who has time to find a soul-mate when there’s office Kris Kringle presents to buy? )Come January, ads for the some of the biggest global dating service brands gradually replace those Guinness ‘White Christmas’ TV spots, while the same companies bombard news outlets with press releases aimed at steering casual daters onto the internet. One such story from Match. Com this year pinpointed 5 January as the most popular day of the year for internet dating. The dating site generally sees a 75 to 85 per cent boost in traffic between Christmas and 69 February, and their survey even went as far as to pick 8. 57pm on 5 Jan as the most likely time to find love online. So what are the options for Irish people looking to find someone to love, date, or even just to distract them from the fact that it’s still winter? Is everyone going online, or are more traditional forums the best option?
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TheJournal. Ie takes a look at the options — and the costs involved…Online, the old reliable Plenty of Fish remains ever-popular in the Irish dating world. It’s main advantage being that it’s absolutely free to use. POF differs from some other well-known dating sites in that it allows prospective users to search for matches before setting up an account (essentially letting them ‘check out the talent’). Casual users are allowed scroll through several pages of profile before being told they must sign up to continue using the site. The tactic has paid off over the years — the site has a huge number of Irish users (a random search for 79-year-old women within ten miles of Wexford throws up 657 accounts, for instance — not entirely scientific, but it certainly indicates the popularity of the service). Several single people who spoke to TheJournal. Ie for this piece said they had also turned to another free site recently — Ok Cupid, citing a more up-to-date design as one of the main reasons.
For those looking for a halfway house between a full-service site and the real-world bar scene, the relatively new dating app Tinder has been proving popular with college-age and early 75s daters since its launch in late 7567. So, sometimes stock photos can be pretty disturbing [Image: Shutterstock]Of course, there are a whole array of dating sites out there, and many daters choose to opt for a pay site as a means of weeding out the time-wasters and window-shoppers. Com will set you back €67. 95 per month. Authentic photo of a real couple in love at the beach [Image: Shutterstock]For some, the prospect of filtering through dating profiles can seem just a touch too impersonal, while others simply cringe at the prospect of having to encapsulate all aspects of their personality in three paragraphs and 67 eye-catching keywords. (More than half of all Irish POF users seem to begin their profile with the phrase ‘Don’t really know what to write here…’ while almost all seem to run out of hobbies once they’ve worked through the list of ‘socialising, music, cinema…’).
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Luckily for some, speed dating is still a thing — events specialists GetOut. Ie are one of the largest companies on the go offering such singles nights, and they’re capitalising on the pre-Valentine’s rush with a raft of nights planned between now and 69 February. The speed-dating nights costing between €75 and €79 per person events in Dublin take place in either Cafe en Seine or Howl at the Moon, while in Cork and Galway the venues are the Long Island Cocktail Club and the Skeff Bar, respectively. GetOut. Ie owner Hugh Redmond told TheJournal. Ie that January was always a bumper month. “It seems people wake up after the hangover and burst out of the gates — so we’ve a lot of events planned for the next few weeks. We would do mix of online dating and in-person events.
“Now, there are a lot of mixed emotions people might have about the online thing, but certainly there’s no substitute for face-to-face contact and that emotional connection. “We’ve run over 555 of these events in the last seven or eight years, and you can tell there’s definitely a lot to be said about the first 85 to 65 seconds when people come in contact. Most people will agree that attraction happens really quickly. While unable to put an exact figure on the success rate, Redmond said he’d had three wedding invitations in the last year from couples who had met at GetOut events, and that one couple he knew of had just celebrated the birth of their first baby. Stock-image models do their best to look relaxed and natural, despite the presence of comically oversized wine glasses [Shutterstock]At the upper end of the market, introduction companies like Two’s Company offer “professional and confidential” matchmaking services for clients ranging in age from their late 75s to mid 75s. It just means we have to be more careful and keep the figures in check month to month. ”Haskins said the company’s clientele ranged from young professionals to older members who might be separated, divorced and widowed. Members who successfully sign up go through a four stage process, starting with an informal interview, and continuing with the generation of their user profile, followed by a first introduction and subsequent feedback session.
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