For those of you who aren’t on Twitter, The Dating Show Live will be taking place in Birmingham on 29 and 30 June 2019. According to organisers, it’s the first one of these of its kind – ever – and will see up to 10,000 people coming together over two days (not like that, you filthy person…) to have fun, meet other single people, get some advice, meet some celebs and generally have a great time.
When I first heard about it several months ago I did wonder whether or not it was worth going to. I held off booking a ticket as, in truth, I didn’t want to thing of a world where I would still be single a year later. Surely that wouldn’t happen, would it?! I’m told I’m a more than eligible guy (thanks for the positive thoughts, mum), no way would I be on the market for very long at all!
Yeah. About that…
So as the event date approached I started reading up on it, and started wondering less about why I ever would go and more about why I wouldn’t. And when the show organisers got in touch and offered me a ticket so I could see it for myself, I jumped at the chance.
You see, one of the founding principles underpinning the whole event is that modern dating is broken. We swipe and we swipe and we swipe some more, going around in endless circles knowing that the person we swiped on is almost certainly doing the same and therefore never really committing to things whether consciously or not. We end up in bad relationship after bad relationship, and it’s often the fact that it’s based on a disposable process that undermines things from the very beginning.
I actually quite like the idea that it is still possible in 2019 to meet people in person and hit it off. I’m not talking about just standing on the bus waiting for someone to catch your eye, because in my experience luck is always a shit strategy (Lucy wrote a great piece on luck a while ago that’s well worth a read). I mean putting yourself in positions where other single people are and where it’s not too forced, as can feel the case with some dating event experiences.
Being around other single people will itself be helpful. It can be quite isolating for many, and if it weren’t for things like Twitter and this blog then it would be easy for me to feel that I was alone in the world in feeling the way I do. As with many people in their 30’s, just about all of my friends are coupled up, many with kids, and most have been for some time so forgot what it was like having no-one while wanting someone. Even those who have more recently found a solid partner have some sort of collective amnesia and instantly forget the pain, all too quickly resorting to the “you’ll find someone when you least expect it” platitudinal bullshit spouted at anyone without someone on their arm.
Just being in a room with other people who are all looking for their own someones will help me realise I’m not alone. And as we’ll all be there for the same reasons it’ll be much easier to start up conversations, even without intention of doing more than connecting with someone else who gets it.
And it won’t just be other single people, either. Looking at the lineup there are going to be a lot of more than interesting exhibitors there too, from people teaching you how to dance to fashion advice to yoga to roller skating and more; there will be people there who’s whole world is helping other people get better at finding someone to love. Frankly, after all this time I’m willing to take all the help I can get. And if Merlin doesn’t make you feel better (he’s going to be there along with more of the First Dates crew) then no-one will; he’s the reason I went on that show in the first place.
All in all, as a single person there doesn’t seem to be a good reason not to go. I don’t go expecting to find The One, but I will go expecting to have a good time and perhaps meet a few people in real life that I’ve only ever met online. If you do want to go along, and if you use my affiliate link (so I get a small commission if you do) then I’ll even promise to tell you my real name. If that doesn’t give you enough incentive on top of all the other things that are happening, well, I don’t know what will.
Just so you know, even though the organisers were kind enough to give me a ticket and set up an affiliate link, these (and all) views are my own. If I thought it would be rubbish I’d say so, but I reckon it’ll be fun!