Five dates in five weeks is the dating challenge put forward by Five in Five.
Whilst breaking social barriers, I try to raise funds for charities that work to break the cycle of social disadvantage.
To me, the idea is that often charities that i.e. try to help young homeless people get back on their feet slip through the cracks after initial help due to the lack of support networks and cycle back to their problem. These disadvantaged people take on enormous amounts of courage to continuously seek help from these support networks.
It’s no easy task.
They hope to raise money by encouraging single people to go out, seeking help from friends and build their own networks and date 5 people in 5 weeks.
If you guys wish to donate any amount, you can click on this link.
After signing up, I struggled to find a date from friends. My personal rule was that I would go on dates with friends of friends that I hadn’t met before. Basically I was going to date 5 strangers. I wasn’t going in this to desperately find a boyfriend. I would go on these dates as more of a way to expand my circle of friends and meet new people.
The “first” date as suggested via Twitter from my housemate proved to be a dud. He got drunk and forgot about it. Wooo. Just what I needed. A confidence booster. I tried to remain positive. I didn’t actually have anyone in mind. I went to Twitter. Calling out for the help of the Internet.
Date #1. NIC.
Along comes foodie Twitter friend, Gemma, suggesting that she has someone! How exciting! She gives me his Twitter name. (Hey, it’s old fashioned dating but in a modern, technological way). We swap numbers and set a date. After a few Twitter interactions, I find out he’s 6’4″. I’m a mere 4’11”. Excellent. This won’t be awkward at all (sarcasm).
On a rainy Tuesday night, we meet at Verve cafe at my suggestion and it’s booked out. I panic and suggest Vapiano’s (which I don’t rate very highly). Great. I’m really impressing my date with my lack of organisation and poor restaurant choice. We manage to get a carb-filled pasta meal and enjoy a conversation. We have a lot in common. This is going pretty great.
Earlier on the day I suggested that we go bowling. Because basically bitches love bowling. Or in any case, I love bowling. So we go bowling after dinner whilst enjoying the fact that the quinine in (gin and) tonic was fluorescing under the UV lights. He wins. Marginally. We decide to go to Superwhatnot Bar at his suggestion (now I’m impressed). We enjoy a drink. Later saying our goodbyes and go home.
Date #2. NAVIN.
Long-time friend, Chuck, tells me he may have a potential. There’s a few days of wait as he seeks confirmation that Navin is up for it. It’s daunting. Am I good enough? Funnily enough, I update my profile picture on Facebook and Twitter for the first time in over a year (for Facebook) and over 3 years (on Twitter).
He suggests lunch on a Saturday at The Burrow in West End. I’m impressed. As someone who loves eating out in Brisbane, if the guy can pick a good place that’s automatically a plus in my book. I have little idea what he looks like so I sit very anxiously outside The Burrow on the day. A friendly face approaches me, “Kelly?”. “Yes! Hi, lovely to meet you.”
We go inside and we order pizzas*. He suggests on pizzas that are a little unconventional because he likes to try new things. At this stage, I am damn impressed. (FYI I got The Burrow (confit rabbit) and he orders something with fig and prosciutto.) Conversation gets off a little shaky but we manage to cover a lot of topics – and manage to talk for over 2 hours! Good food and good conversation. Yay! It’s now mid-late afternoon so we head off on our own ways.
Date #3. RYAN.
Ryan is an Internet friend from Sydney. He offers himself to take me on a date when he comes up to visit Brisbane for Converge (an US metalcore band). He gets +1 points for asking a girl out on a date, even if it’s for charity. So I make an exception to the ‘strangers only’ rule for Ryan. I get excited and suggest that we go to the new and popular Spaghettihouse Trattoria in West End (which is also conveniently close to The HiFi). It’s a place I’ve been wanting to go to for ages. We don’t get a table immediately but go over to Sling for drinks until I get a call about an available table.
We’re already pretty awesome friends. I get convinced to go to Converge. So we enjoy drinks, DELICIOUS FOOD (OMG SO GOING BACK) and a pretty amazing gig.
Date #4. NIKOS.
Another foodie Twitter friend, Kay, thinks she’s lined up someone for me. She warns that he’s a fair bit older (29). I said that’s okay. I figured I’m mature and I have quite a few friends are already in their early-to-mid 30s. Nikos is Greek and immediately I’m really excited because I don’t have any Greek friends!
This time, I suggest Verve. AND book. I learn from my mistakes. We meet after work and prepare to eat all of the delicious pasta*. And drink a delicious cider. We do. And once they switch on the fan in our corner of the underground Italian restaurant the date was really enjoyable. We had a long conversation. It was interesting to talk about things from someone who is at a later stage of life. As Kay suggested, he was a true gentleman. He paid for dinner and even gave me a lift home (in an Audi – super impressive!!!).
Date #5. CHRIS.
I know a lot of people on Twitter. Somehow along the way, wine-loving Twitter friend Keira, sort of jokingly suggests I go on a date with Chris (another Twitter person doing Five in Five). He lives in Melbourne. But luckily, I was already planning a trip down to Melbourne within the 5 week period.
We set a date on a Saturday with no plans. I am okay with this. Melbourne is a beautiful city so I was going to trust the judgement of a local/ex-Queenslander. Funnily enough, come to my first night I have no friends to go out to eat dinner with. I send a text to Chris and we meet up for a pre-date dinner along Lygon St (Italian food heaven)*. Dressed in a suit, Chris probably wins in terms of formality.
Come Saturday we meet up for brunch at The Hardware Societe (an excellent place I’ve wanted to visit previously), then walk over to the museum where we spend hours looking at rocks and dinosaurs and the human body and other exciting things. Luckily we have an all day pass so lunch was at the Little Creatures food hall. Beers and chips. Yum, yum! We return to the museum which we stay at until closing time.
We take a stroll to The Aylesbury rooftop bar (on my list of places to check out in Melbourne) as well as the The Red Hummingbird Bar for afternoon drinks. We decide that Eau de Vie will be visited. By now, we’re peckish and eat more dumplings than we can handle at Noodle Kingdom. A quick change of clothes in which he goes home and I go back to my hotel and we’re out again this time en route to Eau de Vie! I AM SO EXCITED IT IS RIDICULOUS. We have mindblowing cocktails and I could not be happier. He walks me back to my hotel and we said goodbye! 15-hour marathon date done!
I’ve been periodically seeing Nic over the whole dating period and am still seeing him quite regularly.
I’ve made pretty cool friends, most of them I would have never met if I hadn’t taken up this challenge. Surprisingly, all had worked/work in IT and were all at least 6ft tall. Coincidence, eh? Or maybe all my friends think that a dorky science girl would be into tall IT-techy types?
I feel like I should do some stats. 100% of the dates were amazing guys and lovely company. I can’t thank them enough to agreeing to a very bizarre and out-there charity challenge. Also special thanks to friends who helped me find these potential dates and supported this cause.
The biggest thanks go to everyone who has donated and spread the word about this challenge. I have been so incredibly humbled by everyone’s support in me and helping me along the way.
Just as a reminder, you can still donate. Click, click, click!
*By now you may have noticed that all of my dates involved pizza or pasta. I really like Italian food.