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Back to the future of dating

Thursday September 29, 2016

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In today’s on-demand world, when everything from an Uber minicab to a Thai green curry is summoned by a few taps of an iPhone, the single Londoner can be forgiven for believing that a flurry of furious swiping is all it takes to bag a date.

Tinder is truly tempting and Bumble beckons people by the thousands, but the truth is, no matter how many times you swipe, the chances of scoring a date-on-demand are actually slimmer than they've ever been.

Presented with a seemingly unlimited stream of potentials to choose from, singles have no option but become the shallowest version of themselves. With nothing to work with but a filtered selfie and the briefest of bio, the only option is to rule people either in - or out - based on looks alone.

Clearly, to us at least, this approach is flawed at best. And for most people, a pretty soul destroying pastime.

At Original Dating, our approach is somewhat more human to that of the dating apps. What we do is centred around a principle we call – Meet People First or MPF.

Before the internet, MPF was the only way. You’d see someone at work, at a bar, on a bus or at a party. If you liked what you saw, perhaps you’d summon the courage to strike up a conversation. Perhaps you'd be lucky and someone would approach you and things would start from there. Dates might be arranged and things would either progress or stall but that call was based on a number of human factors, not looks alone.  

The 'hit rate' was never that great. Sometimes that person would already be seeing someone. Or they may simply take against you for reasons unknown. But, for most people, this approach did eventually work and it’s actually how most people get into relationships today.

Meeting people has always been a numbers game and it does require a modicum of effort.

Convinced that MPF is the best way to meet someone to date we set about improving the chances MPF.

What if we got hundreds of people together who were all single AND looking to meet people? Ensured there’s a 50:50 male to female ratio. What if we made it fun and easy to approach people you don’t know? What if we did this at a great bar? What if you didn’t even have to ask for phone numbers on the night and provided a messaging system afterwards?

Well, we did all those things, and the Offline Dating Party format was born.

Our last event in September took place at The Folly near Monument. 220 people signed up and the night was absolutely electric with people meeting for the first time. It was very exciting, so good in fact, that we’re making them a regular feature. The stats aren't in yet but it's looking like a lot of people got a lot of dates from attending that night.

Our next Offline Dating Party is taking place on October 22nd at The Refinery in Central London. If you want to meet someone new, you simply have to be there. Find out more here.

Whatever you do, it’s best to Meet People First. Because it's the only dating method that really works.

Bye for now.



The beauty of Speed Dating London lies in its no-nonsense approach. You take an equal number of single girls and guys, put them in a room and give them a few minutes to chat with every other member of the opposite sex.

When you get there

Original speed dating events in London normally begin at 7.30pm. You will need to register with our hosts and to begin with they will issue you with a score sheet. This will help you to keep track of the singles that you would like to meet again and perhaps go on a date with. After a short period of mingling, your host for the evening who will run through detailed instructions and give you your starting position if you are a guy or table for the event if you are a girl.

Meet & Mingle

A London speed dating event is split into two halves, each lasting around an hour, there will be an interval at half time of about 15 minutes for speed dating London. You will have between 4 and 5 minutes with each person, after which you need to tick a box on your score sheet - "yes, I would like to meet this person again" or "no. Thanks but no thanks". Or "friend" if you'd like to get to know them platonically. Make sure that you do this after each date to keep track. Afterwards there is an opportunity for everyone to meet and mingle informally - this is often where the real action begins, so make sure you don't disappear too quickly!

Complete your score sheet

After the event you simply tick who you liked on the Original Dating website and the site works about your matches automatically. If the dates you have ticked as a "yes" have reciprocated you have a match. You will be able to view the first names and message them via our site online without revealing your email address until you are ready to. You'll be having proper first dates in no time.