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September 30, 2014

Seeks Friendship, Maybe More

No plans this weekend? Not to worry! One of the oldest and grandest festivals is currently in full swing in an Irish town right now. And no, I don’t mean the Ballinasloe Horse Fair.

The sleepy village of Lisdoonvarna in Co. Clare comes alive each year for its annual matchmaking festival which continues to attract tourists and natives alike in their droves. It is currently in its 157th year and enjoys an average influx of 40,000 singletons over the month-long course of the festivities. A new LGBT celebration, known as the Outing, was introduced in 2013 and kicks off this Friday for all those interested. (Don’t let the headline act of Brian Kennedy put you off).

It seems somewhat intriguing that such an archaic method of finding a partner can still exist in a world where we do most of our flirting through a computer screen. Since the dawn of the internet, there has been internet dating and many a spouse has been found by using online websites such as OkCupid and Match.com.

If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past year, you’ll be familiar with the prominent dating app, Tinder. You decide whether or not you would like to be matched with a person, based on a few selfies and Facebook likes, by simply swiping left or right. As a consciously coupled person, I have not had the joy of experiencing this social interaction first-hand, but judging by popular opinion, it can be quite an effective means of finding romance (the shift). These however, inevitably go hand-in hand with some horror stories, the mildest of which I have heard involved a guy resorting to magic tricks on a first date.

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If you’re brave enough to dive further into the dating pool, you may be inclined to try Cuddlr. For those of you who haven’t heard of this brand new app, brace yourself. It aims to match two people together who are interested solely in…cuddling. It was designed to fulfil the need of single people for physical contact with another human being without the assumption of sex. So if you’re looking for just the spoon and not the fork, you can download the app and find a person in your location in minutes. Kinda sounds like one of those seedy pop-up ads, doesn’t it?

It leads us to question how far we are willing to go in our quest for true love. What if we judge our potential soulmate too harshly on a picture or the fact that they’re a Gilmore Girls fan? A friend of mine recently deleted her Tinder account for the sake of the story she would tell her future children on how she met their father. “How did you meet Daddy?” “I swiped right.”

Of course, it’s easy for me to be cynical when I’m not currently in search of a spooning partner. Come back to me in a few years when I’ve bought the rights to Cuddlr and am raising an army of cats.