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‘Technology has killed romance’

Wednesday, 12th February, 2020 4:48pm

Technology is having a devastating effect on romance and dating in Ireland, but Leeside lovers are turning the tide on the run up to Valentine’s Day.

That’s according to experienced matchmaker Hugh Redmond, who believes that modern apps such as Tinder are proving extremely harmful to traditional, “real world” connections.

“There's a growing problem out there where people of all age groups are struggling to meet and connect. Technology has killed romance,” Hugh said.

He added: “Technology has turned us into a nation of shoppers. Now we're shopping online for a partner in life.”

Hugh has been running his matchmaking and speed dating service, 2Connect, since 2008 and says that business is booming as people slowly begin to pull away from online dating, especially in Cork.

“We're getting a tremendous interest, and for some reason Cork has been very, very active over the last six months. People are absolutely fed up with the bar scene, and the club scene is kind of dead anyway, so people have a very limited choice,” he explained.

Hugh, who says that business is up 30 per cent since last year, and believes that activities such as speed dating create a platform for people to sit down, shake hands, have a good chat and “see what happens”.

2Connect operates in Cork, Dublin and Galway, organising regular events such as quiz nights, walking events and speed dating nights, connecting over 1,400 people since 2008.

Hugh said: “Because of the media and because of how we're constantly being bombarded by the type of person we should be and who we should aspire to attract, it's becoming very unreal and it's creating a lot of false expectations.

“The apps are likely to stay around for a while, but if you're within your mid 30s and upwards, to be honest, the apps are not somewhere you want to be.”

Hugh is a success story himself, having met his current wife on a walking trip that he organised. They now have two children.

“The great thing about speed dating is that 75 per cent of people actually get matches, so the odds are good. The biggest challenge is to track what happens after people start to meet up and date,” he said.

Leeside singles will be spoiled for choice this year with six 2Connect matchmaking events taking place in the city between now and May.

All of the events will take place in Counihan’s Bar on Pembroke Street, the first of which is happening tonight, Thursday 13 February, for ages 30-40, starting at 7.30pm. Men’s places are still available for tonight’s event and tickets can be purchased on 2connect.ie.

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