Engaged couple Jason Shea and Theriza Burgess met speed-dating in Dunedin and are expecting their first child. Photo by Linda Robertson. Speed-dating has died a slow death in the South as singles prefer to hook up on smartphones. But the woman who started the business believes a ''face-to-face service'' is better. Mainland Dating owner Jane Metcalfe 41 , of Dunedin, said since the speed-dating business started in Dunedin in , it had put more than couples in committed relationships and resulted in more than weddings and the birth of more than babies.
The business had expanded to include Invercargill, Timaru and Christchurch but demand had ''dropped off'' and speed-dating nights stopped in Timaru in , Invercargill in and in Dunedin last month. She continued the events in Christchurch but said they would not be held in Dunedin again until more people signalled they wanted the service. I want actual people to meet other actual people because that's how the world works and I hope the world continues to work that way, but smartphones are changing the way people communicate.
At the event, they talked for four minutes and answered a list of questions provided, such as hobbies and job. The couple allowed Ms Metcalfe to share their email addresses and then the ball was in their court. They have been engaged for two years and their first child is due next month. Miss Burgess said speed-dating had a place in the South.
You know what you are in for. Donna 38 , who did not want her surname published due to fears of being called ''desperate and dateless Donna of Dunedin'', attended a speed-dating night in Dunedin last winter and failed to find a match.
She has decided to travel to Christchurch to ''hunt a hubby'' after census statistics revealed a man glut in that city. She had planned trips to visit pubs in Christchurch suburbs in September and October. She went to Christchurch a month ago and visited an Irish pub in the central city but found the gender mix was not conducive to finding a man.
Ms Metcalfe said Dunedin women did not need to go to Christchurch to meet a single man. At most of the speed dating nights in Dunedin, men outnumbered women, she said.
She needs to exhaust her options here first.