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Singles in their twenties turning to dating agency

Feb 20th, 2011 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

THE age of people using dating agencies is getting younger, says one of Wellington’s long established introduction businesses.

Debbie Langley (right) has noticed the trend in her business, Table for Six, which she started in 1991.

She attributes this to the lowering of the drinking age and the possibility that people in their 20s are winding up the pub scene at an earlier age.

However, the 600 members of Table for Six are mainly in the 30s, 40s and 50s age groups.

Table for Six involves three men and three women being introduced to each other in a city restaurant, by a host, on either a Friday or Saturday night.

Ms Langley says the aim of Table for Six is to put a group of people together who will enjoy each others’ company and have a good evening out.

“The opportunity is there, but the focus is not the dating,” says Ms Langley.

“One of my catch-cries is ‘I can’t take money and guarantee they will find a soul mate or partner because it is chemistry and no one person can account for chemistry’.”

When asked about the effect that internet dating has had on Table for Six, she said that in the long run it has been beneficial.

“Initially, when the internet kicked in, business slowed down.”

But she says people who had been using the internet found that it was not for them.

“There were too many disappointments when they actually met the person.”

Table for Six diners have the advantage of knowing that everybody who has joined the organisation has been vetted by Ms Langley.

At the dinner clients are introduced by their first name and it is left to the discretion of the client to reveal more about themselves if they choose.

Ms Langley credits the reason why Table for Six attracts more people in this group is because many of their friends are couples with families.

“The weekend can be a lonely time for singles,” says Ms Langley

The recession has also affected Table for Six, but Ms Langley says January has been busier than the start of the last two or three years.

One agency which has been affected by both the internet and the recession is Christchurch-based Country and City Contacts which was established 15 years ago.

Owner Sally Wilson says the internet has affected Country and City Contact’s business.

“In times of recession people find internet dating a cheaper option” says Ms Wilson.

Ms Wilson said there was a 60% chance of a relationship developing for members of Country and City Contacts.

When asked about how this was measured she says: “When we don’t hear from them for a while.”

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