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Builder puts heart on the pavement in search for true love

Aug 29th, 2014 | By | Category: Editor's Picks, Front Page Layout, Latest News, News


OFFLINE DATER: Rob Cope says sometimes you have to go out on a limb to get what you want IMAGE: Tess Nichol

rightsidetopSOME people wear their hearts on their sleeves, but Wellington builder Rob Cope has put his on the street.

The latest of several hand-drawn signs propped up outside a construction site in Courtney Place reads like an ‘offline’ dating profile for the self-employed contractor.

Mr Cope says he’s had mixed responses to the sign, including a couple of dates but hasn’t yet met the right person.

“It’s just a creative way to meet people,” says Mr Cope, adding that both online dating and striking up a chat in the pub don’t appeal to him.

He’s no stranger to creative ideas.

In  2013 he hitchhiked around New Zealand with a 1.5 metre tall fridge to promote his book, Men Wanted For Hazardous Journey.

The book tells the story of Mr Cope’s life and his struggles with the constraints set by rigid gender roles.

In it he criticises the traditional model of masculinity in New Zealand, claiming the current way we teach boys to be men is unhealthy and needs to change.

Mr Cope says he’s having a lot of fun with the sign, with hundreds of people taking photos and many popping their heads round the door to chat with him.

He says that most of his interactions haven’t been romantic, but he’s just enjoying giving people a chuckle in their day.

“I’m always open to meeting someone if someone awesome comes along,” he says although he does admit that he has very high standards when it comes to choosing a partner.

While the majority of people’s reactions to his signs have been positive, Mr Cope says one person found the content offensive.

When asked what he plans to do next, Mr Cope says he’s thinking about knocking together a wooden picnic table and giving speed-dating a go.

He says he recognises some women might feel too shy to take him up on his offer and that it can be hard to go out on a limb when you’re looking for love.

“It takes courage to do something like this, even though I’m having fun with it there is an element of vulnerability to it,” he says.

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