Blind Date Party: A sneak peek into Aucklanders' dating lives

by Alex Blackwood / 14 February, 2019

Sam.

At Burger Burger's annual Blind Date Party, single Aucklanders share their dating experiences and what they're looking for.

There was a corner for aperol spritz, a corner for gin and tonic, a corner for espresso martinis and stacks upon stacks of chilled wine and beer waiting to greet the singles at Burger Burger's Blind Date Party on Valentine’s Day eve.

The hopefuls trickled into The Glasshouse venue in Morningside, and milled about nervously, chatting amongst themselves.

As it turns out, they were all looking for the same thing – burgers and drinks were apparently top of everyone’s list. 


Sam

27, pharmaceutical rep

Best place in Auckland to go on a date?
Ooh, that’s tricky. Probably just walk along any of the beaches. Mission Bay. Kind of around there is a nice place to go.

How much of a pre-date stalk is appropriate?
Probably keep it to a bare minimum if you can. It’s always nice to just discover and let the conversation flow naturally.

Best first date food?
I’m kinda biased here so I have to say Burger Burger. Yeah I’m a sucker for any burger place.

Worst date you’ve ever been on?
Ooh that happened the other week. Me and my friend were at a car show and invited a girl with us and she just wouldn’t make any conversation. One sentence answers and it was the most awkward thing. Really frustrating.

How long after a date do you wait to contact them?
Probably the next day, y’know just kind of check in. Say that I had a good time and try and keep talking, yeah.

Why are you single?
I just don’t get out much. All my friends are all coupled up so it’s hard to get out and meet people.

The one quality that you look for in a potential partner?
Just sincerity and empathy. It’s nice to find someone really caring and down to earth and kind.

Do you factor star signs into your dating decision-making process?
No. I mean I know the rough idea around them but that doesn’t really hold much sway, I don’t think.

How far into a relationship do you change your relationship status on Facebook?
Sometimes I don’t at all. It just kind of depends. Like it’s kind of our business and if you know me, you’ll know I’m in a relationship. 

When you’re on a date, what deal breakers would make you leave straight away?
Being rude to staff, swearing, dissing anyone or being mean about an ex or something.

Bri

Bri

24, graphic designer

Best place in Auckland to go on a date?
I would say something like Holy Moly or bowling so I can goof around and be a bit more comfortable.

How much of a pre-date stalk is appropriate and should you let on that you’ve done it?
Yeah I go right down to the mum’s sister’s best friend. What does your dog look like, can I actually take this thing out, is it ugly? And I would usually tell them, I’m really open and honest.

Worst date you’ve ever been on?
I actually haven’t had a bad date at all but I haven’t had many and that’s why – I don’t want to jinx it.

How long after a date do you wait to contact them?
I’m nice. I’ll contact them pretty much an hour afterwards to say nice to meet you, get to know you, what have you.

Why are you single?
I don’t know, I ask myself this every day!

The one quality that you look for in a potential partner?
A goofball just like me. I love to have a laugh and be really natural. I mean height doesn’t hurt!

Do you factor star signs into your dating decision-making process?
I don’t in the beginning. I won’t date someone for a star sign but I find myself looking at them once I’ve started seeing someone.

How far into a relationship do you change your relationship status on Facebook?
I was with someone for like two years and never did. I probably wouldn’t. I feel like that’s a private thing for me.

When you’re on a date, what deal breakers would make you leave straight away?
Talking about themselves, not asking me any questions in return. Cutting me off. I like to talk a lot so that would be a deal breaker.

Sinead.

Sinead.

Sinead

26, lifestyle entertainment reporter and a dating columnist

Best place in Auckland to go on a date?
Conch.

How much of a pre-date stalk is appropriate and should you let on that you’ve done it?
I go pretty hard out. Yep, like a deep dive as far as you can deep dive, I suppose. Do your research, be prepared.

Best first date food?
Something you can eat with a fork that’s not too drippy. Cause I’m a spiller. I’m a grub so everything always ends up down my tits so… something not drippy. Maybe  a pasta, if it was not saucy one.

Worst date you’ve ever been on?
I’ve got so many. Which one to choose… So I once went on a date with someone who, 30 minutes in, took me to see his parents but didn’t even tell me that that’s where we were going. Like “I’m just gonna make a quick pit stop” and then he was like “Mum, Dad, this is Sinead.”

How long after a date do you wait to contact them?
I never contact anyone. I wait for them to contact me.

Why are you single?
I think I am just waiting for that once in a lifetime kinda love. And until then I’d rather be single than settle.

The one quality that you look for in a potential partner?
Punctuality and good jokes.

Do you factor star signs into your dating decision-making process?
Certainly not. No.

How far into a relationship do you change your relationship status on Facebook?
I would never do that, I’m 26.

When you’re on a date, what deal breakers would make you leave straight away?
If someone is late and doesn’t apologise for being late.

Vic.

Vic

33, visual designer

Best place in Auckland to go on a date?
Maybe Ponsonby.

How much of a pre-date stalk is appropriate and should you let on that you’ve done it?
I do. I don’t tell them. But it’s basically just the only public photos that they have, right?

Best first date food?
Chinese.

Worst date you’ve ever been on?
The date that the person who was supposed to come didn’t come and someone else came instead. Yeah. That was really awkward.

How long after a date do you wait to contact them?
Well, I usually contact straight after to kind of follow it up. Then I see if she’s interested or not. If she answers back… I think I would talk through it in the date though.

Why are you single?
I am still trying to figure it out but I think there are certain people that fit you more than others and yeah… There are a lot of coincidences that need to happen so that two people are compatible.

The one quality that you look for in a potential partner?
Caring and kindness.

Do you factor star signs into your dating decision-making process?
I used to but not anymore. I think experience is better than star signs because that’s what people learn from.

How far into a relationship do you change your relationship status on Facebook?
When it is obvious you both are really stable emotionally. And they’re open and comfortable to talk about it.

When you’re on a date, what deal breakers would make you leave straight away?
Bad teeth and if she is a smoker, probably.

Read more: Tales from the dating trenches: Dating in my late 40s 

Lindsay.

Lindsay.

Lindsay

30, dispensing optician

Best place in Auckland to go on a date?
Some quiet bar with a beverage, I suppose.

How much of a pre-date stalk is appropriate?
As much is openly available so as much as you can see without looking at, I don’t know, Linkedin? I don’t have Linkedin.

And should you let on that you’ve done it?
Once you’ve worked out that they’re a good-ish catch? Yes.

Best first date food?
Ice cream. Can’t make too much of a mess in your teeth.

Worst date you’ve ever been on?
That’d be the one last week where I really liked him and then he blew me off so…

How long after a date do you wait to contact them?
I probably wouldn’t. I’m that girl that’s like, no wait for the guy.

Why are you single?
Because I look like a bitch and I have a twin which has made my life very difficult.

The one quality that you look for in a potential partner?
Just sarcastic as shit, ideally.

Do you factor star signs into your dating decision-making process?
Not really. I only know my own.

How far into a relationship do you change your relationship status on Facebook?
Never, on Facebook. Unless we were married.

When you’re on a date, what deal breakers would make you leave straight away?
That he was hoping to get lucky. If I found that out and if I find out they’re really into like, dance music.

Amelia.

Amelia.

Amelia

24, in marketing

Best place in Auckland to go on a date?
If you wanna go fancy, The Sugar Club. Or just a nice dinner, Ortolana.

How much of a pre-date stalk is appropriate?
A wee Facebook to make sure they’re actually who they say they are but probably not more than that.

Best first date food?
Fries and a burger.

Worst date you’ve ever been on?
One where the guy couldn’t hold a conversation. It was boring. I wanted to go home.

How long after a date do you wait to contact them?
That night or the next day.

Why are you single?
Because I’m picky.

The one quality that you look for in a potential partner?
Someone who is genuine and can hold a conversation.

Do you factor star signs into your dating decision-making process?
No.

How far into a relationship do you change your relationship status on Facebook?
Couple of months?

When you’re on a date, what deal breakers would make you leave straight away?
Smoking. Someone who is boring, pretty much.

Monique

24, business development at the University of Auckland

Best place in Auckland to go on a date?
Maybe a walk around Cornwall Park or something? Have a coffee, take a walk there.

How much of a pre-date stalk is appropriate?
Oh in this day in age, you’ve gotta find out everything. I don’t wanna be murdered by anyone.
And should you let on that you’ve done it?
Hell no.

Best first date food?
Tapas where you’re having drinks and little bites. 

Worst date you’ve ever been on?
It was with a guy – he just swore a lot and was a heavy smoker, so I was just not into that at all. Smoking is just the one deal breaker.

How long after a date do you wait to contact them?
I feel like I wait for them to message me first. The ball’s in their court.

Why are you single?
I think I am still waiting to test the waters and see. Keeping my options open.

The one quality that you look for in a potential partner?
Someone who understands and gets my sense of humour and can be witty back to me.

Do you factor star signs into your dating decision-making process?
No. I really don’t think that is an indicator of anything that you should follow.

How far into a relationship do you change your relationship status on Facebook?
I don’t think you need to. I don’t think everyone needs to know. Maybe if you get married.

Campbell.

Campbell.

Campbell

22, in marketing

Best place in Auckland to go on a date?
The beach. In particular, Campbell’s Bay. Because my name is Campbell. It’s fitting.

How much of a pre-date stalk is appropriate?
Depends on the context. So if you’re meeting someone from Tinder, it’s probably justified. If you already know them, just go with what they’ve presented to you.

Best first date food?
Something not too strong. I’d go with Japanese.

Worst date you’ve ever been on?
I don’t know. I haven’t been on a bad date. The worst one was where it was just kind of flat but amicable.

How long after a date do you wait to contact them?
Straight away. Don’t play games. It’s childish.

Why are you single?
Well, I came back from America about three months ago. That’d do it. There’s no character flaw that I know of.

The one quality that you look for in a potential partner?
An instant ease with each other.

Do you factor star signs into your dating decision-making process?
Nope. No. Nope. Not at all.

How far into a relationship do you change your relationship status on Facebook?
Aw I couldn’t care less about that, aye. Whenever she decides.

When you’re on a date, what deal breakers would make you leave straight away?
Someone who is not like fully engaged I would say. Someone who’s not completely at ease with you.

Josh

23, student

Best place in Auckland to go on a date?
Anywhere in town because it gives you a few options and it means it can go on a bit longer.

How much of a pre-date stalk is appropriate?
One look on Facebook or something. And if I can’t find them on Facebook, then just leave it. Nothing too serious.
And should you let them know that you’ve done it?
I don’t see why not.

Best first date food?
Finger food.

Worst date you’ve ever been on?
I guess when the conversation just doesn’t flow. When you know it’s not really gonna go anywhere.

How long after a date do you wait to contact them?
24-48 hours.

Why are you single?
I’m a bit of a punisher, that’s why. (laughs)

The one quality that you look for in a potential partner?
Someone who’s down to earth that can laugh at you and with you at the same time.

Do you factor star signs into your dating decision making process?
Absolutely not.

How far into a relationship do you change your relationship status on Facebook?
Two months?

When you’re on a date, what deal breakers would make you leave straight away?
Someone who is a little too in your face. A little bit forceful. Someone who pushes things along too much and doesn’t allow them to happen naturally.

Olivia.

Olivia

23, event manager

Best place in Auckland to go on a date?
That’s a tough one, I don’t go out very much.  I really like Mexico in Takapuna. Lovely sangria.

How much of a pre-date stalk is appropriate?
Oh, a decent amount. You gotta figure out the height. Definitely.

Best first date food?
I love Mexico so yep.

Worst date you’ve ever been on?
I went on this one date and it was going well but he was way too keen. First date and he turns round and tells me he doesn’t want me to get with anyone else.

How long after a date do you wait to contact them?
Maybe three or four days.

Why are you single?
I’m too busy. I work too much, I’m a workaholic!

The one quality that you look for in a potential partner?
Height.

Do you factor star signs into your dating decision-making process?
Not at all but I have found somehow that I go for Tauruses. Unintentionally.

How far into a relationship do you change your relationship status on Facebook?
It’s gotta be fully official so you gotta wait a couple of months.

When you’re on a date, what deal breakers would make you leave straight away?
That’s a tough one. Talking only about themselves.

Ben.

Ben.

Ben

24, architect and former The Block NZ contestant

Best place in Auckland to go on a date?
Maybe Comedy Club? Yeah.

How much of a pre-date stalk is appropriate?
Ohhhh I reckon a flick through Instagram is probably worth it, y’know? And see who their best mate is… And maybe give her a look too…

Best first date food?
I don’t reckon food! I reckon start with a drink and transition to dinner later, maybe. What kind of drink? Whatever she’s into.

Worst date you’ve ever been on?
Maybe the one I got stood up on. Sat around for two hours and nothing happened.

How long after a date do you wait to contact them?
I don’t try to think about it. If I have an event coming up I’ll just invite her.

Why are you single?
I feel like I’ve had a few long term relationships and come out of those and now I’m just doing my own thing. But I’m obviously here so maybe I’m looking for something too. Who knows. 

The one quality that you look for in a potential partner?
One quality’s gotta be… gotta be able to have a laugh. For sure.

Do you factor star signs into your dating decision-making process?
No, I have heard of this whole star sign saga thing but no I don’t think I even know what my star sign is.

How far into a relationship do you change your relationship status on Facebook?
I don’t. If they do and then they get shitty at me for not doing it then I’ll do it but otherwise…

When you’re on a date, what deal breakers would make you leave straight away?
Deal breakers! Awkwardness, not laughing at my jokes. And both of those together.

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