Physically unable to ‘get out there’, many of us feel confined – missing out on dating opportunities.
But, in the face of adversity, owner of FastLove Speed Dating, Ajaz, didn’t sit back and watch his business fall.
Instead, he took it online.
Already boasting a strong success rate from his events (200 weddings and counting), FastLove Speed Dating has made its mark on digital dating, and won’t be slowing down anytime soon.
Here Ajaz and I talk about speed dating, finding love in lockdown, and everything in between.
Tell us about FastLove Speed Dating, what made you want to create your own events?
When I first heard about speed dating, I was intrigued. Single and ready to meet someone, I immediately signed up to an event in Manchester. Not just from a love point of view – I also thought it was a great business idea.
After a nervy start, I ended up having a really good time. I live in Liverpool and no one was doing it there, so I contacted a few people and set up my own events.
Eventually, I expanded to cover the North West and Yorkshire, and Fastlove is now the biggest speed dating company in the North.
Why do you think speed dating works so well?
First of all, it allows you to meet a lot of single people in a very short time, which is ideal.
Also, you get a unique buzz from talking and flirting with so many new people.
You can uncover someone’s personality more than you can over messaging. And of course, physical appearances can’t be gilded.
You’ve moved to virtual speed dating due to the current climate, how has it gone? Do you think virtual speed dating is here to stay?
It’s early days, but it’s gone pretty well so far. The feedback from the people that have taken part so far has been fantastic! Obviously, with the current situation, it’s great to be able to meet new people. But people also love the convenience of meeting others from their own home.
We will definitely be carrying on with virtual events after face-to-face events come back, I think the whole lockdown situation has normalised the idea of conducting your social life on video conferencing apps like Zoom and Houseparty.
What’s the success rate for your clients? Do many go on second dates, or even find ‘the one’?
Since we started in 2003, we’ve heard of about nearly 200 weddings, which works out at roughly one per month.
There will be others that we haven’t heard about, and there will also be plenty of long-term relationships that haven’t resulted in marriage (yet!), as well as shorter relationships and countless dates.