Dating agencies create quirky events to attract singles

Instead of chatting up a potential date, accountant Chantel Liew will be doing it the old-school way - by writing notes.

Ms Liew, who is in her 30s, will do so in a new ice-breaking dating event in which participants communicate by exchanging notes with one another.

Organised by six-year-old dating agency Clique Wise, the 2½-hour event, aptly named Silent High Tea, takes place on Nov 25 and is open only to people who work in art and design, IT, engineering, healthcare, financial and teaching.

"The event suits these people who are good at expressing themselves through words or drawing, or they tend to be more introverted," says Clique Wise founder Lydia Gan.

Ms Liew says exchanging notes is better than awkward first-time conversations. "It will create better rapport when we meet each other face- to-face," she says.

Since Clique Wise advertised the event on its website last month, more than 10 people have signed up.

Organisations here are using unconventional methods to help singles loosen up, from dates where people gaze into each other's eyes to karaoke sessions where blindfolded women pick men based on their singing. Such events cost between $20 and $58 to attend.

Dating gimmicks are not new. Eyegazing parties, where people spend three minutes looking into each other's eyes before switching partners, reportedly started in the United States about seven years ago and also takes place in Britain.

Dating agencies here have also come up their own quirky activities to lure singles. Singles community network Singles Mingle has a half-day event, Singapore Romance On Wheels, which started seven years ago. It now takes place about four times a year.

A convoy of between six and eight cars travel to scenic spots such as Labrador Park, Mount Faber and HortPark. Each vehicle usually carries two men and two women. Drivers stay put but the passengers get into a different car at each location.

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