Remember back in the day how your friends, knowing you were single, would say "You should meet my friend Brian, he's lovely, I think you two would hit it off". Now you're left to flounder, literally if you're on the dating website Plenty of Fish, which, somewhat ironically seems to be populated by men who enjoy fishing, given the number of profile photos containing said flounders.
But I digress. But first I have to digress a little more. A while back I wrote a story about the best places to go out in Canberra if you were over 40. An age, perhaps, where if you find yourself on the singles scene again, things aren't quite as you remember them. I was contacted by Aerin, a lovely woman who has set up a service in Canberra called The Third Wheel. It's all about getting back on the bike, but has nothing to do with cycling.
The Third Wheel is essentially a matchmaking business. Aerin, who has a background in communications and relationship building, is happily married with a child. Her aim with her venture is to help people connect and if it goes beyond that even better.
It works like this. Get in contact with Aerin via thethirdwheel.com.au, there's a form to fill out where you can give her as much, or as little, information about yourself as you want, your values and interests, deal breakers and what you're looking for. Once you've paid the registration fee of $200, you're covered for the rest of the initial process. There's a 30 minute consultation with Aerin, just a time to have a chat about what it is you're looking for. She then matches you with someone from her clientele list she believes you'll have a bit in common with, and then she organises a date of your choice. There's also a follow-up consultation to discuss how your date went and whether you'd like to meet again or whether you would like to be matched again with someone else.
The service is aimed at people 35+, but younger people are welcome and matching is done with age appropriateness in mind, all sexual preferences are catered for, and dates are tailor made to suit the client's interests.
After my initial chat with Aerin, where I was open and honest about how the process would indeed become a We Tried, but how I was also interested from a personal point of view, we decided to go ahead with the process.
It was interesting thinking about what it was that I wanted - if anyone has any idea what that is please let me know. The consultation with Aerin was great fun in fact, she's a good listener, knows how to get people talking, not afraid to ask questions that get you thinking about all sorts of things you might not have thought about if you are getting back into the dating game.
She thought she had a client who would be well suited, I suggested something we could do on our date - as the paying client, it's your call on this one, I liked that too. There was a phone call a few days before the date where she gave up a little information about him, not too much, just a teaser, and he received a similar one about me.
And then here's the fun bit. It's not called The Third Wheel for nothing. To get rid of all that hard bit in a first blind date, Aerin actually shows up to introduce you, gives you a starting point for a conversation, something she's picked up about you in the process. For this date, where we were doing something rather than just a drink or a coffee, she brought along a couple of drinks and some nibbles for us to enjoy. And then once she sees you'll be ok she leaves.
The Verdict: If we're talking about the actual date, that's none of your business. A great idea for those of us who have put their dating training wheels back on. The caring and professional service takes a lot of the hard work out of finding a potential match. Jump on the bike Canberra and get your name on Aerin's list. She's looking to expand her clientele.