Durham Dating: The Next Generation

Is dating at Durham about to get a whole lot easier?

Are there a few people around Durham you’ve always had your eye on but didn’t have the courage to ask them on a date? Or do you want the chance to finally break free of a friend-zone? Last Chance Charlie, a dating website set up for Durham University students, may be your answer. The website asks you to type in up to ten names of people you are interested in and they will let you know if any of your crushes have put down your name so you can find your perfect match. The results will be announced next week on Thursday 20th March with a social held in Fabio’s.

The company was set up by Durham students to eliminate doubt between students who don’t have the confidence to make a first move. They told The Bubble that ‘students are smart and can read if someone is eyeing them from across the bar, or can see an enticing smile at the library, but there is always that element of doubt, or uncertainty, or maybe just a lack of confidence.’ They believe that Last Chance Charlie will solve this issue and provide students with the opportunity to indirectly find out another’s feelings. The information is kept completely confidential and it is up to the participant what they do with a potential match or matches. But what happens to those who don’t get any matches? Unfortunately, they remain dateless, although a little clearer on whether their crush feels the same the way.

While this all sounds very exciting, will it actually help the participants to find love? On the one hand, some of the best relationships can come from people who were friends first – just look at Monica and Chandler or The Office’s Dawn and Tim to name two of the countless TV couples who went from bromance to romance! Sometimes all that’s needed is a little push in the right direction and this way of dating avoids the awkwardness of potential rejection. On the other hand, will it instil the participants with enough confidence to actually do something about the match they get back? With up to ten names being put down, you can never be sure whether you’re someone’s second, seventh or even tenth choice. Hopefully, the people participating will see the lighter side of having fun on dates they might not otherwise have gone on. After all, with end of term approaching any awkward situations will be forgotten about during the five weeks of (kind of) freedom.

Last Chance Charlie is not restricted to the best friends who want something more type situations. The company encourages participants to put down the names of those people they may only see on occasion, even suggesting to look up their full name in the student directory if they don’t know it. This is great if you have flirted with someone who you think has potential but don’t bump into them enough to take things further. Perhaps it’s that boy or girl who always ends up on the same desk as you in the library. Or someone you had a drunken kiss with in Lloyds and you’d like the chance to repeat the experience.

So how does Last Chance Charlie match up to other dating sites? For one it focuses on younger people which are often neglected by other online dating sites, although the rise of Tinder is starting to change this. Additionally, instead of pairing you up with strangers who you know nothing about except for a misleading photograph and dubiously reliable profile information, it’s all about people you already know. Considering the amount of students you encounter daily, chances are they’ll be someone you know who you would consider dating, saving all the hassle of getting to know someone from scratch! Another advantage the company mentioned is that it happens only once a year right before the end of term. They told us: ‘What is so great about our program is that it provides students with the best opportunity to find out more about the people they are already somewhat familiar with and foster those relationships through spring time, the best part of the year!’

You can register for Last Chance Charlie at http://lastchancecharlie.weebly.com/

Registration is open until Monday 17th March with the matches being released on Thursday 20th March.

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