Dinner Club#3: We filter, you date.

Hello Dinner Club fam,

I was invited last weekend to speak about Dinner Club at Weekly Brainstorm, an event organised by a start-up accelerator. It was fun to see how people think about this from a business perspective.

But, Dinner Club isn’t a start-up, it’s an experimental project. It’s a project that I intended to run for 3 months. This means, I will stop taking in applications by the end of July 2020, and conclude with the experiment by end of August 2020.

Personally, I get to learn a lot about the dating dynamics and the matching market in general. You get to meet new people, get insights through these newsletters and hopefully, this experiment will influence you the way you think about dating in some way.

We had 100+ sign ups pre-launch, which means, some of you may not have had the chance to see the website. After deliberating for a bit, I found this tag line apt:

“We filter, you date.”

You’ve little control over who you meet, I’ve little control over how your date turns out. You finding Dinner Club, signing up on it and me matching you with a certain person is all a big plot by the universe, and we’re all just merely playing along.

The only thing I am certain about is this - being able to meet someone new and interesting is a LOT of work, especially as a single person looking to date, and even more in these times. When I say work, it’s not just the logistics around getting till a date, it also has a lot to do with our own judgements, biases and need to control little things that don’t allow us to give someone a chance.

So, I wondered, if you could surrender the logistics and the control to someone else, and also get help to be date-ready, would the resulting conversation be any different.

The answer I’ve found is “Yes”.

I’ve seen the most unexpected matches work, and the most expected matches not work.

You’ve all been so open to meeting someone quite different and unexpected. It amazes me that most of you do want to come back and try this again. Your openness and resilience is truly humbling. And those of you who are still waiting your turn, your patience is immensely appreciated.

About this week

This has been a mixed week. We’d 15 dates scheduled, of which 5 were cancelled last minute. On the bright side, the few dates that went on schedule turned out well.

“Really liked that we’d many things in common and could connect well with the little time we had.”

“He was super sweet, I enjoyed talking to him.”

“It'd have been great to see her open up a bit more and have a wee bit more initiative in driving the conversation.”


As usual, I’ve learnt many things about you, me and the world in general:

  • Despite being a good people-reader, I am only as good as my database. I’m never going to have access to all the single people in the world, and neither will you. We make the best of what we have - me with matches, and you with dates.

  • Some of you are too kind offering money and coffee. Much too flattered. If you want to thank me with a public testimonial, I’ll take that! ;)

  • I’ve had a hard time understanding why some of you found your dates less relevant. On popular request, I’ve now added a new field in the post-date feedback form where you can tell me what you are looking for. There’s a reason I’ve put this on the feedback form and not the application form…

    I’d like to give you a chance only once you’ve given Dinner Club a chance.

Cool Date Ideas

People think that having similar interests is important to connect, but I beg to differ.

I lived in Barcelona for a couple of years. My flatmate was a hard-working French physicist who took his food seriously. We’ve no common interests. Over time, we learnt that we are intense in similar ways, we geek out in similar ways and we find humour or pain in similar things. He’s one of my closest friends, but I would’ve never imagined connecting had I met him on an app or spent just 30min with him.

Time is the best thing you can give someone - just as you and I are doing with each other. So, your second dates with the same person will be for a longer duration.

Humans of Dinner Club

This week, I wanted to do something fun with this section. Here’s someone I find very interesting. If you found this interesting too, write to me. May be I’ll set you up ;)

Hey there! Small town guy here living and working in Bangalore, and dreaming beyond his means. Addicted to hope and tortured by it too. A hibernating poet looking for a muse. Think too much about life in hopes I'd avoid a mid-life crisis. Like, I really want to have my moment when my extra rich friends are binging on Eckhart Tolle. On our date, we'll mostly talk about music, culture wars, human behaviour, meditation and spirituality.

I think, this can be like the Dinner Club version of…

Dinner Club Events

I am organising the first ever event on Dinner Club. This is a 60-min interactive workshop on Identifying your Partner Type. This will be held…

On 25th July 2020, Saturday at 11:00AM IST.

I’ll share a link to RSVP in next week’s newsletter. This is just a heads up.

Dinner Club Dating Insights

This is a new section that I will add occasionally when someone from Dinner Club shares insights from their date that could be super useful for rest of the Club. This week, we’ll talk about…

How to read the signs when you’re being friend-zoned.

  • When someone gets overly comfortable and uses specific terms such as dude, bro, etc. you know you’re tying them a rakhi next year.

  • If the other person isn’t reacting or continuing a conversation you just started, you know that they’ve zoned out.

  • Body language is another - if they’re leaning in to listen, and attempting to lighten the mood, there might be hope.

  • When you discuss a broad range of generic topics without ever going deep into any of them, you know it’s a conversation neither of you will ever remember.

What’s up next week

  • The new scheduling tracker (for those who signed up pre-July 3rd) is yet to prove useful since less than 25% of have filled it. So, we’ll be setting up fewer dates in the following week.

  • Monday-Wednesday this week, I am opening up Proper Sessions at 8pm. These are for anyone who wants to discuss their dating troubles outside of Dinner Club, and get an outsider’s perspective. If you want to put one proper session, here’s a link.

If you’d like to invite your friends to dinner club, share a link to the landing page…

Share now

More from Dinner Club

Sharing things I’ve read, watched, listened to or written/ said myself: