Dinner Club#5: 50 first (month) dates.

Hello Dinner Club fam,

It’s been a month since Dinner Club launched, and we’ve just completed 50 dates. Woohoo. On this happy note, I welcome the new members of Dinner Club who’ve joined us in the last week.

I’d love to be able to send each and every one of you on at least one Dinner Club date before this experiment ends next month. However, thanks to liquidity (rather the lack of it), some of you may unfortunately not have a chance to experience it. I know that you’ve waited long to experience this, and honestly, I’ve been waiting for someone relevant to come along as well, but it is what it is. So, you may be curious

…how does the matching work?

It’s really simple - I use Bayes theorem. I start with a prior, and update based on feedback after each date.

So, what makes up my prior? In other words, how do I set up the first date?

A - Most women (not all!) are open to dating men who are -2 to +5years relative to their ages and have specific preferences wrt relationship status.

B - Quite a few men and women prefer to date someone from the same city, although these are virtual dates with no strings attached.

C - Most importantly, there is a complex compatibility layer that includes things like niceness, profession, education, personal traits, interests outside of work, style of expressing themselves, vibe, confidence, etc. which are fairly subjective. This is where my hunch comes in. It is based on years of listening to hundreds of people like you talk about what they like and don’t like about their dates.

Now if you were me, you’d probably do it differently.

Anyway, so when you sign up, I go through your profile at least twice. Thereafter, I have all the details imprinted in my head. Then I try to list 1-3 matches for you based on criteria C, which I update on a weekly basis. Then, I apply filters A and B (age and city respectively). What’s left of it is what you get.

Remember that at the end of this, more often than not, there are zero matches for most of you unless you are in the mode of the distribution. So, I reach out to some of you asking if you’re open to meeting someone from another city or someone younger/ much older because there simply isn’t anyone who I feel you’re likely to get along with within your preferred age range and city. If you’re even slightly open, I experiment a little with a 33-67% match. If you’re not, then we just wait.

There is an additional layer of complexity which is your availability, but usually I find a way to get around it unless it’s too painful.

Now, at this point, you might say things like “woah woah woah, you might have completely misjudged my personality and that’s why you haven’t found anyone for me”. I’ll be honest, we don’t have a million people on Dinner Club. We don’t even have 1000 people on Dinner Club, so believe me when I say this - I am not denying you your soulmate. By the third date, you’re likely to have met at least one person who is 70% of what you’re looking for. But if I don’t send you on a second or third date by the end of this experiment, it just means I simply do not have anyone who meets A, B or C.

But as promised initially, at the end of 3 months, I will personally reach out to each of you approved members (those I’ve met/ whose videos I’ve received) with an explanation of why I was unable to send you even on one date on Dinner Club.


About this week

When I connected two people on an email, the guy responded with a bunch of flowers as an attachment. This had to be the highlight of my week. It’s moments like these that make spending hours orchestrating Dinner Club worth it. I do what I do because I get to fall in love everyday, through other people’s stories.

While we had a lot of double opt-ins last week, this week has been mixed. Here’s what some had to say:

Very engaging, was able to discuss a lot of topics while keeping things light. Similar backgrounds so we seemed to have a few relatable topics

The onus on picking the next thing to talk about came to me a little more than on my date.

He was very kind, genuine and authentic.

In the first few seconds I realised that I didn't want to take it anywhere.


Learnings

  • Respect is the foundation of good relationships. Be it consent, turning up when you’re supposed to, leaving feedback after a date and not leaving the other person hanging or saying goodbye before you leave doesn’t take much. Yet, some of us find it incredibly hard to reciprocate respect. I’ll never understand why.

  • If there’s a double opt-in after the first date, I introduce over email. So, there is no need for any of you to request contact information during the first date.

  • There are three kinds of people on Dinner Club: People who want to meet new and interesting people of the opposite gender (or same, depending on their orientation) and see what comes off it, people who want to explore the possibility of a relationship and people who are actively looking for a partner. I’ve had the most difficulty distinguishing between the last two kinds.

  • This is the best and the worst time to date. You’ll never be as open to meeting new people as you are right now, but you’ll also never be as fatigued as you are. So, depending on what day it is, you could either have a great experience, or not.


Cool Date Ideas

This week, I’ve received feedback that some of my ice-breakers are crazy. In his exact words, “I am not going to share what my fondest childhood memory is with a stranger.” Fair enough. So, I am going to have to crowd source this one.

I will pick two people who give me interesting ideas and set them up on a blind date next Saturday at 7pm.


Dinner Club Events

It was a pleasure to host the event yesterday. As intended, it was intimate, everyone participated graciously and overall, I think it was quite nice. For those of you who wanted to attend but couldn’t, here’s a related video.

Next week, there’s yet another interactive workshop: Assessing Your League. This one’s going to help you think about whether your expectations from a partner are realistic or not. The event is…

On 8 August 2020, Saturday at 11:00AM IST. 

The event is priced at 5 social credits per person as this is a shorter session.

RSVP


What’s up next week?

Applications to Dinner Club close on 31 July. Thereafter, all the focus will be on trying to set up as many first dates as possible. I still have a humungous backlog of people to set up, so anyone who hasn’t joined Dinner Club by 31 July can participate in the next cohort of Dinner Club. I don’t yet know if and when that will happen, but for now, they will enter a waitlist.

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