“A lot of times, people go to the wrong places to meet people. When you’re at a club, the music is loud, alcohol is flowing, and there are too many variables in the way that could cause a bad decision. Sometimes people try to force a serious relationship because of lack of patience,” declared Erin Gay, founder of LINK Bahamas.
She had the idea for the dating service when she noticed her friends kept complaining ‘there’s no good females, or no good males’, so one day, just for fun, she posted on Facebook: ‘All my single friends, inbox me’, and surprisingly, they did! With her strong history of event-planning, it all just came together.
Bahamas Entertainment attended the most recent event, held at 1er Cru, which had vibin’ music, free-flowing wine, and enough chocolate to satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth. Since everyone came out with a mind to being social, it wasn’t as much of an issue that fewer males than anticipated were in attendance because everyone was able to chat and make new friends.
Erin stated, “I feel great! Encouraged by the great turnout! Everyone enjoyed themselves. They mingled, they interacted and they participated in the speed dating.” Moving forward, she has plans for an open-house in October wherein persons who are still unsure what Link is, or what speed-dating is, can be introduced to the concepts. Furthermore, she’d like to introduce more products and services, such as personal match-making, and private speed dating parties. Additionally, there are plans to offer services for those already in a relationship such as planning special date nights!
Kedar Clarke has been the host for several LINK events, and enjoys the open-room concept because it gives him a chance to go around asking guests to share their opinions on the dating scene in Nassau, as well as their own personal reasons for being single. Here’s just taste of the responses from the September 20th event:
“Oftentimes I date people and I find out we’re not on the same page. I just haven’t met somebody that’s on the same page.”
“Over a year single, but dating…You go on dates, you meet people, but it seems like everyone is just wanting to have fun. At 32 with no kids, I don’t have time for that. I have a good career, things going for me, why waste my time?”
I’m 34. I have a daughter and I’m not ready to have another child. If he doesn’t have children, then the pressure is on. If a man already has a child, he doesn’t necessarily want anymore.”
“I’m pretty open, to be honest. I think everybody is so individual…I’d like to explore somebody for a period of time. Everybody’s been so disappointed. But for me, I look at it as a new experience every time. Plus, I can cook. You can cook for me on Tuesday, but you get cooked for every other day.”
“I’m glad we’re here because it’s progressive. We’re at a point where we’re not afraid. A lot of bad people hook up It’s time for some good people to hook up.”
“Younger days were more superficial. You put up with more as you’re older because it doesn’t bother you as much. External appearances aren’t as important as they used to be.”
“If you open yourself up to Man X 4 times, why would you still bother texting Man Y? When I meet a nice guy, we meet at the movies, I ask, ‘are you single?’ and he says yes, and before you know it, there’s a woman that’s glaring or coming up to say something, and you hear: ‘Oh, she’s not my girlfriend’ but he misses the point. . . ‘Does she THINK she’s your girlfriend?”
“I believe that the only way to be truly unhappy is to pine for that which you do not have. Aside from divorces, there’s too many miserable marriages. I think people are trained to believe that their lives are not complete without children and a significant other.”
Host, Kedar, spoke candidly about his own thoughts on the dating scene: “The older you get, the more likely it is that you will end up dating someone with children. I can be very sociaable, but I am guarded when it comes to my personal space.”
“My perfect first date is just sitting on the wharf with a bottle of wine, just talking all night. I think it’s a waste of time to do something fancy or with too many other people involved.”
“Everyone wants someone, but they are generally unwilling to compromise. No one gives anyone a reality check – outside of your friends – but if your friends are equally as jaded, then you still have an issue.”
One of aspects of LINK that really makes them stand out, is that they offer speed dating. This is basically just a chance to have short mini-dates with multiple people throughout the evening wherein you can chat and determine whether you might be interested in meeting that person again. Each participant keeps track of their dates, and at the end of the night, all of the score cards are tallied to see if there are any matches. If there are, Erin contacts the people and suggests that they get together for coffee etc. If someone is not successful in finding a match, they offer words of encouragement and constructive feedback.
Link does their best to screen people and stress the importance of being honest. They do not promote using their service to cheat on a partner. Even if you don’t find a romantic partner, you might meet a business partner or friend.
Near the end of the night, we caught up with a few of the speed dating participants, and it turns out that everyone had a good experience with it.
One woman told us that “the dating scene is dismal” and that she was frustrated by the “cycle of cheaters,”claiming that she’s single because she “doesn’t share well, and Bahamian men like to share. “I could share if we agreed up front that we’re sharing, but it’s a trust issue.” She was eager to see where the night led, as she admitted to having been “lazy about dating” up until this point.
Another lady stated,”It was interesting to meet new people and get new perspectives, and I’m looking forward to finding out if the people I liked like me!”
Typically a shy guy, one man explained that the only reason he came out to the event was because he learned who the organizers were and that gave him reassurance that it would be a great event. “I enjoyed myself. I don’t know if I made any romantic connections, but I did get to stretch outside my comfort zone which is something I was aiming to do. I’ve definitely made a few friends at the very least. It was a comfortable atmosphere. No overbearing music, so you got to hear what everyone was saying. After a while, the speed dating became more comfortable.”