For some, being single on Valentine’s Day is almost like hell on earth, with all the sickly lovey-doveyness almost unavoidable, and there was certainly no escape this year. Even if you were to head to the library for a bit of study to escape couples staring doefully into each other’s eyes; unfortunately, Swansea University’s library decided to make February 14th ‘Love your Library’ day, and pink heart shaped paper was everywhere. Luckily for us, RAG had some light-hearted solutions to cheer up any miserable singleton, with their Cupid Gnomes out in full force and Speed Dating in Divas Monday evening. What better way for Elena Cresci to have a laugh on the dreaded Valentine’s Day?

I have to say, I never thought I’d see myself speed dating, but it’s one of those things I’ve always wanted to have a go at, not to mention that it was all in aid of charity. It’s safe to say that I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. To be quite honest, I didn’t think any guys would turn up at all! Luckily, I wasn’t facing the unknown alone; Sammy was there repping The Siren alongside me, while General Secretary Sarah ‘Woody’ Woodvine and my old partner in crime Zahid Raja came along for a laugh as well. Inevitably, we all felt that a certain amount of dutch courage was required, so it was just as well the bar was open. Beers on the go, we scoped out the potentials and the competition, and much to my surprise, there were a few more boys than girls. Definitely an unexpected turn out.

Dutch courage for Len

What was worrying us most of all was probably the anticipation of being judged based purely on initial impressions, especially when we were given slips of paper with spaces to grade your partner on a scale of 1 to 10 based on looks, conversation and personality and whether you’d like to snog, date or avoid your date. Even without the grading system, it’s difficult not to feel nervous at the prospect of a 6 minute date. What if you offended your date horrendously? What if you ran out of things to say? Worse still, what if you’d already been romantically linked with the person opposite? Thankfully, as the evening got underway, none of these scenarios were the case, and it became clear that no one was taking the ratings that seriously.

6 minutes go by amazingly quickly once you get some banter going on. Anyone who knows me knows how much of a loud mouthed ladette I can be, and sat with my Becks in one hand and biro in the other, I spared them none of the classic Len ‘charm’. Naturally there was some awkwardness, but thankfully the old ‘sooooo… what are you studying at University?’ was a nice save on that front. It did make me wonder how different the scenario would have been had we gone speed dating at The Cricketers that night instead of Divas; at least at RAG’s event, there was already the common ground of the University to fall back on! Not to mention that my last few dates were all involved in the media side of the University, meaning our conversations were pretty much pre-determined!

While Sammy got an unexpected match, and Zahid was matched up with our favourite Canadian Caroline B, Woody and I were matchless… but who cares? I had a lot of fun, some interesting conversations and wasn’t sat at home moping on Valentine’s Day. Besides which, Woody and I ended up having a fabulous date in JCs over a romantic meal (chips from Le Cafe) and drinks (Becks and a double vodka lemonade please), followed by much in the way of crazy dancing at Oceana’s Censored event! I bagged myself a hot blonde, I clearly win at Valentine’s Day.

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