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Dating in Dublin

Sure look, dating is an absolute minefield.

Let's be honest here, there are few among us who don't have at least one 'First Date' horror story; a tale of such woe our friends have forced us time and time again to regale them with it.

Nevermind that the mere memory of the encounter leaves us clammy-handed and vaguely distressed, other people's dating stories are fair game.

They're awkward, they're agonising, and they're also hugely entertaining… as long as you didn't have to endure them.

And that, ladies,  is why we'll be featuring weekly instalments from Swipe Right – a blog about the ups and downs of dating in Dublin. 

If there's a woeful date to be had, this gal has had it…

The Match

This guy looked cute: five fairly normal looking pictures of himself.

One with his GAA mates, one of him smiling into the camera showing off fabulous dimples.

OK, one of him in some kind of Thunderbirds costume not great, but hey at least I know he’s game for a laugh at Halloween.

I swipe right and it’s a match.

The Chat 

He messaged me about two hours later.


Hmmm OK, not the best start.

Hey there, how you doin?” I reply. I know, I know, not exactly bantastic myself.

Good now, yeah, any craic wit yerself?"

Do I tell him I’m currently sitting on my bed in my pyjama bottoms and house hoodie (with a food stain down the front) about to stream an episode of Orange is the New Black?

Ah not too much craic to be fair, just chilling." Ugh God, I can’t be bothered to enter into a conversation now.

You’re looking well in your pictures anyway, nicest smile I’ve seen in a long time.

Ahh, that’s nice. Hmmm ok maybe OITNB can wait a minute.

Not too bad yourself, I love your dimples, where you from?

Limerick but living up in Dublin….. you?”

Ah cool, I’m from Dublin, I’ve never been on a date with a guy from Limerick before.

Ah we’re the best, we’ll have to rectify that soon so, fancy a drink this week?

Shite, this is moving pretty fast but I’m actually dying to know what Piper and co. have been up to, so maybe if I agree now I can chat to him more tomorrow.

Yeah, sure why not?

Great. How are ye fixed tomorrow?

Shite. It’s actually the only day I’m free this week though! My inner monologue kicks in….Ah go on, best way to get over one man is to get under another just do it, what’s the worst the can happen?

Yeah cool, sounds good, here’s my number…..”

The Date 

He couldn’t decide on a venue, said he was only up in Dublin the last few months so he asked me to choose.

I picked the No Name Bar on Fade Street, mostly cause I like to sit outside and have a smoke.

I get there on time and there’s no sign of him. I get myself a drink and go outside and sit on a bench table. 10 minutes later and still no sign.

He messages saying he’s having trouble finding the place but will be there soon. Ugh God, he obviously doesn’t know anywhere in Dublin.

As I’m sitting there smoking and sipping on my Moijito I spot a hot guy on his own near the bar.

I start to fantasise that my date won’t show and this hot guy comes over to ask me for a light, we get chatting and 10 years later we’re married with kids and we tell everyone we met when I got stood up on a date and he came to my res…. My date showed up.


He looks nothing, and I mean nothing like his pictures.

He is legitimately about three stone heavier.

His dimples have been swallowed up by his chubby cheeks. His legs are what can only be described as trunk like inside his too tight, shiny, grey work suit. His hair is schleped down on his head. I shit you not he looks like a lost member of the D’unbelieveables.

“Howaye” he says bounding over to me. He plonks himself down on the bench right next to me so his legs are touching mine.

“Eh hi, nice to meet you” I stammer retreating backwards.

“Jaysis it was fierce hard to find this place” he says in the thickest Limerick accent I’ve ever heard. It reminds me of that Digicell ad from the 90s. ”Its me yer man from the bar”

“Sorry now for being late, I was hoping to be able to go and freshen myself up before I saw ya, I’m schweating like a pony, look at my back.”

To my sheer horror, he proceeded to shrug off his cheap and shiny jacket and turned to show me a huge sweat patch down his shirt back.

“Oh, ha ha, that’s ok” I mumble

“Would ya like a drink?”

I look at my half empty Moijito and say: ”No I’m grand, thanks. I have a full one here.”

He bounds off to the bar leaving me speechless and slightly panicked.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m no shrinking violet and I wouldn’t be winning any Kate Moss lookalike competitions myself, but this lad is the definition of false advertising.

I contemplate doing a runner but I can’t do that to the poor fella. I hastily light up a cigerette and take a long sip on my drink.

I admonish myself for being such a Shallow Hal and tell myself he might be the nicest guy ever. He’s back, pint in hand, and there is sweat dripping down his forehead. Oh, God.

“So, do ya live near here then?” he says with a big huge smile. He’s trying his best, bless him.

“Um yep bout 15 minutes away, how bout you?”

“Ah do you know Mountjoy prison? I live not too far away from there," he replied.

“Oh right……” What do I say: that must be nice, living near all the criminals?

“Do you live on your own?” I attempt.

“Ah no, theres about eight of us, I share a room with a Polish lad, it’s cheap as chips, sure I go home nearly every weekend so I don’t want to be paying mad money for a swanky apartment ye know yerself, its grand like, gets a bit messy the odd time, there’s a few Romanian lads kipping on the couch at the minute, friends with one of the lads that lives there too.”

I’m literally agog at this point. But he keeps going. It’s a stream of consciousness that lasts for about 10 minutes.

“Do ye like tea, do ye? A lot of the lads drink coffee but I like tea myself, I bet you’re a Lyon’s girl, I’m a Barry’s man meself. That’s what I do, ye see. I work in coffee, distributor around all the Costa and coffee chains, it’s grand, I get me own van and all that, not a big fan of coffee though, it’s funny that isn’t it. I put on a bit o’weight ye see after I took the job. Had to give up the GAA cause I’m on the road a lot so I was missing the training, and I do like my food. I’m a sucker for a breakfast roll in the morning, I bet you like a breakfast roll, you strike me as a girl who enjoys her food. Gorgeous so ye are, I like your dress, you sure you don’t want another drink? What’s that fancy yoke ye have there, that one of them Mojo things is it?

“Um a Moijito”

“Will ya have another one”

“No, no I’m grand thanks” I say as I slurp the last remaining liquid from the glass.

He’s still talking though.

“Ah yeah like its grand at the moment with the lads, a bit crowded though in fairness,. Do ye know where I’d like to live, on a boat. Like Rosie and Jim, do ye remember Rosie and Jim? Lived on a Barge, I’d love to…”

“Eh I’m sorry I’m going to have to stop you there," I say.

 His face drops.

“I’m so sorry I just don’t think this is going to work out for me, I’m a bit tired so I’m just gonna go, so sorry” I say as I scramble to pick up my bag and my jacket.

“What are ye sorry for, it’s grand, ah no no no sure no need to be sorry, it was lovely to meet you…”

He’s still talking as I’m backing out the door.

I get a text an hour later. “Lovely to meet you, fancy doing it again sometime?”

Christ, this dating thing is going to be harder than I thought.

If you want to learn more abour Ariana's dating exploits, be sure to keep up to date on Swipe Right's Facebook page.


Dublin is home to an array of incredible venues and attractions, and yet most of us find ourselves stumped when it comes to choosing a spot for a date.

Whether you want to break the ice on a first date or inject a little excitement into a 41st date, we’ve all found ourselves scratching our heads and racking our brains before eventually plumping for pints… again.

If you’re sick of the same old spots, and only dying to have an Insta-worthy day or night out, then why not wow your other half with one of the following?

1. Go steppin’

Hosted by Dublin’s swish Number 22 on Anne Street South, the Slide Step Dance Company take the audience on a journey through the incredible world of dance.

From the social dances of the past to the cutting edge modern choreography of Ireland today, the guys and gals behind the award-winning troupe will provide you and your SO with some serious entertainment.

2. Go vintage

Travel back in time on your date with a trip to the Café Society of a Saturday night.

Café Society is a 12-piece big band performing songs and compositions made famous by Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Cab Calloway, Fats Waller at Number 22, so if you’re a vintage girl at heart, this is the perfect date spot for you.

3. Go climbin’

If you and your other half are the active sorts, then why not incorporate a little exercise into your date by opting for a rock-climbing session?

Fun, exhilarating and definitely something to share on Insta, this is one date you’ll chat about for weeks to come.

4. Go rummagin’

Our capital city is awash with vintage markets at the weekend, and there’s nothing more relaxing than having a root through the stalls with your other half.

They say one man’s trash is another’s man’s treasure, so why not spend the afternoon snapping up some serious bargains?

5. Go disco’in

If you and your SO are all about drinks and disco, then it’s time to hit up The Glitter Ball at Number 22.

A throwback to disco‘s heyday, this Saturday night attraction will transport you from Dublin’s city centre to the glitz and glamour of 1970s New York.


Brought to you by

Behind the blue door at Number Twenty Two is a unique and exclusive venue that combines the Library bar, restaurant and theatre club. For more info click here