Where is the love? Tips for finding romantic connections

LEYLA YVONNE ERGIL
ISTANBUL
Published 22.01.2019 00:17
Yabangee’s speed dating event will bring lonely hearts together on Jan. 25.
Yabangee’s speed dating event will bring lonely hearts together on Jan. 25.

With less than a month left for Valentine's Day, singles in Istanbul are looking for the love of their life with speed dating and match-making events organized by the city's expat community

While January might feel like the loneliest month of the year for expats, what with the holidays having passed and the cold weather bogging us down, remember that February, the month in which love is celebrated, is just around the corner. Thus, if you are single and ready to mingle, there are a number of activities and avenues to try and take a shot at being hit by cupid's arrow.

On Friday, Jan. 25, Yabangee will be teaming up with First Sight to host a very special "Find Your Valentines Single Night," which will take place in English. Yabangee is a volunteer-driven website and community geared toward the English-speaking expat community and First Sight is a speed dating organization. Together, they have created two different networking activities on the same night for people hoping to make a romantic connection to have the opportunity to meet and mingle with other English speakers.

The event kicks off at 8 p.m. with "Quick Match Rounds," which are similar to speed dating, will four-minute rounds of one-on-one conversation with different people. From 10 p.m. onward, there will be a "Networking Party," which will have specially designed games played to help people engage as singles and enjoy themselves into the night.

This special matchmaking evening will be taking place at an undisclosed location, which will only be revealed to those who make the guest list. That's because the professionals at First Sight and Yabangee will be carefully curating the list of attendees to emphasize the compatibility of all guests. Entry for both the Quick Match Rounds and the Networking Party is TL 100, while entrance to the Networking Party alone will be TL 30. However, those wanting to make the list must be between the ages of 25 and 35 and need to fill out a short form on firstsightdate.net to find out the event's secret location.

Turkey meet speed-dating with First Sight

First Sight singlehandedly introduced the speed dating concept to Turkey. Brought to Turkey by Yasemen Aydın in 2016, First Sight hosts regular Speed Dating events in Istanbul and occasionally other cities in Turkey and has teamed up with Yabangee before to host English-language speed dating events. One of the most exciting part about First Sight's events is that the following day, the organizers send emails to the participants to reveal their potential matches, in other words they reveal "who liked who" on the night of the speed dating event. First Sight holds speed dating events for Turkish speakers over the age of 26 regularly.

InterNations has something for everyone

InterNations is a worldwide member-based professional expat networking organization that has an active community in Istanbul. In addition to hosting "Expat only" events, such as the one coming up next week, they also have dozens of theme-based social activity groups that meet up regularly offering a wide selection of ways to become involved with likeminded individuals.

On Tues Jan. 22, InterNations will be holding their next "Exclusive Expat Only Event" at Sunset Bar & Grill in Ulus. The event starts at 7 p.m. with a welcome drink and lounge music, and there will be approximately 200 attendees from nearly 70 countries. What is great about these events is that if you are an expat with a foreign I.D., you can attend without signing up by simply paying an entry fee at the door of TL 60. The cost to attend is discounted for members based on their type of membership. Not only will this allow you to experience an InterNations gathering to decide whether you want to become a member, but you also get to do so in one of the most elegant and stylish venues in Istanbul equipped with spectacular views of the Bosporus Bridge and the Asian shoreline.

In total, InterNations has five membership communities in Turkey: namely in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Bodrum and Antalya. While some are more active than others, each have events of interest coming up. However, the Istanbul InterNations community is understandably by far the most active. There are over two dozen different social activity groups for people in every stage of their life, whether its meeting after work, going skiing, playing tennis, walking or running or even playgroups for kids, there are multiple events held nearly every day all over Istanbul in connection to InterNations.

There is also an InterNations Istanbul Singles Group that will be organizing an event for Thursday, Jan. 24 and will be a free Argentinean Tango workshop and participants are welcome to come on their own as partners will be rotated throughout the class.

Finding love from the comfort of your phone

Let's face it, these days there are a wide number of apps geared specifically to making romantic connections. But with so many apps to choose from it's hard to know where to best spend your time hunting for love. Last year, the popular relationship Q&A website Kızlar Soruyor, held a poll to find out which apps were the favorite among their users. In the survey, which had 11,325 participants, Instamessage was by far the most favored app. This application, which allows Instagram contacts to chat, was voted on by 40 percent of the women and 35 percent of the males who participated. This should come as no surprise as it was recently released by Ajans Press with 37 million users, Turkey comes in fifth in the world for having the most Instagram accounts of which there are nearly 1 billion in total. Interestingly enough, the social networking and dating app Badoo beat out Tinder, known for its trademark swiping, coming in at second place and in third, respectively.

Meanwhile, keep your eyes peeled for the new release of Facebook's Dating Service, which will allow users to create a separate dating profile for a unique algorithm to create matches within a 100 kilometer radius. The service has been tested in Colombia and will soon be rolled out in Canada and Thailand as a start, but surely at some point will end up in Turkey as well.

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