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University of Copenhagen
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Judge at first sight: Speed dating in Copenhagen

As I find my feet in Copenhagen, most people I meet are fellow international students. But with speed dating, finding Danish love may actually be easy

After five weeks of Danish language courses and international student events every other night, the majority of friends I have made in Denmark have been fellow internationals.

So when the University Post asked me to go speed dating event in Copenhagen, I thought I’d give it a try.

Speedy way to meet Danes

The difficulty with being an international student is unfortunate but all too inevitable: you make some great friends, but none of them are Danish.

The idea then of finding Danish love seems all too improbable and impractical, especially when you’re not actually inclined to meet the locals.

The best way I found to resolve this conundrum is surely speed dating. What could be better for meeting Danes quickly and efficiently than a six-minute conversation in a cornered-off section of a lavish restaurant?

Ticking the right boxes

So here I am, stood here in front of my mirror. And this is where I get a little bit nervous: I’m about to meet a parade of ladies from Denmark.

Will they be like the diverse breed from my native UK, or will I find a different personality under the small talk? The butterflies begin as I walk down the stairs of my apartment and onto the street below.

At the bar I quickly received a name tag and little card with a pen. The idea is that you write down your counterpart’s name after you have chatted, and tick ‘ja’ or ‘nej’ in the accompanying column.

Brutal, but effective.

Let the dates commence

It was actually not that bad.

This was my opportunity to meet the Danes, and it was not a nerve-wracking nightmare of failed anecdotes, inopportune sneezes and a twitchy eye, but quite a relaxing way of getting to know someone.

With international students, you go through the same old dross about their course, where they’re originally from, and how amazing that holiday was you once had 200 miles from where they actually live.

No, chatting to the locals means you can talk about other stuff, interesting stuff; the city, the people and Denmark itself, and with an experienced mind.

Intellectual chit chat

This is where that pre-semester Danish language course came in handy: »Jeg hedder Joe. Jeg kommer fra England, og jeg kan ikke tale dansk«.

Perfect, you’ve set yourself up as someone who is willing to try, for there is nothing more awkward that meeting a lovely Danish lady for the first time, only to sit there while she says something quickly in Danish, for you to reply sheepishly »erm… undskyld?«

Maybe we were all trying extra hard, but the common theme in our discussions was not Paris Hilton’s waistline. I courted more conversation on theatre, the arts and literature in those two hours than I had done in months.

Three matches

So what were the results? Well, the ladies I met were all lovely and willing to hold a slightly stunted conversation with a blubbering Englishman.

In the end, I’ve been told I have three matches. Three out of the twelve that I talked to, which to be honest I’m pretty pleased with. Still I am slightly disappointed that I did not manage to charm all of the seven or so ladies that I had crossed off with a yes.

Despite catching the attention of three ladies, no dates materialised. A tick in the box is by no means a love guarantee, it seems.

But no matter what, speed dating is a sure-fire way to meet the Danes and maybe even find love in Copenhagen.

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