In the lead-up to Valentine's Day, Burger Burger held a blind dates event in Mount Maunganui to give local singles a shot at finding "the one". Sports reporter David Beck took a giant leap out of his comfort zone and went along.
When you ask most people what their biggest fears are they will usually say things like heights, sharks or enclosed spaces.
While I agree those are frightening, nothing scares me more than the thought of being rejected.
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So, when a workmate - knowing I am as single as they come - suggested I attend the Burger Burger Blind Dates evening, my immediate reaction was that I would rather head butt a Shakti mat.
The idea planted itself at the back of my mind, though. I'm reading a book at the moment called The Daily Stoic, based on the philosophy that it is not productive to worry about things we cannot control. What we can control is our reaction and our effort.
I turn 29 this year and it can be tough to meet new people. Most people I meet are at work or at the gym, so dating opportunities can be pretty scarce. I knew this type of event would be good for me, even if the idea made me feel a little sick.
I've been trying to remind myself that I can't control what people think of me. Similarly, I cannot complain about being single if I'm not putting any effort into changing that. Rather than sit at home waiting for the woman of my dreams to walk through the door, it was time to make an effort.
So, I signed up and we decided I could document the experience for the newspaper. If I found love, great. If I got horribly rejected by everyone I tried to talk to, it would make for a funnier story.
I would love to be one of those outgoing, confident guys who command the attention of everyone in the room. However, I am not. I get so worked up about embarrassing myself in a group situation that I take the cautious route and keep quiet.
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The way the event worked was the men were split into four groups, as were the women. The groups of men spent 15 minutes chatting to each group of women - like speed dating but in a group.
I think the idea was to make everyone feel more comfortable. I had a couple of louder guys in my group so I found it hard get a word in.
I gravitated to the similarly quiet women in each group and was pleased to find that once I actually got talking, I really enjoyed it. As soon as I realised they were not going to pour a drink on me for even daring to look at them, I felt more comfortable - to the point that once we'd finished with the last group I wished we could start again.
I didn't find a date for Valentine's Day or take a list of eligible women's phone numbers home, but I don't think that's entirely what it was about. For me, I proved to myself I can leave the comfort zone and survive and I will be better for it.