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Eight minute love affair 

No smarmy come-ons, no nervous chatter, no suspicious ring-finger tan lines. Just eight minutes to make a love connection.

Eight-minute dating is the latest rage in the singles scene. From Atlanta to Seattle, people are finding a fast, assembly-line efficient way to meet prospects; the meat market without the butchery. “Some people have tried the Internet and it didn’t work, others don’t like to go out to bars anymore,” says Rochester eight-minute organizer Laura Holsopple. But it is not a lonely-hearts club. “The stigma is that you can’t meet people other ways or that you’re desperate,” she says. “That’s simply not the case.”

A recent eight-minute event at Johnny’s Irish Pub began with sign-in and complimentary snacks. The excited mingling was at a dull roar as participants, having already registered via the web, trickled in. With the ring of the bell, the turbo dating began with everyone already versed in the rules (no phone numbers, no last names, no overt overtures), and some suggested conversation for the bashful. Another ring from the corner and it was off to date number two. It was musical chairs with the promise of romance. If a match is made from entered data on the web, both parties are notified and may begin dating.

The evening’s age was set between 30 and 40, with other events covering different age brackets. As interest in eight-minute dating continues to grow, Holsopple hopes to branch into more specific dating demographics: Jewish, African-American, gay, etc. “At this point, it’s mostly age, especially older groups (50 and up),” she says. And Holsopple isn’t just the organizer but a satisfied customer who met “a really nice guy” at the second local event; they’ve already been out on a few dates.

The next event (for ages 30 to 45) will be held at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 21, at Johnny’s, where the smoke-free mojo has already brought 17 couples together. To sign up, visit< 8 Minute Dating

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