LIFE

Meet The Woman Who Was So Sick Of Tinder She Created Her Own Dating Company

Discover the antithesis of Tinder. And it's going nuts.

13/01/2017 12:26 PM AEDT | Updated 17/01/2017 1:08 PM AEDT

Like Kaila Perusco, you've probably caught yourself admiring the fit-out of a pub you're drinking in while your mates stare down at their phones, swiping right to possible contenders in the vicinity. (Or maybe you were one of those swiping.)

Unlike Kaila Perusco, you probably didn't take matters into your own hands and start your own dating company called the Conscious Dating Co which involves zero profile pictures and swiping motions. Yes, Perusco created the antithesis of Tinder.

The 28-year-old, based in Petersham in Sydney's inner-west, created the company in May last year, which is all about meeting people face to face followed by a conversation beyond the surface level chats often featured on apps and at speed dating events.

"I think 98 percent of people who come to our events are office workers, lawyers so it's just everyday people but I guess the 'conscious' part of it is having a more considered approach to meeting someone and having a conversation -- rather than 'Namastaying' everywhere," Perusco told The Huffington Post Australia.

So basically, it's like going to a bar with all the friendly, single people there.

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The events hold about 32-36 people each time, and can vary from cocktail classes to yoga and tea tastings.

The company, which has held 11 events since it was established, is based in Sydney there are grand plans to expand nationally, with Perusco looking to Melbourne and Brisbane first.

The events hold 32-36 people each time and activities range from bushwalks, cocktail classes, yoga and tea tastings. There's often wine involved, paired with good conversation "in the most relaxed way possible".

And the events aren't just for single heterosexuals. The 28-year-old has held a number of events for gays and lesbians, while also catering to the 40 plus age group.

"When I first started out, I wanted it to be as inclusive as possible. I think people talk a lot about how Tinder is the problem, but a lot of gay guys find Grindr to be a bit exhaustive and a bit too much," Perusco said.

"I think there's challenges in every community."

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The result, sometimes.

The online dating game can be confusing for some, but Perusco was also inspired to take people away from their phones.

"I love seeing people at the events for two hours, and not a single phone comes out," the 28-year-old said.

"That makes me feel good that at the end of every event; for at least two hours, we got a group of people together and no one had to check their phone."

She hasn't managed to deliver a boyfriend to any of her good friends yet, but has run into a few familiar faces paired up on the train weeks after events.

"Things like that are really awesome, because we give each other a little knowing look," Perusco said.

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The first event in May sold out, and the aim is to expand nationally.

"Some people are a little bit scared of putting themselves out there.

"You see them come to an event and see their confidence boost so much because they've had people say yes to them."

And if you're wondering, no she's not single. Perusco met her boyfriend at a friend's party a while ago.

"Everyone was glued to their phones," the 28-year-old recalls, "him and I were really the only people there not looking down."


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