Kyiv Post








Speed dating and agencies help find your perfect match

8 October, 20:41 | Alexandra Matoshko, Kyiv Post Guide Editor

Take a chance on me: Speed dating
parties provide an interesting and
efficient way to meet new people, make
friends and even find your special

In a big and friendly city like Kyiv, meeting members of the opposite sex should be easy. However, for those who spend their days in offices and the weekends in noisy bars, finding the right partner is not always that simple.

People are often too shy to make the first step. Or they fear being rejected. And if locals face such difficulties, it’s even more complicated for “expats,” the foreign expatriates still getting to know the city, many without benefit of speaking either Russian or Ukrainian well.

These language and cultural barriers add another layer of misunderstanding between the sexes. Luckily, in modern-day Ukraine, there are many ways of finding a date or a partner. But all require some degree of boldness.

In one way or the other, you have to “put yourself out there.”


Speed Dating

A popular matchmaking method for busy working people in the West for 10 years now, speed dating is finally coming to Ukraine. It was invented by Rabbi Yaacov Deyo of Aish Hatorah (Jewish Orthodox Ashkenazi organization) in California in 1998 as a way for Jewish singles to meet and marry. But speed dating quickly became fashionable.

It involves a gathering with an equal number of men and women registered for an event. They meet each other through short conversations and rotate among the tables. Dates last up to 10 minutes before the organizer signals it’s time to swap tables. The organizers also provide the contacts among interested parties, if a promising match emerges.

Speed dating is also a good business, since the company setting up the event charges participants for registration. Thus far, however, speed dating has not really taken off in Kyiv.

The latest attempt is 2Play ( project holding speed dating parties at Barsky (2/5 Chervonoarmiyska, Arena Entertainment complex, 7th floor ). Targeting busy working people, the company offers weekly events – mostly on Fridays or weekends, for the price of Hr 200 per person. At the end, participants inform the organizers of their preferences and e-mails are sent to likely matches. The meetings are regulated by age range, currently 25-to-40 years old. Since the majority of participants are supposed to be successful career men and women, many speak at least some English. And to ensure only the right kind of people are allowed to participate, the registered candidates are required to meet with the 2Play representative before the event. Next speed dating parties at Barsky are scheduled for Oct. 10 and Oct. 23. To register, write or call 38068-128-2398.

Another speed dating service is offered by BonapArt company ( Here the rules are similar: up to 10 men and 10 women take part, and each date lasts for seven minutes. To participate in their activities, you need to fill out the online form and wait to be contacted by organizers. BonapArt doesn’t offer pre-scheduled events, but holds one when there are enough men and women willing to participate. The only way to find out is to register and wait. The admission to the event is Hr 150. For details, call 38095-842-1290.


Pro matchmakers

Everyone who ever tried looking for dates online knows what a tricky business it is. In their profiles, people only share the info they want to share. And, only your intuition can tell you if everything they say, as well as their photographs, are real or fake. For this reason, people seriously looking for a partner use websites run by professionals (or so they call themselves), who do checkups on people and help the customer connect to a promising partner. Of course, you’ll usually have to pay for this luxury.

Unfortunately, such dating services in Ukraine are rather one-sided. Dating clubs and marriage agencies mainly target foreign men looking for Ukrainian women, not the other way around. And the choice of such services is rather immense, so here are just a few colorful examples of what kind of websites there are.

Love Lab ( is ran by an individual who calls himself Andre Moneylove – a photographer, businessman and certainly a profound personality, judging by the life interests he lists on his facebook profile: women, money, success. His website is designed as a Western-type dating site and is done entirely in English, though the registration form is available in three languages – English, French and Russian. Gentlemen have to pay to view letters from the ladies of their choice ($1-2 per letter), through a system of prepaid credits. Love Lab also organizes special parties for men to meet Kyiv girls and coaches foreign men in how to behave with mysterious Slavic women.

InterDating Club ( defines itself as an elite dating agency. One look at the prices shows why. After viewing the website catalogue of women – most pictures are taken by professional photographers in a studio and heavily photo-shopped – you can sign up for a $200 “evaluation program.” At this time, your introduction letter and photos will be sent to the ladies of your choice. You can also pick a “Romantic Introduction Tour” of Kyiv or other cities in Ukraine ($500 to be paid in addition to “evaluation program”). But if you’re ready to spend big and prefer the most individual approach possible, you can use the “headhunting” program for $1,500. In this case, the company’s matchmakers will offer you a selection of women, consult you and help organize meetings with them. If one such trip won’t be sufficient to find your special lady, additional romantic trips will only cost you $500 apiece. is not a dating site, but offers useful tips on how to look for women on local dating websites and fill out registration forms, even if they are entirely in Russian. 

Finally, if you don’t trust agencies run by Ukrainians or Russians, try Kiev Connections ( managed by American Brett Ousley. Having launched his matchmaking business in 2002, Ousley promises to introduce you to great women and not scam you like “other agencies do.” With Kiev Connections, a man sends an e-mail letter (no more than 1,000 words in size) and photograph to the agency. The photo is printed and the letter is translated and delivered to a woman – all for $12 per letter. It works both ways. The lady’s reply will be translated and forwarded to you at the same cost. Also you’ll need to open an account of $120 or $60 credit just to get started. Why they insist on sending letters to women by regular mail instead of e-mail is a mystery.


Just mingle

Finally if you’re bold enough to meet people on your own – which is certainly a good idea – but only worried about the language barrier, just try to hang out in places popular among ex-pats and English speaking locals. Those include: Irish pubs O’Brien’s (17-A Mykhaylivska, 279-1584) and Golden Gate Pub (15 Zolotovoritska, 235-5188); nightclubs Arena (2-A Basseyna, 492-0000), 112 (5 Chervonoarmiyska, 230-9632), Buddha Bar (14 Khreshchatyk, 270-7676) and Eric’s Friends Club (1-A Uritskoho, Butterfly Ultramarine); latino dancing Carribean Club (4 Kominterna, 288-1290); Bierstube pub (20 Chervonoarmiyska, 235-9472); restaurants Arizona BBQ (25 Naberezhno-Khreshchatytska, 425-2438), Napule (9 Mechnikova, 461-9263), Soho (82 Artema, 484-0351) and Ciro’s Pomodoro (12 Rustaveli, 221-4545); Gloria Jean’s Coffees (34 Chervonoarmiyska); live music clubs 44 (4B Khreshchatyk, 279-4137) and Docker’s ABC (15 Khreshchatyk, 278-1717); underground youth club Khlib (12 Frunze) and other places.







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