IT was just our luck to start a dating podcast... and then the whole country went into lockdown!
With the Covid-19 restrictions in place, walking and listening to podcasts have become the new going out.
As soon as we finish one, we are onto the next, from crime to relationship drama.
And it is within that last genre we found Daters Gonna Date - an Irish podcast launched this year.
The two hosts, Nicola and Roisin, who only use first names to give some anonymity, said it was a chat after a night out that planted the seed.
Roisin recalled: “Well I suppose my dating life had come to a complete halt after my break-up a year and a half previously.
“I kept telling myself that I would go back to dating when I was ready but truthfully I kept putting it off because I was scared.
“I needed a push and this podcast was a perfect reason to get me out of my comfort zone. I think me and Nicola are in a similar position as we had both sort of given up on the dating scene and weren’t arsed anymore but realised we would never meet someone if we didn’t put ourselves back out there. “And after a very drunk conversation and then a completely sober one where we talked about it, we decided to give it a go!”
For Nicola, she wanted to do it as she felt there was no-one else in Ireland talking about what she wanted to hear.
“There seems to be a podcast for everything and while there are dating ones, they are not speaking about Irish lads, or Coppers, or everything else that relates to us. So we just said why not give it a go?”
The girls decided each episode would have a theme and it would involve putting themselves out there.
This includes really trying each dating app, speed dating and others they had up their sleeves until lockdown kicked in.
Nicola laughed: “Here was me thinking speed dating was scary until we were told there was a pandemic keeping us inside. It is just our luck to start a dating podcast and Leo Varadkar puts the country into lockdown.”
But they have kept it up and have released seven episodes, including their most recent, which sees a guest, Ciara, discuss breaking up with someone after 13 years, but living in the same house during the lockdown.
And with over 2,200 er already, they are shocked by the reaction.
The two singletons are keen to have guests on the show to tell their tales so others will realise they are not alone.
Roisin said: “Honestly, I've been really surprised by the reaction. I knew my friends and family would be supportive and listen but when strangers who neither me or Nicola knew started adding an the podcast on Instagram and sending us messages, I realised we had tapped into something.
“Sometimes when you are single and you feel lonely, you can feel like you must be the only person in the world that feels that way, but this podcast proved it is universal.
“ Also everyone has a bad dating story, bad break-up or are just struggling to get back out there. It’s been really nice to feel that we’re not alone. I’ve struck up so many conversations with people on Instagram that some of them feel as if they could be my friends.”
Nicola added: “It can be very easy to knock yourself down, feel bad about yourself when you have been single for a while, or can’t get matches on Tinder, or can’t get a date.
“We wanted to be an outlet for people, but have a bit of craic with it. We get serious several times, yes, but we also have a great laugh, and you will hear that with some of the dating stories we share.”
Find Daters Gonna Date on Spotify, Apple iTunes or Acast.