A. Listen to Elspbeth Gordon, a journalist, talking about a dating experiment. Answer the questions.

 What kind of app does Elspbeth use?

 What do you do if you like someone?

 What’s Elspbeth’s mother going to do?

 What’s Elspbeth going to do?

B. Now listen to Elspbeth describe her first two dates. What does she think of her mom’s choices?

C. Listen again and match the phrases to the two men. Write J for John or S for Sebastian. Which man do you think Elspbeth prefers? Why?

___ He’s tall, dark, and handsome.

___ He’s very tall.

___ He’s a teacher.

___ He’s from Germany, but he lives in Dublin.

___ There isn’t a spark.

___ He’s a real gentleman.

D. Now listen to the third date. Is it a success? Who do you think the message is from?

E. Listen. Where you right? How does Elspbeth feel? Do you think they have a second date?



1   She uses a dating app.

2   You swipe right if you like them.

3   Elspeth’s mother is going to choose the men she likes for her daughter.

4   Elspeth is going to go on a date with the men her mother chooses.


She likes her mum’s choices and has fun, but she isn’t sure the men are right for her.


1 S   2 J   3 J   4 S   5 J   6 S


Yes, it is. The date is going well.


The message was from her mother.

She feels very embarrassed and wants to die.



My name’s Elspeth. I’m twenty-five, I’m a journalist, I live in Dublin, and I’m single. It’s not easy to meet people here. So who can help me? My mother…and a dating app. My favourite dating app, called Tinder, shows you photos of possible partners, with a bit of information about them. You look at the photos and swipe, swipe, swipe. Swipe right if you like them, and swipe left…well…swipe left if you don’t. If a guy likes you and you like him, you have a match. Then you can start messaging the person, and from this, romance follows…or so they say. I’ve tried it, but with no success. So I decide to give my mother my phone. She can swipe all the men she likes, and then look at my matches and choose the people that she likes the best. I’ve promised to go on a date with the men she chooses.



Date 1

My first date is with a nice guy called John. I sit at a table in a bar and wait for him to arrive. An old man walks towards the table, and for two awful seconds I think it’s all a terrible mistake, but he walks past, and then my date arrives. He’s very tall: one metre ninety. Well done, Mum! I’m tall myself, so I always look for tall men, as my mum knows well. We start chatting, and it’s all very easy. Mum has good taste. He’s a teacher. We get on well and it’s a fun date, but sadly, there isn’t a spark. So I try again.

Date 2

I arrive a bit early again, and I sit there waiting for Sebastian to arrive. Suddenly, I realize that I can’t remember anything at all about him, not even where he’s from. Then he comes through the door: tall, dark, and handsome. Mum, you’re amazing, I say to myself. He’s from Germany, but he lives in Dublin. He’s a real gentleman. At the end of the evening, he asks for a second date. Mum is very pleased. I agree to the date, but I don’t really think it’s going to work.



Date 3

Date number three is George. He suggests a bar on South William Street. I arrive early – I’m definitely the most punctual person in the world. I stand outside, very confused: the bar is closed. For a moment, I think Mum has finally got it wrong. But a few minutes later, he arrives – he just didn’t know the bar was closed. We go somewhere else and start chatting. He tells me he works in IT and is from just outside Dublin. This guy is great fun. He’s very relaxed and interesting – he’s travelled a lot. He tells a lot of funny stories. It’s all going well, and I’m getting very enthusiastic, when my phone pings.



It’s all going well, and I’m getting very enthusiastic, when my phone pings. It’s on the table between us and it’s a text. From my mother.

Well, is he lovely? Love Mum.

George looks at my screen and reads the text. I want to die.

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