Regional cupids

By Michael Roberts | posted on August 21, 2020

IF YOU live in a small regional town you’ll know there isn’t exactly a lot of choice when it comes to the dating pool – more of an undersized pond really.

But two WA women are trying their hand at matching people from right across the state in a bid to help country folk find that someone special.

Lavinia Wehr and Shannon Beattie are putting their dating experience to good use in a new podcast called Farmers and Charmers.

After a careful vetting process, applicants from around WA travel up to Perth to meet each other for the first time during an on-air ‘pre date’ chat.

Ms Wehr said she and Ms Beattie had been overwhelmed by the response, with more than 90 people from as far north as Karratha and as south as Albany signing up to be part of the show.

“It’s been an interesting journey,” Ms Wehr said.

“Everyone has been super up for it. Obviously a few nerves in the room, but people are willing to give it a go.

“Some people put quite a bit of banter in, whereas other people take it quite seriously. You can tell how committed they are to the process.”

Playing cupid on the air, Ms Wehr said the podcast had so far successfully matched five couples who elected to go on a second date.

“There’s only so much we can do, but it’s been really exciting to see it unfold,” she said.

“We thought it would be great to give country boys and girls a bit of dating advice and Shannon came up with the idea of trying to match couples.

“We’ve had people messaging us through Instagram for advice if they’ve been on a date with somebody. That’s been really nice.”

Speaking from experience Ms Wehr said dating in the country could be a challenge, and not just because of the population.

“You don’t have much privacy in the country,” she said.

“People will often gossip before two people meet.

“Depending on who those two people are it can create quite a bit of strain on something that isn’t anything yet. That’s really tough.

“People also don’t know how to ask each other on dates anymore. If we can give a bit of advice it’s for boys to start asking girls on dates again.”