How to find love this Lent

Romance may be dead, but JOSEPHINE PARKINSON is on hand to explain how you can still have fun for a fiver with RAG Blind Date.

angel awkward bad blind charity date death devil exploitation forms friends fuck funny love pen RAG Reading romance wills writing

RAG Blind Date is basically Reading Festival, but cheaper, less muddy, and with no music.

It’s as easy as making fun of a Johnian. You and a pal buy forms, giggling, in the college bar. You drunkenly scribble all over your friend’s form saying that their favourite drink is wee and that your first kiss “will be with them.” Give it in to your rep, still giggling, and wait to be matched with the partner of your twisted dreams.

Several days later, you receive your own blind date’s form, decorated in a similar fashion. Allow the information to sink in that your date has curiously described themselves as sexier than your mum and then on the night itself, feel joy mingled with immense relief that neither of you is mentally unstable; you just have shit friends. You drink slightly too much, make excited plans to meet up the next day, drink slightly more, forget each other exists then run off in opposite directions to find your friends in Cindies. A lovely night all round, and who knows, you might even meet someone special.

Unlike at Reading, where the only thing you will meet is mud

But why leave it to chance? You’re intelligent. The Big Blind Date Computer In The Sky is open to negotiations. Make it an offer it can’t refuse, and you can be matched with someone not only special, but extremely useful…

Using sabotage, seduction and deceit (and also money), here’s how you can exploit RAG Blind Date as a powerful force for good or evil. (Mostly evil.)

1. Matchmake your friends

Can’t bear the obvious sexual tension and just want them to get on with it and fuck already? Stop your friends in the shittily-drawn will-they-won’t-they tracks of Ross and Rachel and bribe for them to date each other, because as we have learned from TV, everyone is always delighted to find someone they secretly love through elaborate schemes.

Friends, with benefits.

2. Get a dissertation deadline extension

Trickier, but with a hefty bribe and a good swill of luck you could end up sipping a nice Chiante opposite your dissertation supervisor. Woo them with your ebullient charm, ask soon-to-be Dr Dreamboat back to your place for tea and wait for that hermes in the morning giving you another four weeks to cry about Brecht.

3. Save someone from their desperate, crushing loneliness

Got a neighbour/friend/colllege spouse who’s looking a little bit glum as Valentine’s Day approaches? Well perk them right up by setting them up on a date with a suitable match. Nothing says charity more than actually making people happier. Sure, you’ll probably do it all wrong and end up giving them the worst, more horrifically awkward night of their lives, but at least you meant well.

“So wait, you didn’t fill in you own form…?”

4. Make someone jealous

A classic of teen romance narratives that doesn’t have to include vampires. Not making much progress with the current object of your deepest desires? Go on a blind date, make a big thing of it, take lots of cute date snapchats, send to your lonely wooee at regular five minute intervals. They’ll be falling over themselves to date you in no time.

5. I dunno, maybe just enjoy yourself

Don’t expect too much. Have some fun, bask in the lack of pressure and social expectations as compared to a proper actual real life date. It’s Lent and everyone’s miserable, so go on, give yourself and someone else a bit of fun. Spread the love.


Every year around 2,500 people take part in RAG Blind Date. This year it all goes down on February 11th and forms are available for sale for £5 from your college reps. (Bribes are to be negotiated with them!) Facebook event is here:

All proceeds go to these guys:

Additionally, The Tab will be running it’s own circus of activity in a live blog of love. Tweet @tabcambridge, email [email protected] and use #ragblinddate to give us your input throughout the evening. We want to hear every sweaty detail.