I always wanted to try speed dating … haven’t you? What a fun concept! Imagine … you get to meet over a dozen eligible bachelors in one night!! All of them admiring your beauty, sexiness and charm … as they fight over who gets to go on a date with you … oh wait sorry I was day dreaming again. Actually, is it really that far from the truth? For those of you that aren’t sure what speed dating is, essentially, it’s an activity where single people have a series of short “dates” with potential partners in order to determine whether there is mutual interest or not.
How It Works
The women all sit on separate tables and are given name tags with a letter/number on it and they can write their name as well. They are also given a sheet of paper where they write their names and contact info. On this sheet is also a list of boxes with letters/numbers. The men rotate while the women stay seated. The men get the same type of sheet of paper. You get about 5 minutes for each “date” and then you mark on your sheet of paper a check mark for the ones you would like to see again. They do the same. So basically, if you check someone off and they check you off then it’s a mutual match. At the end of the evening the hosts compare the sheets and email you your mutual matches and their contact information.
My Speed Dating Adventure
When I was approached by the speed dating company to see if I was interested in attending one of their speed dating events I immediately said yes. Like I mentioned, I always wanted to try it and I thought not only is it a great way to meet some new men, but it will give me something really interesting to write about. So I jumped at the chance. Then I thought, oh no, what do you wear? What do you do? What do you talk about? What if the guy’s ugly? Or worse, what if he smells or has bad breath and you’re stuck there for 5 minutes of hell!? Ok ok … well I know I was going a little overboard and really, it’s only 5 minutes with each man, not like a real date that you have to endure for at least an hour.
The speed dating evening came and I opted for business casual outfit … skirt with a nice top, enough cleavage to make a difference 😉 but nothing that screamed “take me now” … I didn’t go all out, but I wasn’t too casual either. I figured, just like with any date, you have to put your best foot forward. When I got there, I was horrified! All I saw were dirty old men everywhere!!! One old Irish man said to me “ay Lassie, can I buy you a drink, you’re beautiful” … I politely thanked him and declined. This was NOT what I signed up for!! I went back to my car, checked my phone, I thought maybe I was at the wrong place. Nope, I was in the right place. OK, I thought, perhaps I should go back and make sure. So I did, and I saw a woman with a name tag at the bar, I asked her if this was the speed dating event, she said yes but it was in a room around the corner. Big sigh of relief!! So I went and saw a room full of people my age. Even bigger sigh of relief. The men and women ranged from average to very attractive. I honestly expected a bunch of ugly people, but no, I was wrong, there were some attractive guys and girls there.
As is my usual habit, I put my “life of the party” hat on and chatted all the women up (we were segregated from the men). Most of them had been having a hard time meeting men and had experienced some bad dates, so they wanted to try something different. The host came by and made sure to tell everyone about my blog … they all thought it was pretty cool. All the women seemed pretty interesting and nice … outgoing. Was I sizing up the competition? Well, sure I was … wouldn’t you? Some were competition … some were just too different from me to be considered competition … we would attract different types of guys. Didn’t really get a good look at the guys right away … until the dates started. So we were instructed to take our “places” and the event was about to start. So they gave me a lone table separate from the others … and because there was an extra guy, he got to take a break after he was done with me. Hmm … was that such a good thing?
So we began. The first guy came and chatted … turns out he was the obnoxious one of the group. He was nice enough, loved to talk … boy did he LOVE to talk … about himself … loud obnoxious. But 5 minutes passed quickly … NEXT! Then there were a few guys I would describe as “blah” … conversation flowed but they weren’t memorable at all … yawn … NEXT!! Then one guy who was totally not my type who didn’t open his mouth when he spoke arrived … longest 5 minutes of my life (mumble mumble nod mumble) … NEXT!! But I was enjoying meeting all these people and seeing what their motivations for being there was. Most of them were busy professionals who didn’t have time to look for someone. This gave them the opportunity to meet single girls in an open environment. There was the guy with a weird hat who I think was trying to make a statement with his “look” … not a good look … or maybe he was bald underneath and wanted to hide it … whatever it was, it wasn’t a good look … NEXT!! There was another guy who started drawing lines on a paper with spectrums of personality and wanted to know where I fit … what? NEXT!! I was starting to think that this was going to be a nice experience, but not really a place to meet someone.
Then came one guy, he was attractive although he needed a visit to the set of “what not to wear”, but I wasn’t going to let that influence me. He sat down and we started chatting. It was an instant connection. We loved the same type of geeky historical things and both got excited about the history and discovery channels. They had to pry us apart because we were having such a great discussion … 5 minutes felt like 5 seconds. So I actually checked him off as a match. Others came, one guy who was a total outdoor enthusiast and loved to mountain bike and do outdoorsy stuff. Um, not me at all. Do they have room service in the remote mountains? He was really good-looking though … it surprised me that he was there actually. Then I met another guy who was easy to talk to, a big flirt and attractive. So, I picked him too … just so I didn’t only pick one. But a connection wasn’t really there. Then I was done.
I went to chat with the host and he told me that a lot of guys had checked me off and he wanted to know who I chose … I wouldn’t tell him. He did tell me that when the guys finished with my table and had a break he chatted with them and told them about my blog and that I would write about them if we dated. OMG!! How could he … but it was funny because he said that made them want to see me again even more!! LOL!! Some guys also had said that they were surprised someone like me was at something like that … hmm what does that mean? Was there a stigma attached to speed dating? The next day I got my matches. The one guy who I totally connected with chose me as well and they sent me his contact info (and sent him mine too). I haven’t contacted him though because I did notice him REALLY hitting it off and kind of smitten with another girl, so I will let him contact me if he wants to. He hasn’t yet. That’s OK … it was a good experience anyway!
So from my experience, how do you have a successful speed dating experience?
Here are some tips to get you started:
- go in with no expectations other than meeting new people
- be the one everyone notices when you walk in the room and wants to meet by making a confident entrance … don’t be the one people stare at for the wrong reasons
- dress nicely, girls a skirt/pants and a top or a dress and guys dress shirt and pants … not fancy but not too casual either … look like you made an effort
- buy a drink and keep it in hand, it will help with the nerves, but don’t over drink … remember you want to put your best foot forward … you don’t want to be the speed dating drunk
- chew gum or have a mint with you … you are speaking with someone at close proximity so you don’t want to be the girl/guy with bad breath
- keep a smile on your face … even if you’re bored
- always start with a firm handshake and a smile and introduce yourself and thank the person after … be polite
- even if you don’t feel a connection, or if you’re grossed out by the person … it’s only 5 minutes make the best of it
What to talk about (or I should say what I talked about):
- speed dating and that it was my first time but it was fun meeting a lot of different people
- growing up in town and if they did too
- work: what sort of work we did (of course in Ottawa 90% worked for the government like me)
- travel: where we’ve been and where we’d like to go
- interests/pastimes: what we enjoyed doing in our free time
- even if it gets quiet and the person is a bad conversationalist, just keep going and ask any random questions to fill the time
5 minutes goes by quite quickly … but you really do get a sense for what kind of person they are and if there’s a potential connection. First impressions really do matter and you need to put your best foot forward … especially when you only have such a short time to make any impression at all! Would I do it again? Perhaps … the caliber of men, I have to say, was pretty good, just not the type of man I want (definitely no Alphas). The ones I met were all professionals who didn’t have the time to invest in the search and wanted a faster way to meet someone. One thing I do have to say is that it’s exhausting … but not a waste of time at all.
I totally recommend trying speed dating at least once … who knows! You might just meet that one person you’ve always been looking for and if you don’t, well you’ll meet a lot of great new people! I will keep you posted if my mutual match contacts me or not.
Your Sister in Dating Bliss,
Single Dating Diva
Copyright Single Dating Diva
Great article! Definitely provides a good insight on what to expect for this type of event. Apart from the possibility of meeting someone, I think another benefit is being in an environment where you need to improvise with every encounter, for 5 minutes at a time. The first moments of any encounter is tough and if people can sharpen the skill of improvisation within an environment that is meant for that, then they can do well in most social gatherings.
Thanks for the comment! You’re right … it’s a great way to develop social skills … you do have to really know how to handle awkward situations and improvise to do well. Good points!
Are you able to say what company you used. Great articles by the way. Having not dated for a while, your website has been a great resource for getting started again. Thanks!
Thanks Susan I’m so very glad you’re enjoying my posts 🙂 I used Meet Market Adventures. They can be found all over Canada and the USA. Good luck and let me know how it goes!
This was awesome! I still always think about a scene from the movie HITCH with Will Smith and Eva Mendez, and I TOTALLY can picture it! GOOD for you for getting out there to try something totally and completely different! Love it!
I always wanted to try it and I’m glad I did … I think it is a good way to meet someone without the messiness of “is he going to call” or all the getting to know you stuff.
Awe MAN! I was hoping you would have checked off some of those that you were TOTALLY NOT interested in, just to report back as to whether that 5 minutes is really enough to help you accurately size someone up! Sounds like you had fun though! That’s always a bonus!
You know what, I did wish I brought a red pen and a green pen with me … then I could put a big red “X” on some of those guys!!! LOL!!!
That’s such a GREAT idea! Besides, you could see what type of men are attracted to you as well (if they marked you, you’ll get their contact info).
Ya … what a bummer if no one picked you, right? But I think if you have a connection it’s shared. At least that’s how it was for me.
I’ve been wanting to try speed dating for a while… your post makes me want to sign up right now!
You should DO IT!!! It’s fun and a great way to practice your dating skills if nothing else.
Getting my red pen and green pen ready to go speed dating myself! Awesome post with great tips!
Love it!!! I can’t wait to hear all about your adventures!! (as always!!)
Way to be brave and go for it!
Hey it was nice meeting you, sounds like you had a good time! Thanks for the write-up, it was an interesting read!
-one of the inoffensive “blah” guys
Nice meeting you too “mystery man” … thanks for checking out my blog!!! So which “blah” guy are you? LOL … Sorry there wasn’t a connection! Hope you met a great lady that night!!!
I think I’m probably your “what not to wear” guy match from 2 weeks ago (unless they made a mistake with their match making). 🙂
It’s funny you said that I was “REALLY hitting it off with another girl”, but you are sadly mistaken. The 2 girls near you with whom I was chatting afterwards, I met them before at other speed dating events last year or even the year before that, they had completely forgotten me (or maybe pretended to not remember me), and I found it funny that we had pretty much the same IDENTICAL conversations like the last time I met them, and they were both oblivious to it. That’s what the whole “smitten” thing was all about. I didn’t bother picking either of them this time around; I picked them last time around and neither of them did. But I found it very very amusing about how oblivious they were to the fact that the conversation I had with each was pretty much identical word for word like last year.
BTW I did e-mail you (twice), yet I haven’t heard from you at all. Maybe my e-mails ended up in the spam/junk/trash folder.
Hey Cosmin! Nice to hear from you and thank you for the comment! I never saw your emails, I will definitely check my junk mail folder. I guess perceptions can be deceiving! Sometimes what looks to be one thing is completely something different! My bad 🙂 It was very nice to meet you by the way.
Perfect – thanks. I will check out their web site.
Thanks. I’ll check out their web site.
[…] to my year, I went Speed Dating and I dated a few other people, but alas, no one worth my time or effort emerged. No one stood out […]
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