I dated 9 men last week. Yes, you read right 9. And all in the space of a couple of hours. How did I manage it? Speed dating of course!
I’ve wanted to try it for a while now, but have been a little intimidated by the whole thing. I have also always wondered what the benefit of it really was. How much information can you possibly get out of one person in just a few minutes? And will there be enough time to get to know them?
Luckily this particular speed dating event allowed for a little bit more time with each prospective partner. Seven minutes per man to be exact. Seven minutes of heaven or hell!
I arrived at the Ellington Jazz club in Mount Lawley just before 7pm. As I walked in the door I saw a couple of real hotties and was instantly relieved. The relief was short lived as, much to my dismay, I discovered the event was actually upstairs and that those particular gentlemen probably weren’t attending…. “Damn!” I utter to myself as I ascend the staircase.
It was very dark upstairs. I wondered whether this was the normal ambiance here, or if this was simply a ploy to trick you into thinking your fellow speed daters are more attractive than they actually are.
I can still see. They’re not that attractive.
Even so, I decide to stay and keep an open mind. Besides, the organizer had already seen me so there was no backing out!
I was greeted by Debbie of ‘Dare2Date’, the service I booked the event through. She was lovely, bubbly and friendly, which instantly set me at ease… well a little anyway. She explained the process to me:
- Buy an alcoholic drink (this is a must to relax and prepare you for all of the men you’re about to date.
- Receive a name tag and a number, as well as a sheet on which to record your interest in each of the dates. For example: After spending time with ‘Bob’ I decide I would like to get to know him more. So, alongside his name and number I write “yes”. If ‘Bob’ is boring, I then of course write “no”. If both ‘Bob’ and I indicate an interest in one another, we’re a match! – And in a day or two we will be advised of each other’s email addresses, so we can arrange a date – one which hopefully lasts longer than seven minutes.
- The women are shown to what will be their seat for the evening and it is the men who will be changing seats every seven minutes. That’s right, the men have to do the hard work and move around to each date when the bell is rung.
Having heard the rules whilst taking several large sips of wine, are they even called sips if they are large? – I ponder, it’s time to start. I’m sitting in my allocated seat, in my allocated corner with a big glass of red wine. I take a deep breath, a large gulp of wine and putting on my best “pleased to meet you smile” I’m ready.
When date number one arrived, I instantly knew I wasn’t interested. I know it’s not all about looks, but you’ve got to have a bit of an attraction there, right? He was extremely pale and almost a little creepy looking. Not my type. We have a pleasant enough conversation, but I find myself waiting for the time to pass, taking sneak peeks at my watch.
Date number two arrived and he looked promising. He was dressed well, he was tall and he had a nice smile. Tick, tick, tick!
Then he opened his mouth… The first word out of his mouth is “fuck”. Is he serious? What about “hi?” You can’t even say hello to me before letting off the ‘f bomb’? I just wanted to pour my glass of red wine over his head and get the hell out of there! All he could talk about was his work with a swear word slotted in every chance he got. He didn’t even ask me about me! I considered explaining the purpose of dating to him but decided not to bother? The seven minutes is over. Thank God! It felt like a hundred years with that one!
Date number three arrived and he was cute! I was excited! Excited at least until he tells me he’s not actually looking for anything. He’s just got out of a marriage and he’d rather not go on any real dates. He’s just here for a bit of fun. What the hell? Why open with that? I get it, I’m here mostly for a bit of research for my writing, but I’m not going to tell you that am I?! And if speed dating is the only pastime you can think of for a bit of fun, then you must live a pretty boring life! Apart from the fact that you are wasting the time of women who ARE there to meet a potential partner! Next!
Date number four, five, six, seven and eight aren’t even worth mentioning really. They were nice enough, but a little dull. Trying to get anything bordering on a lively conversation out of them was almost like attempting to draw blood from a stone.
By the time the final date arrived, I was exhausted! And a little tipsy might I add.
But within a minute of meeting this one, we just clicked. We got on really well and the conversation flowed. It’s wonderful when it just flows. You don’t have to think or make any effort, it just happens. There wasn’t a great deal of attraction there but he was smart, funny and confident. And that’s important.
So with that, I said yes to ‘Mr Number 10’. I found out the next day that he also said yes, and he was given my contact details. Actually, I found out that eight of the nine men said yes to me which was nice. I was of naturally curious… which one of the men knocked me back?
But there was only one match of course. We are going out for dinner next week….
So what do I think of speed dating?
I think speed dating is fun but a little daunting and it can also be really draining. If you’re not creative or overly confident, you simply end up repeating the same thing over and over again. I.e. My name is…. My job is….. My hobby is… and that gets very boring, very fast!
So here are my conversation tips:
- Don’t talk about your job, that’s boring.
- Definitely don’t talk about your previous relationship, that’s just scary.
- Be creative and think of different and interesting questions, rather than just the standard ones you’re always asking. Here are some examples:
- Let’s say he’s wearing a really nice watch or unusual cufflinks, point them out and compliment them. “Wow your watch is really nice! where did you get it from?” The compliment will boost his ego a little, and in most cases he will then tell you where he got it or what it means to him and that may lead into an interesting story, or perhaps give you some insight on his personality.
- Do you love dining out whenever you possibly can, like I do? Then ask him “What is your favourite restaurant is or your favourite cuisine?” His answer will tell you whether or not you’d like him to be the one to wine and dine you.
- Make your date a little humorous by asking him something really random, like “What do you wear to bed?” As weird as it may sound, this can actually give you an idea of his personality. If he sleeps naked he’s probably a pretty laid back person, if he always wears pyjamas he may be a little bit up tight and boring for your taste (especially in the bedroom). If nothing else, this question will definitely make him laugh.
So if you decide to give speed dating a try, don’t take it too seriously! Keep it light and simple, relax and just let the conversation flow. You never know where it might go….