Speed Dating. An Interesting Experience.

I am on this kick to try new things….I will try anything. And speed dating has been something I have been interested in trying, if only for the hilarious stories I knew I would get out of the experience (and this article of course). So I decided to sign up for an event (www.hurrydate.com) along with another single friend of mine, and I braced myself for this new adventure. To answer your question- Yes, I did feel a little desperate. I actually really hoped I wasn’t going to run in to anyone I knew.

However, I truly went into this experience with no expectations, and just the desire to see what this whole speed dating thing was really all about. Now being a single female in Orange County is difficult in itself, but being a single female looking for a Christian guy certainly eliminates the majority of potential dates. So I decided to sign up for a Christian speed dating event…I figured that religion was one less question I would have to ask the men about in our 5 minutes of face time. For those of you that are unaware of what speed dating is, let me elaborate. An equal amount of single men and single women are invited to the event. Everyone gets a name tag with a number on it and a scorecard with numbers and a YES or NO next to the number. The room is set up with tables for two and you all take a seat, one man and one woman, at each table. You have 5 minutes to talk to each potential suitor, and when the whistle blows the men get up and rotate to the next table. You then decide if you would like to possibly go on a real date with them and you circle YES or NO next to their number on your scorecard. It’s basically a chance to meet other single people and see if you have any chemistry right off the bat. It costs between $25-35 to attend one of these events. It seemed to be a good option for people who are not interested in meeting guys at bars or clubs. Ironically this event was held in a nightclub, before it was open to the public.

So we arrived and it was interesting. Actually “interesting” is the word I choose to apply to the entire experience……very very interesting. There were several attractive women hanging out and I only saw a couple of guys at first. Most of the guys seemed to show up right before it started…I think a few were late actually. Not surprisingly I must say, because if I had the guts to actually go to one of these events by myself, I might be late….or not even show up at all. In sizing up the room I was surprised at how many Asian men attended this…I thought maybe I showed up on Asian night, and not Christian night (side note-ironically it turns out it was Asian night at the Shark Club later that evening). All in all there ended up only being 10 men and 11 women total. So I grabbed a cocktail, got my scorecard and nametag, picked a table and braced myself for my 10 “dates”.  I told myself my only goal was to at least make every guy I met laugh. If you can make them laugh, at least that makes them a little more at ease.

My first “date” was actually the best one. He was funny, quirky and attractive enough….I thought, ok this isn’t so bad. But after him, it all went downhill. The next guy seemed very familiar…I thought I knew him. Turned out we both studied the same major at the same University, so I probably had him for some classes a few years back. He wouldn’t stop staring at me and he was giving me creepy vibes. After the whistle blew he made sure to get in my face and whispered “Circle Yes for me”. I told him he would have to wait and see because it was supposed to be a surprise.

Next was bracelet guy. As soon as he sat down I asked him about his beaded bracelet. He went into a long story about how it was a Feng Shui thing and he proceeded to give me the entire life history of the bracelet. After about 4 minutes of the day in the life of the bracelet I decided to stop him. I couldn’t bear it anymore. I said “We have only 1 minute left and you won’t stop talking about your bracelet…did you want to ask ME a question now?”  I admit, it was a little abrupt on my part, but I thought that he should have it brought to his attention that a conversation is a two way street, you know?

Then there was a gentleman that introduced himself as a Soldier. I didn’t really know what to think at that point. Turned out he is a student/engineer/ national guardsman, with awful social skills. I asked him questions the entire time and got very short responses. Im pretty sure that “date” lasted at least an hour….at least that’s what it felt like.

Next was a normal, nice guy who mentioned that he recently got out of a relationship. We discussed what our requirements were for an ideal mate-I mentioned that it’s very important to me for the man to be the leader in a relationship. He was very confused by this and didn’t seem to get it at all. He asked “What do you mean? You want a man that picks the restaurants and stuff?” Nope, that’s not what I meant. If you’re not sure what it means to be a leader, then you probably aren’t one.

My next date was absent for the first 3 minutes…turned out he decided to take a bathroom break on our date. Nice way to start off. When he arrived I noticed that he was quite vertically challenged. He was very petite…. I towered over him and I am only 5’5. I do prefer a man to at least be a little taller than me, so he was ruled out pretty quickly. At least I made him laugh though!

Then there was a nice Eastern European man, with a comb over. If it wasn’t for the hair, I might have considered circling YES for him because I enjoyed his personality and conversation. I just couldn’t get over the hair. I really wanted to tell him to shave his head….but I didn’t.

There were a few guys sprinkled in that were nice enough, but there was just no chemistry there. I know that I may sound shallow, but I truly felt no sparks with any of these men. Im a pretty open minded chick, so despite  lack of  conversational skills, height, or hair, if I had felt the chemistry there, I would have said Yes to another date. But I didn’t, so I circled a big NO to each man I met. Some of the different men’s questions I found unusual. A few of my favorites were: “What is your best physical feature?” (my brain), “What makes you stand out in this room?” (umm, my yellow cardigan), “Do you do internet dating?” (nope), “What’s your favorite color?” (come on, really?), “Do you own a Feng Shui Bracelet?” (ok that one’s a joke). Mostly we talked about our careers, over and over again. I was really hoping for a little more creativity. I did have fun with one of the guys. He told me he was a consultant of ….well Im still not even sure what it was. But he said to me “yeah, no one understands my job”. So I told him to tell my girlfriend at the next table that he was a spy because it was more interesting….and he did. I got a kick out of that.

I hung around after and asked some stragglers their thoughts on the night. Overall the men all seemed to think it was a great experience. Their only complaint was that they really couldn’t tell who might have been interested in them or not. Considering the caliber of women that attended, I wasn’t surprised that the men enjoyed themselves. It was almost a little depressing to me in regards to how so many beautiful, intelligent, put together women are single in our area. The women on the other hand, all seemed sorely disappointed. This is pretty much based on the quality of men that attended the event. If there had been more attractive, funny, personable men in attendance I believe the women would have thought it was a successful night. Overall, I was pretty stoked on the free Quesadillas that they had….I couldn’t eat before the event because I was a bit nervous. But afterward, the quesadillas were my consolation prize. The salsa wasn’t too bad either.

A few days later I logged into my account with Hurry Date and I clicked NO next to each mans corresponding number. The cool part was that the program does show you who picked you, and 7 out of 10 guys picked me. Then I felt kind of bad for not selecting anyone…. but I know it’s not fair to have pity dates.  So overall, if you are a man, I highly recommend speed dating. If you are semi-normal, clean cut and well spoken you have a great chance of being head and shoulders over the other guys (some of them literally).  If you are a woman, basically it’s an experience…and at least you will get a funny story to share with friends. The Pro’s are being able to practice your conversational skills and seeing if you give off a good first impression. For those just getting back into the dating scene, it could also serve as a good tool to practice. If you are shy, I would definitely recommend it to help you to break out of your shell a bit. So will I do this again NO. Do I recommend it to others? Well it depends on what you’re looking for.  I think you can get the same thing if you are just brave enough to approach people out in social situations and strike up a conversation. But, it definitely wouldn’t be as hilarious.

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