Well, my first speed dating event has come and gone. Am I glad I did it? Of course. I never think it’s bad to try new things and new experiences. If nothing else, it was a good excuse to meet some new people, practice my networking/small talk skills and to spend the evening doing something different. Would I say it was successful? Hmmm…..that’s another story.
I can truly say that I was hoping against all hope that this would be a successful experience – that I’d meet a handful of good guys (expecting that I’d probably meet some odd ones too) but would at least be able to say that it was worth the time and investment to put myself out there. Unfortunately, that was not the case. I’m not even sure where I should start to talk about the guys I met last night!
First off: thank goodness I took M’s advice and did not go alone. The event got started about 30 minutes late, so there was lots of time to kill. Not only that, the intermission was about 20 minutes, and after meeting some rather bizarre guys, I was not really excited about mingling with them over finger food. So needless to say, I was glad to have J. and J. (another colleague of mine decided to participate as well) to keep me occupied.
For starters, it seems they knowingly combined my age group (25-35) with another age group (35-45) and unfortunately the majority of guys were part of the latter. Given that I’m 26, I was a little angry about this – I found it irresponsible and misleading on the part of this company to falsely advertise the ages of guys that I would be meeting. Not only did I meet divorcees and fathers of 16 year old girls, I also met guys who made comments like the following:
a) “I don’t really believe in dating”
b) “who would you have to sleep with in order to get me in?” (I work for a well-respected business school)
c) Me: “Have you done a lot of traveling?” Him (39yrs old): “Well…I’ve been to Disneyworld”
d) Me: “So what brings you here tonight?” Him: (insert sleazy eyes and voice here) “To meet you of course” (and this guy was at least 40)
e) Me: “What do you do?” Him: “Nothing.”
I hate to be so negative about this experience, because I believe that it would probably be a lot more fun (and successful) in the right target market (ie. bigger, metropolitan cities) But, picture a speed dating scene out of a bad romantic comedy – old men, sleazy pick-up lines, nerdy, no personality, can’t carry on a conversation – and you might be somewhat close to picturing what my experience was like last night. Does this sound judgemental? Yes, as an outside observer, it probably does – but I can honestly say that I am an open person, with very reasonable expectations. I mean, how hard is it to carry on a 4 MINUTE conversation with someone!? Seriously. I was blown away by some people’s inability to speak. The most you can really get out in that amount of time is: name, what do you do, where are you from, and have you done this before. I mean, it’s not like you even have to come up with creative questions! But, some of these guys did not have the words “How about you?” in their vocabulary! After one word answers, they were happy to sit there in awkward silence. And there’s nothing I hate more than awkward silence, so I inevitably end up carrying the conversation. There were definitely times where I thought I was on Candid Camera or Punk’d.
Despite the fact that this event was nothing like what I anticipated, I am glad that I took a chance and did it. At least now I know what it’s all about, and can know what to expect. And I can definitely see the benefits if you’ve got a good crop to choose from – it’s easier than approaching people out of nowhere, you get the basics out, and determine instantly whether or not there’s chemistry. Chemistry is CRITICAL for me. Not only that, I got some great laughs out of it and it was fun to go with some girls who could have a good laugh over it with me (and actually understand and relate to what we really witnessed…I don’t think anyone else will really understand 🙂 Having said that, I think I’m done with the whole proactive dating thing. I’m going to try the reactive approach for awhile. It gets somewhat exhausting to be continuously putting yourself out there only to be disappointed and I’m just going to start hoping that the whole “always happens when you’re not looking” thing is actually true.