Posts Tagged ‘speed dating

18
Sep
08

three blind mice go speed dating

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.

16
Sep
08

Is no picture still worth a thousand words?

Even at my friend’s cottage for an extended long weekend, I couldn’t get away from my dating life! I guess that’s a good thing. Got an email from K’s friend R. over the weekend, introducing himself and asking if I wanted to get together for coffee. He sounds nice and was pretty straight forward in the email ie. “I’m 6’3″, brown eyes, brown hair, I do X for a living etc.” Read a bit like a dating ad, but at least he cut to the chase! R. even said: “I’ll be completely honest with you. I’ve done this before.” I was afraid to tell him that I’ve done the blind date thing about a dozen times before!

This date will truly be blind as K. didn’t have any good pictures to send me. I figure maybe this is a good thing. Anytime you’re online or blind dating, it’s hard not to let appearances be an influencer and this is the first time that I haven’t had a picture to go on. My mom told me that I rely too much on pictures – but let’s really get honest here people. It’s hard to create an attraction to someone out of “un-attraction.” I’m not saying I’m not open to dating guys that are outside my physical “type”- in fact, I don’t really seem to have a specific type as I’ve found myself being attracted to
a wide variety of guys. But, I also know what I find unattractive and there’s no getting around that. Does this make me shallow? I personally don’t think so. I’m holding out for the full package, and that includes a chemistry and a physical attraction with someone that I would actually want to make out with…this is important.

I asked R. if he wanted to get together next week as I’ve got too much going on this week, incuding my Speed Dating adventure tomorrow night. Stay tuned for the udpate.

I finally emailed A. back today and kept it short and sweet. I didn’t acknowledge his offer to go out again and he didn’t bring it up when he wrote back. We’ll be seeing each other at a networking event this week so I hope it won’t be awkward. If he does bring it up in person, it will be time to play the honesty card (but let’s hope he doesn’t!)

12
Sep
08

When it rains, it pours…

One thing I find really funny about dating is that you’re either in a dry spell, or a flood – it never comes sporadically. Right now, it seems to be pouring on me!

Not only have I signed up for speed dating next week (update: I convinced another colleague to come with me and J. as well), but in the last two days I’ve gotten two different asks for bind dates! One is through the husband of a friend, of a friend; this is crazy in itself – I mean, how many people know I’m single and looking?! In all fairness, I tend to be pretty open about sharing this information with people who I think might know high-potential guys. After all, if I don’t put the word out that I’m looking, who will? And good people generally know good people; and when you’re surrounded by couples who are in turn, surrounded by couples, it’s hard to find single people anywhere anymore!

Anyway, K. is a great guy so when he messaged me and said he knew someone I might be interested in, I said sure! K. has talked to his friend R. who has said he’d like to meet me for coffee. Right now, R. has my email address and the ball is in his court. We’ll see what happens.

The second blind date opportunity is especially exciting and really ironic how it all came about. Those of you who know me know that my world seems to be particularly small…seriously. The term “small world” tends to be an understatement with me. A few weeks ago, I went with one of my best friends B. to drop something off at her work. I spotted a really cute guy in one of the offices and tried to get the scoop from her. Unfortunately, she didn’t really know him so didn’t have much dirt to dish. Then today, I got together for coffee with another friend of mine who also works at the same place as B. I mentioned that I was at his work the other day and had spotted this really cute guy. Well, sure enough – he gave me the lowdown!  Fantastic guy, motivated, and highly recommended by my friend. So – my friend is going to confirm his single status and let me know what’s what.

People tend to be from two different camps when it comes to how much effort one should put into dating. I either get the “once you stop looking, it will happen” speech. Or, the “you have to actively get out there if you want to meet someone!” lecture. Having done both, it doesn’t seem that one is more effective than the other (I have been single for 4 years after all!) But, when I think about the options, I’m of the mind that putting yourself out there will never hurt – “prepare for the worst, hope for the best, and take what comes.” If you just sit around and wait, you never know what opportunities you might miss. Granted, those of you who have been single as long as I have know how difficult and discouraging it is to repeatedly put yourself out there with no ROI. And I have to admit, that after tons of first dates that go nowhere (lots of them bind dates), it gets really hard to go in with a positive outlook and keep your optimism in tact. But, for right now, I’m sticking with option A and hoping for a pay off soon…

**Update from the last post: I have not emailed A. back  yet. I’m out of town this weekend and think I’m going to wait until I’m back. Maybe the delayed response will help get the point across…

10
Sep
08

I feel the need; the need….for speed!

Well, I had no idea that things would happen this quickly, but I have agreed to attend my first speed dating event. At first, I was completely against it. The thought of putting myself through 15 blind dates at one time was too overwhelming to contemplate. But, when you figure that you really only need to talk to each person for an average of 5 minutes (no time for awkward silences really, once you factor in each of you exchanging basics; name, age, profession, “is this your first time doing this?” ), I figured it couldn’t be so bad. Besides that, a dear friend that I grew up with (she used to be my babysitter actually!) tried Speed Dating a few weeks ago and said she had a blast. As someone who had recently gone through a divorce and had been a bit skeptical and cynical (sorry M!) about dating, I felt her opinion on the subject held some weight. Not only that, I found it so inspiring that she was willing to put herself out there after what she had been through. It made me feel like such a complete wuss – after all, what reason do I have NOT to try it?

M. did leave me with some good, honest advice however: don’t do it alone. She took two good girlfriends along for support. And even though they didn’t participate in the actual speed dating, they stayed at the bar and were there for her during the awkward “networking” breaks. They were able to scope out some of the guys, and even chatted with a few. She warned me that when you go to an event like this, usually held at a local bar or restaurant, everyone KNOWs you’re single whether they’re participating in the event or not. Unfortunately, that means that the atmosphre tends to be a bit of a free-for-all, and the guys can get a bit gutsy. She said it was great to have her friends there to rescue her and act as a bit of a buffer.

Taking M’s experience and advice into account, I invited along my ONE (that’s right, ONE) single girlfriend. After some convincing, J. agreed to do it with me. She makes anything and everything fun, so I know that she’ll be great for breaking the ice. If worse comes to worse, she’ll be a great person to laugh with once the experience is over.

So – stay tuned for my update next week and I’ll fill you in on how it goes.

09
Sep
08

The Truth About Being Single

Everyone says I should be blogging. It’s what you’re supposed to do in the professional word to get your name out there. Funny enough, I won’t be sharing my name on this blog. But, for every other single girl out there who is going through what I’m going through, I’m sharing my stories. Because I think about being single….a lot.

Some random thoughts on this topic….

Sometimes I lie to people and tell them how much I enjoy being single. It feels like that’s what I’m supposed to say, you know? Because Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha and Miranda made it OK to be single – and showed us how wonderful life can be when you have your true girlfriends and no man in your life. Fair enough. I know there are people out there who are perfectly OK being single and would be happy if that’s how they stayed for the rest of their lives. I admire those people. Really. But here’s the thing: I’m no longer sorry to admit that I am NOT one of those people. I GET LONELY. I mean really – I will give $100 dollars to anyone who can introduce me to a group of 40-something women who are living the life of the girls from Sex and the City.

I think back to a course I took during University called “The Single Girl in 20th Century Fiction and Film” (yes – it WAS a real seminar course – a great one actually!) We talked a lot about Sex and the City; how much we love it and how empowering it is to woman because they talk about sex, and have sex, and date and enjoy being single. Then one day, a girl in my class made a very sobering point. She said, “We all love Sex and the City. But let’s be honest. The truth is that we only like it because it’s not us. We’re so far removed from it right now and although we love the characters, we don’t want to be them when we’re 35 years old, sleeping with random guys, spending money on cosmos and partying until 4am.” It was one of the scariest truths I had ever heard.

What I hate the most, is that I feel guilty admitting that I don’t like being single. I was raised to be an incredibly strong and independent woman. My mom is one, and my grandma was one. And I AM ONE. But sometimes it feels as though strong, independent women can’t admit to being lonely. And I have good friends; great friends in fact. I own my own condo and have a great job that I love. I’m very close to my family and generally happy with everything else in my life.  I don’t NEED a man in my life to make me happy. However, my last relationship ended almost four years ago – and although I don’t regret ending it (he was not the one for me), I miss the cuddles, the calls, the kisses, the dates, his family and friends, the sex – and the moments I appreciated that someone fell in love with me.

At the end of all of this, I DO believe there is hope. That I will find someone. Through the online dating, blind dating, speed dating, random meetings -whatever it takes. So here I go.

Having finished this first post, I’m off to watch The Hills*.

*NOTE: Benefit #1 to being single: no guy to make fun of me for watching The Hills or other fluffy shows.




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