…and you have 4 minutes to wow me, and vice versa.
I’ve been to (only) two speed dating events in my life. This is probably two more than most people – I always felt it had a weird ring to it, desperate, last resort -ish or so.
The first time I went about 6 years ago. I still thought that I could meet men outside of the virtual world, face-to-face, wowing them and walk away with a bunch of phone numbers and admirers 😁. I convinced my best friend to accompany me, even though she had a boyfriend at that time. We arrived at ethe venue, walked into a big room, with lonely tables scattered around. It looked rather uncomfortable and didn’t help the arising feeling of run and hide. We looked around the room and the only men we could see were of the kind that would, under normal circumstances, never leave the house for any sort of social interaction, let alone to speak to women. Anything, but not this, please! The thought of having to somehow connect with these guys made me shiver. I panicked, turned around, grabbed my friends arm, and we left the venue. With the event being two girls short. Eek!
Three weeks ago was the second time I went to a speed dating event. How times have changed… The weirdo label has disappeared (so I hope), it is much more common to try various dating avenues and events. And my mindset was a different one: I wanted to go and ‘practice’ talking to men who I don’t fancy at all. Yes, I’m well versed in small talk, but I lose interest rather quickly if I go with the expectation of chatting to a potential guy and it turns out he isn’t… So it’s practicing, and having fun with the sometimes weird and random conversation. Just going with it, no expectations.
I went with a friend again, it’s good to have a back-up and to being able to chat in the break and gossip afterwards ;-). On our way to the venue we did say that we hoped to not sit at the tables next to each other. Not sure if we could keep a straight face if we could listen to what the other one was saying, or read her facial expressions… And what did happen? We sat next to each other, of course. Ha ha!
What kind of guys did we me?
1. The serious, this is no fun kind of guy
As soon as we got to the venue and received our name tag, a guy marched over to us, rather purposefully. He stopped about 5 inches in front of us and I was tempted to point out that he had invaded my personal space… He started to fire questions at us, which we were able to answer in as short as possible replies. When we took a breath to ask something in return he fired off the next question. No flirting, no jokes, only facts facts facts.. It very soon felt like an enquiry and I lost my patience. I cut in and stated that we have to go to the bar before the session starts because I may need another drink if this is any indication of how the evening will go. Not my most charming escape but I needed to get us out of there. Both of us dreaded the moment when we’d see him again.
2. The socially awkward guy
That’s the guy who comes to your table and starts the conversation with ‘Hi, my name is Philip, with one I and one P, as in Prince Philip, my mother is a big fan of the Royal Family’. And that is it, that the only information I can get out of him. All other questions are answered with ‘I’m not sure, what do you think?’. Aaargh! I even started talking about the Royal family and the wedding etc, but he didn’t know anything about it, because he wasn’t interested… 4 minutes can be a veeery long time.
3. The most boring guy ever
Then there were a couple of guys who lead a life of boredom. At least that’s how I imagine it to be. They hate their job (‘let’s not talk about it’), they have no aspirations or goals, no hobbies. When asked how he likes to spend his holidays he just said ‘I don’t care’. I tried to dig deeper and asked if he liked travelling, again he cared to elaborate with: ‘I don’t travel, I’ve already been everywhere’. Blimey – everywhere? That’s amazing. It turns out that he’s visited exactly one city per continent, not counting Antarctica and the Arctica, he didn’t enjoy the food anywhere. Now he prefers to stay at home and ‘to potter around the house’. How exciting – I can’t wait to join in. NOT.
4. The overly confident guy
This one is chatty – talks mostly about himself, sometimes funny, but can’t stand questions that challenge him (how dare she!?), if I turn out to have done something he didn’t accomplish yet or I may not share his opinion on a subject. I lose my patience with those guys in an instance, and would have liked to say ‘just use the net couple of minutes and go and get a drink for yourself’. Unfortunately, usually I didn’t get to this point. Time ran out fast and I was relieved to not having to tell this idiot any personal details about myself. Go and pat yourself on your back, take a few more selfies in the gym mirror. *eyeroll*
5. The normal guy
Yes, out of 14 guys we met there were two who I thought were just genuinely nice and normal. I didn’t fancy any of them, but it was such a nice change to have a fun conversation. Hallelujah! These were the two guys that joined us girls at the bar afterwards (yes, us girls got on well!) and who received a ‘yes’ or at least ‘friends’ from most of us. Hope was restored that the world is not full of single men who are nutters or losers.
So what did I learn from it? Go with an open mind. Don’t expect anything. Buy a large drink. Prepare some questions that throw the idiots off balance. Under no circumstances consider this the correct representation of male singles in your city! Try speed dating with an extra twist, like activities or themes etc. At least you have a hook to start a conversation, and with a bit of luck the boring guys might be too scared to go in the first place.
Keep looking for Mr Right, he must be out there somewhere. And he certainly owes me a nice glass of champagne for all the trouble I go through to find him! 😉