Last night I crossed something off of my "bucket list." I went speed dating.
My friend and I arrived at D'vine Wine Bar downtown around 7pm. When we signed in a coworker of mine was there and scored me free entrance*! (Pre-pay is $35, at the door is $40!) We were each given a name tag with a number on it and a folder that held a sheet on which we could write down each of our "dates" and whether we wanted to have further contact with them, along with any other notes to help us remember everyone. After sitting around looking at the people that were showing up it was announced that the dating was about to commence. After one last fist bump with my wing woman I took my place at table #2.
As I sat at my table nervously, I watched men come and sit at all the other tables but alas, table #1 and I were left man-less. I commented to the woman sitting next to me, "I can't believe I'm getting stood up at a speed date!" She laughed and agreed. While all the couples around us began their first three minute round she and I conversed with each other- good practice for our upcoming dates. The three minutes went by quickly and soon my new friend found herself with a date, while I sat dateless again. Throughout the first half of the speed date I had about 4 dateless sessions, but the other dateless girls and I got together to chat. There was a pretty decent sense of camaraderie throughout the event.
Finally, at round three, I had a date. I'll call this one TD. TD sat down at the table and was immediately smiling and shook my hand. I was nervous, not quite sure how to start. Luckily he took the lead- though I could tell he is a little shy too. He asked me about why I was speed dating and what I do for a living. I in return asked the same. We didn't get too deep into anything, and at the end of our three minutes I decided that while he was nice he just wasn't the guy for me and I circled my first "no" of the evening.
The mix of men that I met was very interesting. There were guys who were still in college or had recently graduated to men who worked at banks, worked for NASA, or who were divorced. There were tall guys, shorter guys, bald guys, cute guys, fat guys, skinny guys, red heads, blondes, and everything in between! I definitely felt like I was attracted to the guys who were confident from the get go and didn't seem to be relying on me to lead the conversation.
Later in the evening, after the 10 minute break we were granted, I felt I really hit my stride. I was being more friendly, didn't only focus on what people did for a living, and felt more relaxed. It was during the second half that I met "Forge". During our three minutes all we discussed was my hobbies (reading and photography) and our mutual enjoyment of travel. Forge smiled the entire time, held his own in the conversation, and seemed to be enjoying himself. He was one of my 4 yes votes!
People might see that out of 15 or so guys I only said yes to 4 and take that to mean that it was a waste of time. I don't think that is the case at all. I had a great time, and most of my "no's" were still really nice guys, just not what I thought would be a good fit for me. If I were a guy I'd look at the forty dollars as being way cheaper than taking 20 girls on 20 first dates!
After the event was over my friends and I stayed and chatted with a few of the guys we found interesting before heading home. It was nice to get a little more conversation out of people. While I was talking to Forge some more, another guy, who I'd like to call "Orange" came up and stood by us. When "Forge" asked him if he needed something he said, "I just came to listen to Sara tell stories." We both smiled awkwardly and I responded, "I do tell really awesome stories" and then continued on with my conversation. He ended up quietly slipping away taking his awkward social skills with him.
If you're thinking of speed dating do it. It was fun and an interesting way to spend a Tuesday evening. And who knows, maybe you'll be like another coworker of mine and meet your future spouse at the event! I'll update you all when I get my email telling me who was interested in me! I will also be writing a post of "tips" for speed dating... especially what guys should and shouldn't do...
*Even though I got in for free it had nothing to do with me writing this post as neither the coworker nor the woman running the event knew that I would be talking about it on this blog. It was just a surprise perk!