Sunday, July 23, 2006

Adventures in speed dating

Last night, I went to what was being billed as the "World Record Speed Dating Event" at the Hamilton Convention Centre, sponsored by the Plenty of Fish website. This was a total lark for me, as I haven't dated in a few years and wanted to get a jump start. I was in the 25 to 40 section, and I must have spoken to 80 women of almost every personality type one could imagine in the course of three hours.

It's hard to say where this is going to lead. I'm supposed to find out in the next two or three days if any women on my shortlist made theirs as well. But there are a few observations from where I stand.
  • One, the venue kept changing as more and more people signed up. There was a real nice facility in Burlington that got an upgrade, but then the fire department there said they couldn't handle the crowd control. So it was moved to where it was last night with little more than a week to deadline time (a bit suprising, since convention space is often booked months in advance); but I do have to wonder about the final choice. Maybe it's the way it was set up, but it seemed awfully loud in there.
  • Two, it's often said that someone at a speed dating event knows if the opposite number is dateable material within the first three to five seconds. For some in my rotation, that was definitely true. But others, I found I didn't check yes or no until I had sat with two more women -- while the rest, I made my pick at about the midway point.
  • Three, there was a bit of an afterparty, but after doing some walkarounds I found some of the women who had sparked my interest had already left and some of the rest were perhaps looking the other way. Don't know what to read of it one way or the other, but I was out the door by about 10 pm.

Would I do this again? Yes, I would. But I would prefer a much more controlled environment rather than the rather raucous affair from last night. And three minutes just isn't enough time. I would go with five minutes; and maybe 30 women at most.

Have any of you tried speed dating? Did it lead to any dates -- good or bad? And what advice would you give a guy who's essentially meeting someone on a blind date; presuming some dates do come out of this? I'd appreciate your feedback.

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