Join Lou on her arduous journey to find her Prince Charming by embarking on several speed dating sessions.
Hands up on those who have been Speed Dating? Okay…about average….Hands up on those who have been Speed Dating a couple of times? Okay, a few down….Hands up on those who have been Speed Dating at least five times? Nope…just me then?
For those singletons out there, the world of dating and managing to capture a partner is like driving to the most beautiful place on Earth (anywhere you like, I’m flexible) and then, only to break down at the near-top of a hill in a clutch-less Ford KA. Whilst cars drive past to that place, you are waiting for an AA man to rescue you and take you to the nearest garage home. You never get to see or even visit that most beautiful place as no matter how many times you try, you cannot seem to go over that hill.
So, what can one do after years of trying? Hitch a lift? Or try to find alternative ways of transportation? After being single for a huge amount of time (to the extent, I couldn’t remember the last time a guy has taken an interest in me) I took the plunge and decided to book a place on a speed dating event – this was two years back….
Now, it depends on what area or city you live in, I imagine that London has exciting and unusual speed dating events there. I read about “Shhh Dating” where you date in silence, I even read about an event where you get taught how to date at the National Gallery…but in the East Midlands those events don’t exist (or do they?). Maybe, everyone in this city/region is attached; maybe we don’t want to be attached to each other…
I never thought I would find myself in this single predicament in my mid-twenties; I thought I would be at least with somebody or even, engaged. How I laugh at that thought now! I thought that speed dating was for sad, desperate people and that there was a reason why they were single. I had no plans to join that party…until I realised that I was on the golden invitation list. Yay!
Here I was paying my £20 to speed date with my age group and I must admit it wasn’t that bad an ordeal(s). I was nervous and very much alone as I attended my first, let’s call it: ‘SD’. It is true that some people attend with their friends – I can even imagine the conversation that they had over this whilst stating how “fun” it shall be. When you attend on your own, it can be quite daunting; you feel like you are billy-no-mates as you stand there at the bar drinking orange juice as you are driving. You look at your phone trying to procure the look of “I’m popular, you know” and so it begins.
You get given a sticky label with a number on it, if you are a lady, you sit at that table number and if you are a man, then you are a number that moves around. The host, in my case, the hosts explains the evening and gives out the spiel of “let’s have fun…you never know…” You get giving a mark sheet of “Date, Friend or just no” and are reminded to make sure you write your “date” names down. Now, this instruction can be complicated to fulfil as you try to make that important decision as you got to match up your decisions with their decisions in hope of getting a “match”. As I said, I have been to FIVE of them and I’m going to share a summary of what happened to me on those SD with some advice accompanying them:
SD#1 – (No Matches)
• A man explains that he cares for his Father (which is a tough job) but he is in a custody battle over his kids. Hmmm…right….Not to mention that he has a huge amount of BO, which cued four minutes of holding my breath.
• Another just TALKING to the table (yep) for FOUR minutes rather to me.
• One just writing and saying “No” in front of me….Nice…
• Conversations exist between two or more people. I’m interested in people’s lives, but if I wanted a soliloquy I’d have read Shakespeare.
• Smell nice…no, smell lovely, please. A good aftershave or perfume is a turn-on.
• Weren’t you taught manners cost nothing? And to have respect?
SD#2 (No matches)
This was a disaster for me; I had to speed date whilst having a mild case of food poisoning from a dodgy tuna sandwich. Hmmm…let’s skip this one.
SD#3 (Two matches with two fine young men which equalled to two dates – obviously, separate)
So, by this stage, I was becoming a bit of a regular to the extent that the hosts asked me “What was wrong with me?” or “Am I being too fussy?” Of course, being friendly, I just laughed it off but inside, I was saying “Why does something has to be wrong with me?” and “I want a decent man that smells lovely and that IS interested in me?” – I bet no man ever gets asked this.
• An early twenty-something who thought he was God’s gift to women whilst telling inappropriate sexist jokes about “f*cking” and “Kid Rock”… Thank goodness for loud background music.
• Don’t be a d*ckhead….
SD#4 (One Match which lead into several rather nice dates with him)
• God’s Gift returned and was gentlemanly this time, but still acted as though he thought he was better than me…
• See Advice for SD #3
CANCELLED due to host being sick… Thank God.
So, Five SD’s later and with some “nice” (note, the word nice) dates along the way, I am still single. Yes, I did manage to get a quick peek over that hill and it was worth every eye full but what I want now is to get that full ogle and visit that damn beautiful place. But, I don’t want to go on another speed dating event; unless, it’s something different (open to all “sensible” offers…) Though I did enjoy them and got to speak to some rather handsome, intelligent men. It was the aftermath I didn’t enjoy.
The next day, you receive your match via text/email….you’re riding high from the night before thinking that you had a good night, but in fact, you find out you have no matches. Now, this only happened after two out of the four SD events, but I decided that I’ve been on one too many and also, hoped too much. I’d had enough of selling myself 15 times over each event just to get even one man to “like” me. However, I have learnt that maybe four minutes can be one minute too long, and one minute too short, for all that important “chemistry”.
Have you tried speed dating? How did it work out for you?