Thursday, 1 November 2012

Speed Dating: Awkward or Artful

Given my incessant need to go out and try new things, the idea of speed dating came up and garnered some curiosity.

Who goes to speed dating?
Does it still exist?
What do you say there?
Do you actually meet people?
Are they weird?
What's wrong with them?
What do you wear?

These are just some of the questions that I had before I stepped on site. Get ready for the series of blogposts on the deed, Speeding Dating Series. Keep in mind that not everyone's experience is the same and my opinions and experiences are by no measure exclusive of all such experiences.

Here's my take: Speed dating is that conversation you have at a bar/club/lounge when the music stops blaring for a couple minutes. The only difference being the lack of the awkward number exchange.

Speed dating highlighted the awkwardness that still somewhat exists today regarding the "can I call you sometime?" process.

When you're at a bar/club/lounge and a stunner approaches you to dance/talk/drink and you engage with said person, what happens when they leave without asking you for your number? Awkward.

Then you can be talking to individuals whom you have no interest in exchanging numbers with - how do you say no to them? or that you'd just like to be friends? Awkward.

Getting someone to ask you for your number? Awkward.

Asking someone for their number? Awkward.

Ok fine these situations are not all that awkward for the socially apt, but even we sometimes get tired of manoeuvring the game.

Bear in mind it can still be awkward when you receive an email from a speed dating company saying that you have no matches (meaning no one whom you had an interest in felt the same about you) but offering you a free session.

But for the most part speed dating eliminates that awkwardness. If you're clicking with someone whom you just feel like flirting with but not pursuing - no problem. If you're smiling politely at someone who is beyond interested in you and you know that friendship is nowhere in sight - no problem. If you can't stand the arrogant person and three minutes seems like three hours - no problem. If s/he is coming on too strong, planning your wedding china - no problem. You never have to give your number a.k.a you never have to check 'yes'. And hopefully you never run into them.

One of the patrons tonight said, "it's less intense and nerve-wrecking than the bar scene where girls are defensive and have their guard up because they just get guys hitting on them and think that all guys just want one thing." "Atleast here everyone's friendly and willing to talk to you for a bit." People did seem much more polite at speed dating and even if uninterested they do give you a couple minutes of their time instead of brushing you away (thereby easing the shut-down impact). Girls who would've probably never given certain guys the time of day and vice-versa actually ended up having a conversation.

Of course, regarding the awkwardness at a bar/club/lounge a simple "no, sorry I'm not interested" or "can I call you sometime?" could be said, but let's be real it isn't always so simple. Sometimes people get nervous, sometimes you're out of your league, sometimes you just don't feel like being rude, and sometimes we/they just can't take a hint (no matter how many times you touch his arm or place your arm on her waist).

So say what you may about speed dating and think what you want about it but it does do something to eliminate the sometimes awkward "let's link up" "can I call you" "call me, maybe" "digits please" etc., process.

Not sure if I'll be a serial speed dater but it was a fun experience and a great way to network with people whom you may not usually meet (in addition to providing me with tons of material for several blogposts to come). It's definitely something to try at least once.

Next in the Speeding Dating Series:
Speed Dating: A New High or Low
Speed Dating: Who, Why & Wear
Speed Dating: Do's & Don'ts

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