My experience of speed dating
I wasn't going to write about this but after going, a lot of people asked me about it out of pure curiousity, so I figured I'd share it!
Back in November I was feeling very meh about the dating apps after a few unsuccessful dates so the idea of speed dating popped up. I mentioned it to some friends and all of a sudden there was a group of seven of us heading to a venue in Brighton for a night of four-minute dates!
The benefit of this over apps is that you can meet lots of people very quickly and work out if there's a vibe there. With the apps you can often be talking to someone for a week or so before meeting, only to find within a few minutes of the date that you're not attracted to them and it was all a waste of time.
I was definitely glad I went with friends because it can be daunting enough without walking into a room of strangers alone. None of us had been before and if anything we were ready for it to be a laugh and something we could say we've done.
I went through Original Dating and they run nights up and down the country.
Age range: 23-35
There were about 15 girls and 12 boys
Weekday night, 7.30-9.30
Before the night
So to prep, once you've booked your space you have to fill in a little profile. This is a tiny job - 10 minutes max. I'm talking a couple of photos, a tiny bio, and then your details (job, location, age). Finally, you have to click through a load of adjectives and tick off what describes you (eg. sporty, crafty, foody).
Once you've done that you just have to turn up!
On the night
We rocked up a little bit early to get a drink at the bar before heading to the lower floor which was where the event was taking place. This just meant we weren't rushing in and could relax a little bit before the dating started.
When we got down there, our host explained how it was going to work and sat the girls down at tables/booths all over the room. We each had a number so the boys could rotate around every four minutes when the host rang her bell.
**Now at this point I already felt like I wasn't going to have much luck because I was taller than 85% of the boys. Call my shallow but I need to be with someone that's basically my height (or taller of course).**
I'm a chatty person anyway and could have a conversation with a brickwall so talking to a load of strangers wasn't something I was worried about. My go-to question was 'what do you do outside of work?' because I didn't want the same conversation about jobs over and over again. Instead, this showed me if we had anything in common and I could work out if they were for me or not. It also served as a good springboard into a range of topics so no conversations were repeated.
There was a couple of occasions I had no one because there were more girls than boys (the host said usually it's the other way around) which was a good chance to get a drink and just chill.
Once you've had all your dates we had chance to all mix organically. If you wanted to go you could, but we stayed and just had a debrief/chatted to some of the guys a bit more. This isn't your chance to swap numbers, that comes the day after...
After the night
This is where your profile comes in that you made before the night. You log back in and now you can see the profiles of everyone that was there. You click through saying whether you want to see them again, and then at 5pm the day after the event it publishes your mutual matches.
I clicked 'no' for eveyone (so did all my friends) so didn't get any matches but it did tell me I got a few people wanting to see me again which was a good ego boost if anything!
If I had liked someone though it would show my mutual matches and put us in touch to arrange another date - this one longer than four minutes.
I loved this experience. It was good to be thrown in at the deep end and meet lots of people in a short space of time. It was well-organised and the host was great. It was a good laugh with friends and definitely a good social exercise, so even if everyone is a no you've had a crash course in dating which is always good.
I'd definitely recommend.