Ready,Set, Date!

Single in in the city? The traditional dating scene might be too dated for you. You may have limited yourself to fix ups, blind dates or just plain waiting around for Mr. or Mrs. Right. After a long day or an even longer week who has time to waste scanning profiles on line in search for your soul mate? Let me tell you about a modern new take on the singles dating scene. The name of the game is speed dating.This story starts out with a single, 40 something female trying her hand at a speed dating event. "Nikki" took the stairs up to the retro style martini bar. After a few of years out of the dating scene, she was decidedly a bit nervous. Oblivious to her dreamy appearance, she second guessed her outfit of choice. She felt a bit uncomfortable going to this event alone and wished she had met with friends at the downstairs eatery. "A girl can always use a boost to her confidence in a circumstance like this!" Nikki casually mingled with the friendly participants as they helped themselves to tasty hors d’oeuvres and trendy drinks at the open bar. There was pleasant chit chat among the guests before the charming male host introduced himself and started to explain the evenings event. As it goes, each female participant sits at a table and the males rotate around in 8 minute intervals. There were 10 women and 8 men. Normally they strive for equal numbers but 2 men were a no-show. Everyone was dressed to impress, so to speak. Each person had a card where they could write down the names of the participants they "date" for 8 minutes. After each meeting you can discretely write yes or no to indicate whether the date was a hit or a miss. Nikki gets to converse with 8 very different men. It’s a whirlwind of questions, answers and new faces to meet and greet in a party style atmosphere. Nikki admits "it was hard to keep my wits about me!" She took time in between each chat to fan herself with the score card. After all, it was the hottest day of the season to date!Nikki described three men that she found interesting.Bachelor #1 had an attractive smile and a congenial personality.Bachelor #2 was a pleasant conversationalist with a sweet boyish face.Bachelor #3 had a charming manner and was easy on the eyes.Nikki mentioned that she has to endure a couple of dull drawls about business from a couple of her dates.One of her dates actually talked non-stop about himself and didn’t let her get a word in. When the 8 minutes of chat time were up the guy said "Oh, I didn’t even get your name?" Silently, Nikki pointed to her name tag. On a more positive note, a novel question was posed to our participant when a man thoughtfully asked "how do you describe Nikki?"The speed dating participants have 8 minutes to get to know each other. The host in this event taps on a martini glass to signal the men to switch tables. Everyone gets a chance to meet each participant from the opposite sex. There is time to make notes on each person and indicate whether you are interested in further contact. The aim of the speed dating game is to get a match. If you check "yes" to a person and that person checks "yes" to you then "voila" you get a match. If you get any matches then the next day you will be e-mailed contact information on each other. After that you can take it from there on your own. If there are no matches then you can try, try again as the adage goes. There is a startup cost which some could consider pricey but you do enjoy food and drink along with the promise of pleasant conversation. After attending your first speed dating event further dating event costs are reduced and vary according to your interest level.As far as Nikki’s experience, she found it to be an enjoyable experience and she is very likely going to participate in future speed dating events. After a stint being off the market she would like to keep her options open and get more comfortable easing her way back into the dating game. Speed dating is a good way to meet a variety of interesting people without having to mingle aimlessly in a crowd or commit to a single date. As well, Nikki notes that "you get to cut to the chase" if you know what questions to ask. Nikki would definitely recommend speed dating to other singles as a good way to broaden your horizons.If you are interested to participate in a swanky speed dating event then speed dating might be worth a try or even a try, try, again for that matter. Get out there and get in the game, right? Ready, set, date!
Wanda Lynne

Ready, Set, Date! was published in the July/August '07 issue of Real Women Magazine.