Awhile back, a brave How To With Courtney ventured out to a speed dating event and came back with some awesome survival tips. I did precisely none of those things in heading out to my own speed dating adventure.
Before heading out, a quick Google search on “what to do at speed dating event” (yes, that’s my actual search term) produced the following gem of a result: WikiHow’s How to Speed Date: 9 Steps. Side note: This article is hilarious. Also, the kid in the pictures is like what, 12? He shouldn’t be speed dating. Thankfully, the next article I pulled had some better tips, albeit directed to dudes. A girl must take what she can get when conducting last minute internet research on something as ridiculous as learning how to speed date effectively.
With clearly no real guidance on what to expect, I set out on my own to the next level of dating.
I got there late (per usual) but still managed to grab a drink before grabbing a seat across from a guy. There seemed to be even numbers as I sat down, but then a guy sitting diagonally from me dashed out. Man down and we hadn’t even started. Him leaving meant I didn’t have a “date” for round 2. I persevered though and eavesdropped on the other conversations around me. The girl sitting next to me, not so dedicated. When she got the empty spot, she bolted.
The first few rounds were fine. Conversations were ok and overall, not a lot of complaints about the experience. I wasn’t digging anyone in particular, but what else is there to do on a Tuesday night? Talking to random people didn’t seem like the worst way to spend my time.
There was a break in the middle of the event to refresh drinks and “mingle” with the speed daters. That’s when things got interesting.
ALMOST ALL THE WOMEN LEFT. No joke. We returned to our seats and there were four women left. We could see one group of women with the guy who had jumped ship earlier in the evening outside, but it was clear they were not coming back. The remaining guys and the event coordinator were standing in the dating area and puzzled on what could have gone so wrong with the evening to have so many people just abandon the dates. The four surviving women finished out the rounds with the last guys. Needless to say, it was extra awkward for those of us still there.
Speaking with one of the guys who stuck it out until the end and the event coordinator, we agreed that it’s kind of rude to just quit in the middle. The event coordinator said this hadn’t happened before – at least for her events – although losing one or two people is typical. Losing almost 50 percent though? That was new. The guy I was chatting with one woman was really shy and “she looked like a bolter.” Indeed, she was the one who ran out when there was a gap.
Moral of this story? Stay until the end if you choose to speed date. Yes, it may be awkward. No, the dates may not be amazing. There’s no reason to chat and dash though. At a minimum you can laugh about your experience with friends later. Remember, dating is awful. Be nice.