My mind tells me to qualify this statement further, but it is technically true. I dated 60 women in two months, and I was not any happier or less single as a result. I met these women through speed dating events set across two years.
While the events were lighthearted and fun, the realizations I had about myself and about speed dating in general were not. This is the story of my time spent speed dating, and why I decided to give up this method of finding a meaningful relationship. A time-bound experience Imagine meeting a woman for the first time.
You shake hands and talk over drinks while trying to find the right words to make them want to talk to you longer than 15 minutes. Then a bell rings, or someone tells everyone in the room to move on. You shuffle over to the next unoccupied seat in the line.
Again, you try to assemble the chance at a second, more meaningful date with someone else, assessing that other person by their looks and what they're saying. You know they're doing the exact same thing if they're interested.
If they're not, then you have a very awkward stretch of time to fill up. After seeing all these people, you appraise them and score them on a card. If there's an equally high score between two individuals, the organizer of the speed date will send you the other person's number the day after so you can talk to them.
While the amount of time you have to spend with each person on a date varies with each organizer — 7 minutes for some, 15 for others — the realization that it's a time-bound attempt to get someone's attention is a little unsettling.
Consider speed dating as gambling then. Some may want to see speed dating as a crapshoot, where the types of people you meet and the quality of conversation you get is entirely dependent on who decides to play.
At the same time, it is poker, as you contend with a number of other people aiming to connect with someone else during the dates.
Sometimes, however, the crapshoot is rigged and the poker players are in cahoots. In those cases you can be sure that the house wins your money and you won't get either your money or your time back as a result. One speed dating event organizer had called upon 3 of his Korean students to join in, free of charge, because not enough men signed up for the event.
By the end of the evening, the first thing the women who went through dates with the Koreans asked me was, if I was with the Korean contingent. Wrong reasons, wrong time I said at the start of this piece that one of the reasons I tried speed dating was because I used it to find a meaningful relationship. In hindsight, that was not the best way to approach speed dating, and everything I wrote above was how I used to perceive it. As Janina Suarez wrote previously , it's best to not have any expectations.
To desperately search for love at an event with a clock ticking means you pressure yourself. You become less of the type of person you are as you try to find someone who fits this image you have in your head of "The One. I went into speed dating for the wrong reasons, and I went into it at a time when I didn't realize being able to talk to 60 women was a chance to improve myself socially, the way the Korean daters probably did.
That perspective check was refreshing, and it was why I decided to give up speed dating entirely: I just turned 30, and I'm still refining my definition of a meaningful relationship. I want to spend more time with one person, to see if we get along and mesh well on a variety of levels.
I want to know what a meaningul relationship means for that other person, and whether our individual thoughts on the matter align. To that end, I'll ask people out, or get help from friends to be introduced to new people. As for speed dating, I'd still recommend it to singles, but only after I've told them to change their expectations.