Speed Dating Adventures: Round 1

Speed dating originated in 1998, and was set up by an American rabbi, as a way for young, single Jewish people to meet one another. Back in the nineties, speed dating events attracted large diverse crowds. But as the years have gone on, the popularity of speed dating has dwindled potentially as a result of people primarily finding their partners through apps.

Although it’s not as common anymore (at least for my age group) – the thought of having up to 15 mini-dates seemed very exciting. I mean, who wouldn’t want to experience being ‘The Bachelor’ or ‘The Bachelorette’ at least once?

My silent prayer was answered when my sweet Jewish mother purchased me 2 speed dating Groupons through 25dates.com as part of my birthday gift. I mean… do you think she was sending me a subtle hint?

So I went online to sign my friend and I up. Neither of us had any expectations – other than to at the very least to have a good laugh. We did agree to go in with an open mind, and try to take the whole experience seriously.

The event took place at a vodka bar & lounge. The ambiance was very nice and relaxing. We signed in, were each given a name tag with a specific number and a score card sheet. The first half an hour or so was just waiting around for the other 10-15 guys and girls to get there… we were one of the first few. It was painfully awkward waiting around to start, so I went up to the bar to get a drink, and as I returned back to the couch — I noticed a cute guy sitting there. We smiled at each other.

Him: “Hi – you look very familiar.”

Me: “Actually.. you as well.”

Him: “Have we been talking on JSwipe?”

I was so shocked… I knew I recognized him from somewhere. We had matched several times on more than one app and for some reason or another our conversation never led to meeting up. Anyway it was almost meant to be I thought, that both of us had signed up for this event!

Another guy had started talking to my friend – so I wasted no time getting to know JSwipe guy even more – and we pretty much had a 15 minute head start on our 5 minute speed date. He seemed quite normal and mature, and we had a bit in common. He said to me I looked a lot better in person than on the app… which I thought to take as a compliment, but also just goes to show that sometimes the pictures you post don’t always do you complete justice.

We pretty much told each other we were marking a ‘yes’ next to both of our names. It was a great start to the evening! Unfortunately, it only went downhill after that…

Kevin the line cook was one of my favourites – for all the wrong reasons. Mainly for entertainment. He jumped right into telling me that he was ‘a masochist who enjoyed getting hurt’… pointing out all the burn marks and scars down his arm. It only got better from there. When I asked him to tell me something random about himself, he said that he considered cherries to be very unsexy.

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When I asked why – he told me because he didn’t like the shape (red flag #1… thought to myself: So do you prefer the shape of a banana?) and he said also because they lower your sex drive. Who knew about that one? Anyway, with no hesitancy, I marked down ‘no’.

On the topic of food – Kevin the software manager asked me what I thought about Pineapples. Because of course, that’s something I think about on a regular, day-to-day basis.

Me: “They’re pretty sweet. What do you think?”

Kevin: “Delicious. They’re actually known to make everything taste so much better.” Throws in a wink at the end.

Grabbed my score card and marked ‘no’.

Aside from those, most of the conversations I had were pretty dry and I didn’t feel any chemistry, so by the end of the night – there was only one box marked ‘yes’ for the JSwipe guy. I hate to say, but most were quite socially awkward (which is not a bad thing) but they had absolutely no clue how to talk to woman.

Fast forward to 11PM. I’m about to go to sleep and I get a new Bumble alert on my phone. Oh my god… I still had JSwipe guy listed as a match. So for the next hour we continued writing back and forth. So much for waiting two days (at which time I would get an alert from 25dates) to find out if he was interested. Conversation was mostly great, but he was being overly flirty. To the point of saying things like I’m a naughty girl for following him to a speed dating event, and that he noticed I have a really nice bum. I was surprised he was talking this way after our great conversation that night.

I responded asking if he was examining me when I was at the bar. He replied…

“Admittedly I was. A good doctor always has to examine his patients.” (No, he’s not a doctor).

I responded jokingly asking if he had a PhD. He replied…

“Yeah, I guess I’ll have to be more thorough next time”.

Anyway — he wants to see me tomorrow evening (3 days after the event). He suggested a movie and wine night at his place, which I think everyone knows what that implies. I wrote saying I would be open to going to see a movie in a theatre and maybe grabbing a drink after. He liked that idea, but after having spoken with my friends about it… I’m feeling like he may just be a playboy looking for a good time. Thinking I may need to be honest about what I’m looking for before meeting up. Thoughts?

More adventures coming your way soon.

P.S. According to Toronto.com’s ‘100 Places to Pickup in Toronto‘ article – speed dating is pretty high up on the list of new ways to meet and mingle with other young professionals. I plan on checking out several of the other venues on this list over the next year, and will try to shift more away from all the online apps. Take a look, you may be inspired.

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Birthday Celebrations

It had been over a week since I last went out with AB. The plan was to go out last night for a celebratory birthday dinner followed by a comedy show.

We met midtown at the subway station – and as soon as we locked eyes we smiled at one another and gave a hug/kiss hello. It was a beautiful day out. He took my hand in his and we started walking down the street towards a nice Italian restaurant. We got there and took a seat outside on the patio. He looked cute with his blue baseball cap on and striped t-shirt.

Conversation flowed pretty smoothly. Part of me was still thinking about Adam – although I tried my best to not let him effect my time with AB. The bill arrived, and although I insisted to contribute, AB said it was his treat. After dinner, he presented me with a gift and card. I opened up the gift and my heart melted – he bought me a 5-disc set of Bryan Adam’s classical albums. For those of you who don’t know, AB and I went on our first official date to watch Bryan Adams perform live. I mean, how thoughtful is that?

At around 7:30PM – we walked over to the comedy club (which was right around the corner from the restaurant). It was my second time ever going to see live comedy, so I was pretty excited. AB had his arm around me as we waited in line and got our tickets scanned. When we walked inside, the usher told us there were two different tables we could sit at. One, being on the far left side of the room and the other being dead centre right in front of the microphone. So of course which table did AB want us to sit at? I think you can guess…

I knew I needed a drink – especially since there was a high chance we were going to get picked on all evening. I ordered a cocktail and AB got a coffee since he was driving that night. The MC came on around quarter after 8. Let me tell you – every single comedian was HILARIOUS. Some of it was pretty raunchy (talking about masturbation and having sex) and I will admit my cheeks went a bit red at some of the punch lines but overall it was great. I don’t remember the last time I laughed that hard – AB was also having a great time. We held hands for the majority of the show while sitting at the table. Turned out AB got picked on way more than me! The one comedian saw that AB didn’t clap as quickly to one of his jokes (immediately calling him out as a skeptic) – so he kept bring his microphone closer to AB – to the point where he purposely started thrusting himself right into AB’s face – joking around to see if AB was getting more comfortable around him. AB’s face went bright red – it was so cute and I couldn’t stop laughing.

The show ended around 9:30PM and we headed out of the comedy club. I had planned to subway back home but AB insisted on driving me  – which was so sweet. He told me that he first needed to pick up his sister and her boyfriend from his mom’s house to give them a lift home. I was a little caught off guard – since I wasn’t expecting to meet any family members but I told him that sounded cool.

We arrived at his mom’s place (she was out of town for the weekend) – we walked inside and he introduced me to his sister and her boyfriend. They both seemed really nice and down to earth. He told me I got shot gun so I sat in the front of the car with him. Once they got dropped off – AB drove me back home. Again cruising down the highway (this time, no flat tires!) We kissed at the red lights (I know, not very safe – but I couldn’t help myself). He got me home safe and sound and asked if he would get to see me again within the next week. I’m hoping I’ll be able to – as I would like to see him again before I have double jaw surgery (the second week of October).

It’s interesting as we haven’t determined the relationship – although I can’t help but feel like he’s already invested in this. The fact that he felt comfortable enough to introduce me to his sister and her boyfriend last night, bought me such a sweet and thoughtful gift and drove me all the way home definitely makes me feel like he sees me as something long-term, wouldn’t you think? He’s admitted to the fact that we’re dating – which I would say the same – but neither of us have brought up the word ‘relationship’. I’m scared to bring it up myself – to be honest. He’s great and sweet and seems so into me, but am I ready to take that leap?

Sangria’s, X’S and O’S

Over the last week, my Italian ‘fish’, Joey, has quickly slipped away back into the dating pond. I’m just as confused as many of you may be – after reading about the successful date I had with him two weeks ago. At any rate, I was back on the prowl and might have found myself an even better contender.

Meet David: a 24 year old accountant who also appreciates high tea and shares a love for traveling.

We had been talking back and forth on OKCupid for just over a week, when we decided to move things over to Facebook. The first thing I noticed was that our birthdays were three days apart. Thought that was pretty neat. Next, I saw we shared one mutual friend. Turns out that mutual friend was a girl I went to both elementary school and high school with! As I looked through a few pictures he was tagged in, I put the puzzle pieces together and figured out they were cousins. Small world! Anyway, I suggested the two of us go out for drinks to celebrate our birthdays.

Which leads us to tonight.

The two of us met up at Jack Astor’s Bar & Grill for drinks and dinner downtown. When I got there he was already waiting in the front entrance and stepped outside as he saw me walking up the stairs. He was very cute – just like in the pictures! We hugged each other hello and then proceeded to sit down at a booth inside the dining room.

We looked over the drink menu, and decided to share a pitcher of red Sangria. I could tell David was pretty nervous, as I was initiating the majority of conversation towards the beginning. Maybe it was just my beautiful presence which made his knees week. ;) Anyway, I felt like as we continued making our way through the bottle of Sangria, he felt more at ease and asked me more questions.

We talked about our families, and I was really pleased to hear how close he was with his parents and siblings. Our conversation pretty much covered all areas including places we traveled to, our University experiences, work life and pets (so happy he shared a love for cats like I do!)

The atmosphere was really nice and after about an hour of sitting down together, they dimmed the lights in the room. It was as if the waitress telepathically read my mind as it definitely made the setting more romantic.

Along with our Sangria’s, we shared a garlic bread and pizza. It was deelish! As we finished off our meal, I noticed there were some crayons at the table and our plates covered a sheet of drawing paper. That led into several games of X’s and O’s (which I won twice) and we also played a few games of hang man. Definitely a fun ice breaker activity on a first date. It was also a good way of learning what kind of bands he liked, cities he visited, and TV shows he watched. Even if you don’t have a Jack Astor’s in your city, I’m sure there is a similar restaurant that can allow you and your date to relive some of those classic childhood games.

Just over two hours later, he paid the bill (I offered to contribute) and we walked towards the subway. Once we got there I thanked David again for dinner. He said he had a nice time and hoped I got home safely. We had a nice hug goodbye and then we proceeded our separate ways. I had a silly grin on my face while taking the escalator down into the subway.

I texted him when I got home saying, “Hey. Just wanted to let you know I got home safe and thanks again for a great evening!”

David responded about ten minutes later saying, “Glad to hear that. :)”

I really hope he’s interested in going on a second date! Don’t want to get too excited, but I think he is definitely a good one. Thoughts?

The Ex and Her Daughter

Let me introduce to you Jon’s ex: Danielle. I learned about Danielle within the first week of talking to Jon. In fact, I was first introduced to her through his webcam while we were on Skype. She said a quick hello just as she was about to leave his house. When I asked who she was, Jon claimed Danielle was just a good friend of his.

When Jon was over at my house and we were lying on the hammock together, the past relationships topic came up. Not quite sure how, as I tend to avoid that on the first date, but it did. I knew there was a girl from South Africa who Jon had broken up with early 2013, but then he informed me that he was with Danielle afterwards and they recently broke up – about 2 months ago. I also learned that she has a little girl, and when Jon was dating Danielle he formed a strong attachment with her daughter and is now the primary father figure in her life. Danielle’s new boyfriend doesn’t have the same attachment with her daughter as he does. Jon told me that Danielle is still one of his best friends, but he knew it would never result to anything more a second time around. I prayed that was the truth.

This past Tuesday, Jon texted me:

Danielle wants to know if you want to go downtown this weekend for her birthday? It’s on Saturday. And she mentioned something about staying in a hotel but I don’t know the details. It’s totally up to you, just thought it would be fun. :)

I wasn’t quite sure what to say. On one hand, I thought it may be awkward going to his ex girlfriend’s birthday party. On the other hand, I was curious to see the dynamics between them. I knew I wouldn’t be comfortable staying at the hotel afterwards, but I’d at least go downtown with them so I could spend some time with Jon.

I asked Jon to call me later than day to give me more details. He then texted me back that night to say:

I think Danielle might cancel. :( Having boyfriend problems. So it might be the weekend after.

I was disappointed to hear that as my family had booked to go away for Canada’s Day weekend, so I wouldn’t be able to join them. That would mean I’d have to go another 2 weekends before seeing Jon again.

I asked Jon if he still wanted to hang out, just the two of us this weekend. He then told me his grandmother was coming in from South Africa and he promised to spend the weekend with her. I was like, whaaaaaaat? I wrote:

How would you be able to go downtown with Danielle this weekend if your gran was in town?

Jon: I told my mom that I had an obligation to Danielle and told her she cancelled before you asked me to hang out.

I guess that was fair, but Jon could have still made an effort to see me before committing to spending the whole weekend with his grandmother.

He then wrote to me 3 days ago asking how my day was. I responded but asked if he wanted to call me (easier to have a conversation that way). He wrote back saying he was at Danielle’s house watching The Sopranos. I asked where Danielle lived and he told me 10 minutes away. She had picked him up because he still isn’t driving. Jon said she owed him a ton of rides so the distance was nothing.

I didn’t respond and waited almost 48 hours before doing so. Even though I thought I wasn’t going to have to play games with this guy, I figured maybe he needed to pursue me a bit.

Yesterday early afternoon I texted him and asked how his weekend was going with his grandmother. I still haven’t heard back. I don’t know what’s going on. So many things are running through my head. Danielle was having problems with her boyfriend, so what if she convinced Jon to get back together with her? Should I be concerned about how close Jon is with her daughter? I really don’t want to lose hope about him, but I’m starting to feel like he’s drifting away.

I Fed Him French Fries for Crying Out Loud!

Since I got back from vacation, I feel as though I’ve been cursed. First, I had a very hard time getting back into my work routine (although who wouldn’t after having just spent 7 days in the Caribbean?) Next, the guy I’ve been dating has backed off and hasn’t reached out to hang out since I got home. I never even received a ‘welcome back’ text or call from him. Just to top everything off, I’ve come down with a wicked cold and have been battling with a sore throat that will just not go away. Oh, and did I mention I have a crucial design conference coming up this Saturday?

Not that the past week and a half has been all bad. It’s been nice to catch up with my close friends again and I’ve also gone in for a job interview. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the paid internship but they did rave about my portfolio which is a boost to my confidence.

I’m just mainly upset about how this guy I’ve been smitten over the last few weeks has slowly been backing off. I did understand from the beginning he had recently come out of a long relationship and wasn’t looking for anything serious right away. However, my feelings were developing fast for him. I didn’t want them to, but he was really the first guy I’ve felt such an intense physical attraction/connection with. On top of that I always felt comfortable being around him and besides his child like immaturity at times, I loved it because it got me to loosen up and just live in the moment.

I even bought him a little token from one of the islands I visited. I’m upset that I thought about him so much, since clearly he hasn’t felt the same. It’s just hard to wrap my head around that since I hung out with him the day before I left for vacation. He gave me absolutely no signals that he wasn’t interested. We went tobogganing on a hill (that should probably be blocked off due to safety hazards), and then went to buy some burgers. Before getting the burgers we kissed for awhile in his car and I really felt like we were at a good pace in our relationship and felt hopeful about where things could go. After buying the burgers, he told me he had to drop me off (we couldn’t stay to eat) since his mom needed the car back and he had his older brother’s birthday party to attend. I wasn’t upset he didn’t invite me to come with, as we still weren’t exclusive. However, I would have loved to spend more time with him.

So I fed him french fries as we drove home as we blared 102.1 The Edge and I just felt… happy.

He kissed me goodnight and I got home wishing I didn’t have to leave for vacation so soon.

Now that I’m back I can’t help but question if there’s a new girl in his life feeding him french fries. I saw he was on the dating site the other day which was a bit upsetting but again, we weren’t exclusive so why should I be upset. I messaged him several days after I got back telling him I was home and he’s been making casual conversation. Even still asking me questions so not just providing one line responses. So what’s the deal??

I feel I deserve better. I want a guy who will take me on actual dates and won’t play mind games with me. However, I feel like I need closure from all of this and trying to figure out the best way to do it without scaring him off. Any suggestions? Also – any fast working cold remedies?

Why Real Men Should Do High Tea

As of yesterday I can officially say I’m 21. That means everywhere around the world I can drink, gamble and go to clubs/bars. However, Vegas can wait. I stuck to having a fun day with my family. They had told me I was receiving a surprise birthday gift which would be an experience I would never forget. Excited and full of anticipation we pulled up to the mystery destination, I opened my eyes, and there it was; The King Edward Hotel in Toronto! They then told me we were going to be having High Tea.

I had been wanting to do this for years and it was surreal to finally be there. You could see beautiful chandeliers everywhere you turned and the ceilings were so high and ornate. Waiting patiently for our reservation, we were finally guided into the High Tea room which was exquisite.

We were one of the first to enter into the room and we were immediately greeted with at least a dozen teas to choose from. I settled on English Breakfast and within minutes a hot tea pot arrived. We poured the tea into a special sieve like spoon which stopped the tea leaves from entering into the cup. Over the next hour and a half we laughed, raising our pinkies in the air while sipping our tea, eating our scones with devonshire cream, cakes and bite size sandwiches. My dad then posed the question ‘does it mean I’m not a real man if I like this sort of thing?’ Looking around the room half way through our delectable treats and tea, the room had filled up and about 90% of the tables were comprised of women. Still, there were a few men and we replied, ‘of course not’. In fact, I’m sure there are lots of men who like to indulge in certain experiences — fine food dining being one of them. Also, who on this earth doesn’t want to be treated like royalty to a King’s Tea, even if it is only for a short time span?

My family has vowed to make it a tradition to go around the same time every year for High Tea. I’m hopeful that next year, I’ll have that special someone in my life to bring with as well.

Where is the Spark?

Hey everyone,

So yesterday I went on a date with a new online match. We had been talking on and off for the last 2 weeks and our conversation was really fluid and comfortable – despite only talking online and through text. I learned he was a teacher, 5 year age gap (which I really didn’t feel was a big deal as long as the connection was there) and we lived 5 minutes away from each other. Very convenient. We even added each other on Facebook. Which I really am against – as although I may sound like a horrible person, I feel the majority of us instinctively judge someone based on looks and sometimes pictures really don’t do a person justice. However, he was the one that suggested it so I crossed my fingers that the attraction would be there on my end. Sure enough he wasn’t the cutest ‘fish’ I’d ever met, but he looked very tall which is a major bonus in my books, seemed to have a good circle of friends and wasn’t a party animal which is something I’m turned off by. I feel it’s really excessive the amount of pictures people post online showing their drunk faces and beer in hand – I just find it as a sign of immaturity. I also learned we had quite a few mutual friends. So I thought, this guy seems genuinely nice – and I’m excited to meet him.

I asked if he wanted to go out for dinner as a post-birthday celebration (as he had just celebrated his birthday a few days before) which he agreed to. He had offered to pick me up which I actually agreed to as we had been talking for awhile and my gut told me that was an okay decision. So at 7:30pm he promptly picked me up and we said hello and conversation was again as predicted, very natural in-person. He was cute, but again, I wasn’t sure if the attraction was there during the car ride to the restaurant. I gave him an envelope with a card in it I had made wishing him a happy birthday. Conversation was smooth, except I found he lacked a bit of personality (as he appeared a bit too serious).

When we got out of the car I learned he was actually about my height which was okay, although in my mind I had expected him to be taller from his description. We sat down for dinner and again we kept asking each other more questions. We learned little things that we had in common like we both loved the same flavour of ice cream and had similar music tastes. So the commonalities were there, although as we were half-way through dinner he seemed to yawn a few times which I wasn’t really sure what that was a sign of. He also asked me several times – ‘what do you mean by that?’ which made me think I wasn’t making sense to him or he just wasn’t processing certain things I was saying. Hence me having to sometimes repeat myself over again. After, we wanted to go buy a scoop of ice cream (our favourite flavour) – except we were 10 minutes too late. Both disappointed, we decided to go to a local bar and have drinks. I thought he would hopefully loosen up a bit more and I would get a bit more personality. We even played a game of air hockey which was fun EXCEPT I still felt something was lacking.

Great guy, many commonalities. However, I was really trying to tell myself there was a physical attraction there, and unfortunately there just wasn’t. I wasn’t sure if it was because of that lack of personality or the fact that there was such a large age gap. So at that point after air hockey I suggested we leave.

When we got in the car he decided to open the card. OH NO… Well it wasn’t bad or anything. It simply said something on the lines of ‘I’m excited to see where this will go’ and I felt like such a horrible person as in my mind I didn’t think it would be going anywhere after all. After reading the card he half-smiled and then leaned towards me and kissed me. I was a bit caught off guard so I just simply smiled back and it was then silent for a little bit. When he dropped me off he told me he had a great time and would love for me to text him tomorrow (being today). I nodded although I knew I probably wouldn’t.

I feel we all have to follow our gut. Not saying it is always right. However, I feel like if I were to see him again I’d just be leading him on unfairly. On the other hand, is the spark generally there the first date? Did he kiss me prematurely? That could be the case, although from past experiences I have felt stronger connections on first dates. So high hopes ended with disappointment. Positive thoughts though from this point forward.