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.
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.