Speed Dating: Review of a Host
By Frank Kermit
Speed dating is a great way to meet a larger group of new people in the shortest amount of time, however many people get so nervous about having to actually talk to new folks, that a number of attendees tend to cancel attending at the last minute. Over 30 people had RSVP for a Montreal Speed Dating event held in NDG last week, but only 16 actually attended (10 women and 6 men). It was an all adults ages event open to all denominations and backgrounds, which is a little more rare as most speed dating events try to group participants through common themes (race, religion, age bracket, financial cluster).
However, the biggest obstacle to people making connections and finding matches had nothing to do with who else showed up. Most people struggle at speed dating because of their refusal to be more open minded about whom they would have a first coffee date with.
The way Speed Dating works is that each man-and-woman-pairing gets about 10 minutes to have a quick conversational date. At the end of that time slot, each person marks a sheet indicating, "Yes" or "No". They mark "Yes" if they felt there was enough of a match to be assigned to go on one date in the future. They mark "No" is they do not want to date in the future. If each person both writes "Yes", it is a match and the couple gets each other's contact information to go on a date. If both say "No", there is no match up for a date. If one person says, "Yes" and one person says "No", it is considered a Missed Match. Depending on the organizers, some speed daters are notified of the missed matches to get a second chance to change their mind about actually going out on a date with that person after all.
The individuals who struggle most are the ones that are way too picky. Results are usually consistent in that those that are the pickiest, end up with high numbers of missed matches. It is unlikely that when the picky person realizes they may have made a mistake, that the originally rejected person will give them a fair chance to date in the future, but it can happen.
Speed dating results do not lie. They give you a clear indication of what kind of value you project as a potential partner in a short conversation. Although personally, I met one of the best girlfriends I ever had in my life through speed dating, I also find the speed dating is a great tool to help you assess how you come across as well as a great indicator of your personal date-ability. It can let you know just how desirable you really are, versus how desirable you like to think you are.
Speed dating is also a great way to challenge your self and get back into the dating world after a long absence. "I am just here to practice conversation but not going to pick any matches" said one man that ended up choosing 3 women, and ended up with 1 match and 5 missed matches. "I am very picky about who I would date because I have a lot to offer" says the man that chose only 1 woman, but ended up with no matches and no missed matches either. "I don't need any date coaching," says the woman that chose 6 men, but only got one match and a missed match. At least some of them tried, which is still a little bit better than the ones who came right up to the door and chickened out at the last minute, or purposefully skipped over some of the dates because, "people that pretty would never date someone like me". What is worse is when two people do in fact get matched up, and then one of them refuses to go on the date for fear of being rejected by the very person that admitted wanting to date him or her. Argh!
The real winner of the night was the lovely lady who came in with an open mind and open heart. She said yes to over half of the men and ended up with 3 solid matches. This means that over the next two weeks she is going to have 3 first dates, and has her choice of who she gets to pursue a more committed relationship with, if she wants it. Now that is a successful dating attitude, whether or not any of these first dates makes it to a second date.