Today marks the 2 year anniversary of me waking up in #zlotybaby’s bed (during our 2 broke girls phase) and deciding that it was time to bite the bullet, join the world of online dating and start swiping. While a lot has changed since then one thing that hasn’t is my single status. It seems like the technologically savvy way of doing things doesn’t really work for an old-fashioned girl like me. Look to be honest, while I haven’t found my Prince Charming I certainly have had my fair share of adventures and found a few gems along the way. Anyway, I decided it was time to change things up a little – get off the world wide web and back to reality so just last night I decided to give speed dating a shot.
Well. you’d think that by now with +/- 50 dates under my belt, I’d have enough experience to have gotten over that social anxiety that people get when it comes to first dates but alas it’s always good to have a wingman to hold your hand. So a couple of weeks ago I signed myself and a male friend of mine up for a speed-dating event organised by SMARTDate at Slug and Lettuce River Club in Observatory. Sadly, the first event we booked for got cancelled due to lack of men (a harsh reminder of that man deficit that exists in the Mother City – where there are 7 women to every man or something along those lines!)
I think we’ve all watched enough movies to understand the concept of speed dating – 5- minute dates with a bunch of random guys/girls. Most tend to be somewhat comical and then maybe there is one that you can’t tear away yourself from when that bell rings. Hopefully, he/she feels the same and details are swapped and BOOM! Happily-Ever-After. Well, I’m not sure if things worked out quite that way for any of the participants at the SMARTdate event but who knows…
So in reality what happened was that three guys arrived late (typical Cape Town vibes!) which meant I was one of the three chicks that were sat out and reminded once again that the dudes held the all-important power card when it comes to the numbers game that is modern dating. Thankfully, the three latecomers did eventually pitch so we weren’t sat there balling our eyes out for too long.
Unless you are a socially awkward hermit (in which case I have no clue why you’d sign up for such a public dating event) having a 5-minute conversation with a fellow human isn’t usually too arduous, especially when there are a couple of glasses of bubbles involved. But obviously, some conversations just flowed better than other. Of course, there were the very predictable Cape Town conversations about where you lived, what job you did, etc. Oh, and did you know that everyone and his dog is a runner? Lols! But there were also some more memorable conversations. A bit of Brit banter is always appreciated. And then there was the guy that asked if I could be an animal what would I be? A unicorn. Obviously! All in all, I would say 6 out of 8 ‘dates’ were pleasant enough. 1 was slightly awkward so 5 minutes felt like an eternity and I can’t really count the mid-event debrief with my wingman as a ‘date’ as such.
At the end of the event, there is a little card where you jot down the names of all your victims and you can state whether there is potential for them romantically (R), for friendship (F) or business (B). I was (un)reliably informed that I was not to tick B. Go figure. Anyway the next day you upload this information onto the SMARTdate system and if both parties went for the same option you have access to each other’s information. Or if you happen to be Cape Town’s favourite pick-up artist. aka my wingman, then you can just go ahead and ask for every chicks number at the bar once the event has ended. Don’t ask me how he does it. Just don’t.
It’s still early days but I can tell you that so far I have 3 matches on the system. In which category? Well, that I’ll let you work out for yourself. All in all, I’ll say that my first experience with speed dating was pretty positive. It requires a lot less effort than Tinder, doesn’t require you to have to trawl through lots of deadwood and waste half your life having intense WhatsApp conversations with people who have little potential romantically. The guys, and the conversations, in general, were all very respectable. At least you can rest assured that when you remove the cellphone/computer from the equation people are more likely to treat each other better and not begin conversations with things like DTF? and the like. And the other part that was pretty cool was swapping notes with the other chicks at the end of the night. So while I may not have met my Prince Charming this time round, I certainly had a good night out and I’m pretty sure I’ll give it another shot sometime soon.
So Rinsers… Have you ever tried speed dating? Are you a fan? Or do you think expecting to find a connection with someone during a 5-minute conversation is a little unrealistic? Please give us your thoughts in the comments below.