I have rubbished speed dating in the past because of the 5 or 6 times that I’ve done it, all but one session has been really terrible. On one occasion I was stuck on a wine tour bus in the Hunter Valley on a 45 degree day with a psycho that decided we were destined to get married within 5 minutes of meeting. On another I had to endure a 15 minute date with a man who was a courier and thought that I wouldn’t understand what that involved from the title, so told me about the type and size of all the parcels he delivers in great (excruciating) detail.
I said after those two last disasters that I would never try it again….but I think we all know by now that I never stand by my word on these things….
SSIS: “I’m never using Tinder again….”
SSIS: “I’m never buying RSVP stamps again….”
Anyhoo, I had been keeping my eye on a new company called CitySwoon who was doing speed dating events, but they were a little different to the norm. They had held a games night at the Arthouse recently which sounded like fun, but had sold out of female tickets by the time I went to book.
When I saw that the next event was for speed dating combined with the movie Trainwreck which I definitely wanted to see, I thought what’s the worst that can happen? Even if all the guys are duds, at least I’ll enjoy the movie….
So when the night rolled around last Friday, I arrive at the cinemas on time at 6:30pm and I’m greeted by someone from CitySwoon. He gives me an allocated seating movie ticket randomly plucked from a pile and tells me to head in to the cinema by 6:45pm. I grab a drink and when I find my seat inside, I’m on the aisle and there is already a guy sitting in the seat next to mine, who I assume is my date.
He immediately confirms this by introducing himself and we get chatting. He seems nervous as he rapid fire tells me about his recent holiday for a few mins, but then eases into it and conversation flows effortlessly for the 20-25 mins of trailers whilst the cinema fills.
I’ve always found movie dates when it’s very early days with someone quite awkward, but this time I felt that it gave an interesting insight into my date’s personality. In a few places through the movie my new friend found some scenes hilariously funny with a big boisterous laugh almost leaping out of his seat, but usually at things I didn’t find that funny. The same seemed to happen in reverse when I found things really funny.
When the movie ends we are to head to the Gold Class bar for some speed dating. Although I enjoyed my conversation with my movie date, he isn’t my usual type and I couldn’t really see myself wanting to go on a real date with him. I excuse myself to go to the bathroom and tell him I’ll see him at the bar.
After the usual epic female toilets queue, I get to the bar to find myself at the end of an even longer drinks queue for our group, which wouldn’t be so bad except I’m stuck in the middle of a group of girls. I make chit chat and hope that I don’t leave here having only achieved meeting some cool chicks….as so often happens to me.
After getting a drink I see that the group are pairing off whilst we wait for the arranged dates to start, so I look around, see a tall guy standing by himself and approach him. After a few mins of chatting, I’m not feeling it and he flips open his phone case to check if we’ve been sent anything by CitySwoon yet and I notice that his screen saver is a pic of a young child.
Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnd I’m out.
When everyone has their drink, the dates begin. We all get a txt asking us to log in to the CitySwoon site where our first match will be revealed. We’ve apparently been matched based on the profile questions that we had to fill out on the website prior to the event. We are not really given any insight into how this matching program works, but I assume at the very least it’s looking at things like age, smoking, kids, height etc.
I eagerly look at my match. At the top of the screen I see his name and which end of the bar to meet him at and as I continue scrolling I see……a smile with a great big gap between the teeth. It’s ironic in the Alanis Morrisette kinda way.
I meet my date and yes the teeth thing is one of my weird quirks I know, but he is also shorter than me so I think we are equally as uninterested in each other. We have somewhat awkward chit chat, which is mostly me talking to fill the gap.
After what seems like a very short period of time (yay), we get another txt and a new match delivered on the website. My next match is the first guy’s friend. Also not my type, also slightly awkward chit chat.
The rest of the dates continue a little like that, but I must say everyone is in a good mood and they are mostly a fun group. There were two good looking tall guys out of my 7 matches, both I had great chats with, but both were late 20’s I think (indeed one definitely said he was 28). The age range for the event was meant to be 30-50, so maybe they fibbed on their profile?!
The night ends, I haven’t met anyone I’d be inclined to actively pursue, but maybe I’d want to catch up with the young tall guys if they contacted me. Maybe…
But I had a fun night and there were no psychos, so it exceeded my expectations. I provided feedback at the end that I like the concept of ‘matched’ speed dating where your dates are based on some kind of logic rather than just getting 12 guys and 12 girls in a room and seeing if magic happens, but I feel that most people have those fundamental deal breakers that must be met for the concept to work. Like smoking, kids and especially height for me and many women I know.
One of the guys even said to me ‘wow you make me feel short’. Geeze, thanks buddy, I now feel like a giraffe…