Trying Something New

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…

The Night of the Peruvian Cardigan

Sunday afternoon I headed into the city to meet up with two ladies that I met speed dating late last year,  Ms M and Ms A. We had not seen each other since that night, so we grabbed some drinks and got down to catching up on each other’s lives over the past few months.

There was talk of dates, selfies, work, studies, holidays and dance comps. We were deep in conversation as a threesome when this guy approached out of nowhere and said hello. I responded and that may have been my fateful error as he locked onto me and rapid fired conversation at me. In the confusion of this robust conversation Ms M and Ms A assumed that I actually knew the guy and they carried on their conversation to the side.

Fearing that I was losing the group, that I was being separated from the pack like a baby seal being pursued by killer whales, I drew the girls back into the conversation. It seemed at this point that the guy realised that it was about to be game over and clutching at straws he decided to tell us about his cardigan.

Now I had already noticed his cardigan. It was hard not to really. He told us that he was from Peru and it was a traditional Peruvian cardigan.

It was not quite the same as this, but every bit as lame….

ALRBB585_XL

What would go through the mind of a single man who is travelling and out to meet some nice Aussie girls when he decided to wear that??! To a bar!

The cardigan was also really fuzzy and I instantly felt itchy looking at him. I give this guy full credit for having the balls to just walk up to girls in a bar and strike up a conversation, but meeting a man who is obviously highly likely to give me an itchy rash…. pass.

Anyhoo, conversation later turned to comparisons of our dating methodologies. I’m a big fan of Tinder as it seems to be where most of the guys hang out. It’s logic really. It’s free, it’s easy to set up and guys get to look at lots of pics of pretty girls with minimal fuss.

Ms M seemed to favour the face to face interaction of speed dating, which I totally understand but I’ve not had a good experience with speed dating since the very first time I went years and years ago. Ms A favoured other sites like RSVP and POF, which I have gone off totally as they don’t seem to attract new talent since Tinder has been on the scene.

I’m also all about efficiency and have a well honed screening process established. I like to chat in the app once or twice, if that’s good, move to txt, then to talk, then if they pass those selection rounds they get through to the final face to face round. I like this process to take about a week tops, certainly no more than two. I’m into momentum, excitement, I’m very impatient! If it’s dragging out too long I get bored and move along. But Ms A is a very busy lady at the moment and can be talking to guys online for up to 2 months. That’s commitment!

I was discussing this with another friend today, also Ms A, as to who is doing it right. We are all single, so none of us have cracked it. I couldn’t help but think of this ecard during this discussion….IMG_2857

But Ms A said that out of all her friends who are single, I am the most active getting out on dates and the most focused on dating. Yay #winning! Ok no, my competitive streak aside, I challenged her as to if that really matters? It can feel like a quantity over quality proposition sometimes.

Perhaps it is just a numbers game though. You can’t win the lottery if you don’t buy a ticket….

Speed Dating – the Best Way to Meet Chicks

Dating couple scene, love confession

I’ve been speed dating a number of times over the past 6 or 7 years and I’m starting to think I have a memory disorder as each and every time I’ve said NEVER AGAIN afterwards….but there has always been another time. Well, NEVER AGAIN!

Yesterday I just happened to look at a speed dating site and saw that there was a session running that night that had one female place left. I had no plans and it was meant to be a ‘Successful Professionals’ session which sounded right up my alley, so I thought why not?!

I remembered why not when I arrived. Nothing makes you feel more like a giant as a 5’10” woman than speed dating. The event might as well have been a ‘Garden Gnome’ session as most of the men were pocket sized.

There were only two adult sized men there. Candidate No.1 was my first date of the evening and didn’t play his cards close to his chest at all. Our 8 minutes together flew by really quickly and by the end of our speed date he told me that we’d be continuing this chat later when we match. Well, I do like a man with confidence and he did have quite a nice expressionful face, so ticked Yes next to his name on my match card.

The other tall guy, Candidate No. 2 was wearing a bright blue shirt, perhaps to stand out from the crowd. A few years ago when I went to a lunchtime speed dating event, one of the guys was wearing a bright pink shirt. Every girl commented on it and certainly remembered him so it was well played on his behalf. I matched with that guy at that event and later when google stalking him found out he ran some kind of dating coaching business that gives advice to men. So I guess he was at the event for research/practice. We never went out after that….

Anyhoo, Candidate No.2 was quite nice looking with a really cheeky smile and his name was Lachlan. At one stage my psychic was telling me that my future husband was named Lachlan but I’ve never actually dated one, so I thought ooooh here is my chance! The conversation soon moved on to what we did for work and he soon revealed he was an actor with about 4 jobs to support him when he isn’t acting. Hmmmm I hope my disappointment wasn’t too obvious on my face when he revealed that….

But he was nice and funny and I thought I might as well tick his box as a yes.

The rest of the dates were mostly just nice friendly chats. It’s amazing how fast 8 minutes can fly past when on these dates, especially considering when microwaving food 2 minutes seems to take a lifetime! There was a veritable smorgasbord of undesirable men to pick from, ranging from the labourer/landscape gardener with a mohawk (how is that successful professional?? Or the actor for that matter…), to the real estate guy that seemed a little special the poor love, to the guy with the creepy moustache that looked a bit like he would be a rapist.

BUT as always happens to me at this things, I met some great chicks! There were 3 women there that I had some great chats with and they would be awesome wingwomen. So we all swapped numbers and it’s likely I’ll line up a date with them, so the night was not a total bust.

Today when the match email came through from the company, I had matched with Candidate No.1 but the only other guy I ticked out of the 11 guys, Candidate No.2 had obviously not ticked me. Oh well! I don’t have a good track record with actors anyway.

The email also told me that I must have been a good date as over 70% of the men at the event ticked yes to me, so I’m now an ‘Elite’ member. I was feeling pretty chuffed with myself for that….until I realised that most of those guys were complete losers that likely ticked yes to everyone just to give them the best chance possible of scoring a date. They probably play Tinder by just swiping right for everyone too.

But again I have come to the conclusion that speed dating is not for me. Those that have a Top 5 / Top 83 list of criteria for dating will never find success with a generic event like that. After the speed dating wrapped up we all went downstairs and more and more info about everyone came spilling out. Some of the men were serial speed daters having been to many events and Candidate No.1 has 3 children, which you all know I don’t dig at all so I won’t be pursuing that match.

I did search the speed dating company’s website for a session that appropriately met my criteria, but there were unfortunately no ‘Unicorn’ sessions…..

My Very First Mile High Experience…with 12 guys

Love is in the Air inthe shape of a cloud

Last year in the lead up to Valentine’s Day I was busily dating after things with the Detective had started to veer off track, but hadn’t yet completely crashed and burned. I was on RSVP one day and saw them promoting a competition to be a part of the first ever in air speed dating experience.

It seemed unlikely that I would be dating anyone by Valentine’s Day, so I thought why not?! The day would involve a dozen guys and a dozen girls from RSVP flying to the Gold Coast for lunch with many speed dates included along the way. It sounded like it would be a fun day at the very least.

I applied, got selected, took the day off work and turned up at the airport bright and early to meet my potential suitors….and my competition. Unfortunately neither of these groups were very impressive. From memory, the age group was meant to be 25-40, but there was one guy wearing a very loud Hawaiian shirt who looked like he was mid 50’s…..at least.

The day started with 2 dates over breakfast at the Qantas club lounge (watched by a stack of media), then a date on the plane for the hour or so flight up to the Gold Coast, a date on the coach driving us to lunch, some mingling with champagne before lunch, another few dates at lunch, another on the bus back to the airport, then finally another on the flight home.

As it is nearing almost 2 years since this day, I can now only really remember the two dates that I had on the flights which were the longest dates, fortunately and unfortunately.

On the way up, I had the pleasure of the company of the only decent male prospect in the group. From early on in the day he was referred to as Simon Baker. For obvious reasons….

Processed with MoldivHe was funny, smart, tall, ambitious, cheeky, charismatic and one of those people that you meet and you just think ‘why the hell are you single?!?’.  I had noticed him on RSVP whilst perusing the site prior to the event, but I had assumed that he would be a total wanker as he had all these black and white professional photos on his profile in which he was ridiculously good looking.

Every girl in the group was busting a gut to talk to him and many joked that they thought he was a professional model or actor planted by RSVP to make the day more interesting. If he was, I thank you RSVP as otherwise the day would have been very dull!

On the flight home I had the displeasure of being allocated to date the old Hawaiian shirt dude. I was over the whole thing by this point, but he was in the mood to chat. I played along for about 15 minutes and then faked falling asleep to escape the conversation about his 19 year old daughter and his 2 ex-wives.

All in all, it wasn’t my best Valentine’s day, but also not the worst (maybe I’ll tell that story one day). Apparently it was the worst Valentine’s day for one of the journalists that covered the event though…

Article: Dates on a plane? Find the emergency exit…

Men Always Add an Extra Inch

Ok, so in a similar vein to my previous post, I am going to complain about another height related problem with dating. Men seem to struggle with measuring themselves, yet we all know they have done it…..

A few years ago on my quest for a gorgeous 6’5″ giant, I went along to a speed dating event specifically for tall men 6 foot plus. Seeing I am 5’10”, I decided to go with a conservative kitten heel of no more than 1 inch. So I knew I was standing about 5’11” that night. I turn up and gaze across the room looking upwards to try and lock eyes with my 6’5″ future husband. However my view kept getting interrupted by men at eye level. How could this be?!?!

The night progressed and after we had completed 6 out of the 12 dates we gathered for a half time intermission. Whilst standing around the bar sipping champagne, I happened to notice that I was taller than some of the men. Thus, they were certainly not 6 foot and above!

Now of all the things that men can lie about on the dating scene, I find that height is surely a big no no. It’s not exactly something that you can hide. Sure, you could shop at the same place that Tom Cruise gets his shoes, but eventually if it goes well there will be an occasion where you will be barefoot together. It would get really quite awkward for him to be walking around on tippy toes the whole time…..

I appointed an executive matchmaker earlier this year (more about this disaster later) and in my top 5 ‘must-have’ criteria, I listed ‘taller than me, ideally 6 foot plus’. My matchmaker delivered a profile of a match and he was listed as 5’11. Knowing I only had an inch to play with there, I again opted for a conservative 1 inch kitten heel for our date. Yet again he was shorter than me – by about an inch.

So the lesson here is that men always add an extra inch for good measure. And I mean always…