By: Lauren Livesay
Saved by the Bell... My Night of Charlotte Speed Dating
I feel like I’ve tried everything when it comes to dating – met guys at bars, dated guys that were friends first, and dated guys I worked with. You know, all the stuff they tell you not to do. I had never tried speed dating, so when a co-worker learned a session was scheduled in Charlotte, I jumped at the chance.
Everyone has been on a bad date. It can feel like the longest night of your life. You wish you could just politely get up and walk away. With speed dating, you can.
The days leading up to speed dating were a little nerve-racking. I wasn’t sure exactly how it worked, but I knew I had the safety of a male colleague coming with me and we would get through it together. I showed up at the bar early and had a beer while I waited for the other participants to arrive. I was also checking out every guy in the room and wondered "Is he also here for speed dating?". I suddenly realized they might be wondering the same thing about me.
The Rules of Speed Dating
Prior to our “first dates” we were all given some basic instructions. There were eight men and eight women in attendance for the evening. Everyone had a name badge with their name and a number on it, which corresponded with a table number. The ladies would stay at the same table all night and the men would rotate. We would have five minutes per date with a bell signaling it was time for them to move to the next table. At the end of the evening, you would write the names of all of your dates on provided piece of paper and circle either “Let’s Talk” or “No Thanks.”
The goal is for the daters to match responses with each other.
My first date was a nice, young man. I can’t remember much of what he said after he told me was 24 years old. I’m 36. Age ain’t nothing but a number, but 24 seems like a really long time ago. Next…
My next date was my co-worker. Awkward! We realized in advance that this pairing would happen, so we just sat there and laughed for five minutes since we didn’t have much to report on yet.
My third date had a heavy southern accent and seemed friendly. He told me he lived about an hour and a half away and didn’t like Charlotte because it was too big of a city. Um yeah, next….
As my fourth date arrived, I was starting to get more comfortable with how this whole speed dating thing worked. We had a great conversation that felt relaxed. I thought "Okay…maybe!".
My fifth date and I somehow ended up talking about politics. I’m pretty sure I brought up the subject which makes me the worst date ever. I’m sorry, sir. I will never ever do that again!
I needed to up my game for date number six. I tried, I really did! However, there was zero percent chemistry between this gentleman and myself. It felt like the longest five minutes of my life. Where was that damn bell?!
It turns out that there were only seven men there to date the eight women. What should’ve been my seventh date turned out to be a quick five minute break. I was alone and everyone around me was on a date. I guess all the ladies had a similar round, but I hadn’t noticed before.
Date number eight! I made it! The remaining man that I hadn’t met walked over to join me. He was handsome and still dressed in his Uptown business casual attire. I know what you are thinking. That this blog is going to end just like every romantic comedy starring Jennifer Garner or Kate Hudson.
Nope, this story is real life. I wasn’t in to this guy either.
"Let's Talk" or "No Thanks"
It was now time for me to complete my sheet with “Let’s Talk” or “No Thanks.” I thought back to Bachelor #4. It was great conversation, but did I want to have more conversations with him?
I ended up selecting “No Thanks” to all seven guys.
I felt like a jerk, but I also felt like I was being honest. If you select “Let’s Talk” with anyone and they do the same for you, you’ll receive an email from the organizer the following day providing you with each other’s contact information.
In my situation, I didn’t select anyone, so automatically no matches. However, the organizer will send you the contact information for anyone who selected “Let’s Talk” for you in case you’ve had a change of heart overnight. (Side note – I received two, but still no change of heart.)
I can now add speed dating to the list of methods I’ve tried to find my potential soulmate. I wasn’t successful, but I’m glad I tried it. I might even try it again someday.
You certainly can’t learn everything about someone in five minutes, but you can definitely decide if you want a second date!
If you're interested in giving it a try, here are a few resources:
Written by Lauren Livesay | @naivelyconfident
Event planner, cooking enthusiast, and lover of cheap wine