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Thread: Speed Dating

  1. #1
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    Default Speed Dating

    Has anyone on here (presumably during their "single" and "before they got married and had a family of their own" incarnation of course) ever been speed dating? For my sins, I have done it twice with two different speed dating companies and in two different venues locally, and I am thinking about doing it a third time. I believe it was invented in the United States and it only dates back to the late 1990s at the earliest - newspaper articles only go back as 2000 with mentions of it.

    Bear in mind, I have social phobias, anxiety, Asperger Syndrome and everything else which would most likely mean that success would not really be in my side, and from past experience that almost seems to be the case. Also, I am not really fond of pub environments - people that I am not familiar with, drinking alcohol and being noisy in a public place - nothing wrong with that of course. One had to put a straight face on it.

    I first tried it in 2007 - the organiser rings the bell, the women remain seated, and the men travel around to each table. I think that one weakness I have is rather weak social skills of course - now, I have probably never even seen most of these women before in my life, and there was me with an almost scripted list of things to ask, which admittedly made me look as if I was someone from Market Research or something, knocking on someone's semi-detached Surbiton home at 11.00 am on a Monday morning and asking a housewife, with clipboard in hand, whether she prefers Unilever or Proctor and Gamble brands of washing powder to get her family's clothes clean.

    One can easily be lost for words, and three minutes can still be a long time, and "drying up" can almost be socially dangerous just like an actor on stage. "Do you have any hobbies?" is the obvious icebreaker, and it is mostly the main one that one can compare how different you are from the woman. I was worried that I might end up being a toy-boy to my future date, and obviously it is rather rude, in a sub-Joan Collins-style, to ask a female adult how old she actually is, but I was conscious as to how she was, sometimes such a question can indeed end in disaster - I was so relieved that the seventh or eighth one was actually younger than me, as well as one other one. I must have failed badly in the end.

    A few days later, the speed dating company collated the information written down - my email wasn't working at the time so they had to telephoned me. They said that I was matched with a certain women which admittedly surprised me, as I am certain that I didn't tick "date" for her. However, they matched me up with her so I was to give her the benefit of the doubt - I kept ringing her mobile and it was on answer phone. I finally got in touch with her a few days later, and in a nutshell, after a couple of minutes she just swore at me and put the phone down. I was upset of course as being rudely spoken to like that - I telephoned the speed dating place, and the person who answered the phone said that she must have changed her mind, but what I believe was that she didn't tick date for me, and I didn't for her - I think that in hindsight, the speed dating organisation actually made the mistake because hardly any of the other women seemed to be compatible (the chalk and cheese factor), and as a result, they tried to cover that fact up. I knew that I wasn't going to succeed - I would have been amazed if I had done so.

    I tried again in 2013, at a different venue and a different speed dating organisation - most people were buying alcohol at the bar of course, but I believe that if one needs to make a first impression to someone one hardly knows, one should obviously remain sober. I have to admit that this was a bit better, and again, the "Market Research" stuff came up again (think of Denis Norden and his clipboard if you must), asking questions so that I don't make a fool to myself in front of a woman that I don't know, and wouldn't know from Eve, never mind Adam. One of the women asked for my phone number at the end, and so I gave to her, but she never used it to contact me, and looking back I am not too sure whether that was a good or a bad thing to be honest. This time, it was an online result where one had to log in to see the results, and I don't remember anyone who ticked "date" for me or the equivalent of that. I can understand where I must have gone wrong, and I can also understand why such events can be so alien and obscure to someone like myself.

    I have heard of people meeting at speed dating events and getting married and having a family of their own a few years later - the same with the couples on the Cilla-era of Blind Date, although as far as I am concerned, the difference between speaking to someone at a speed dating event and marrying the same person more or less the huge difference between filling in a lottery ticket and winning the jackpot, or joining a political party and becoming Prime Minister. I do admit that I wouldn't go into a pub in general and order a Carlsberg from the barmaid because I am not like that; these events are obviously set in pub environments and I suppose that is one of the main problems that I have which I mentioned before. I come back to it now and again and think, "shall I have another go, or would it be just a complete waste of time and money?" I do get tempted, especially when one thinks how far time has gone on over the past few years and whether one has any more chances left.

    Is Speed Dating worth what it says on paper, or would you recommend it for a single person to try? - have to even mat your own partner as a result of a Speed Dating event? Perhaps personal experience from others can be rather useful to be honest, and it can probably also help those with social difficulties as well.
    Telling it almost exactly like it was so many years later - and proud of doing so!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Speed Dating

    No, this was not a concept during my dating years likewise online dating sites (no internet )..but my daughter who was recently married met her husband after meeting on a dating site so there is clearly a lot to be said for this type of introduction service. I guess your ideal would be an introduction to a lovely lady who can understand or possibly even shares your own social phobias George?... Guess you just need to muster all the confidence you can and put yourself out there man, in a different thread recently you mentioned possibly joining a local art class...did you look into this? Of course if painting is not your thing how about a book club?...dance school?.. craft class? , anything that might place you into a social gathering and which might potentially form new friendships.
    ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN IN THE NEXT HALF HOUR.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Speed Dating

    I think my brother had a try at speed dating when he was single, I've just used the online introduction sites.
    The Trickster On The Roof

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Speed Dating

    Quote Originally Posted by tex View Post
    No, this was not a concept during my dating years likewise online dating sites (no internet )..but my daughter who was recently married met her husband after meeting on a dating site so there is clearly a lot to be said for this type of introduction service. I guess your ideal would be an introduction to a lovely lady who can understand or possibly even shares your own social phobias George?... Guess you just need to muster all the confidence you can and put yourself out there man, in a different thread recently you mentioned possibly joining a local art class...did you look into this? Of course if painting is not your thing how about a book club?...dance school?.. craft class? , anything that might place you into a social gathering and which might potentially form new friendships.
    I do wish that I could find someone who would understand my social phobias, but apart from those trained to do so such as psychiatrists and specialists, I cannot think of anyone who understand me on a personal level - even if I joined something like an Art class, I would be new to the group, and introducing myself can sometimes be a chore. I know that there are lots of groups - one problem is that I visited a certain group a few years ago and found that it was full of OAPs -I didn't check as to what age group it was intended for. I have always been able to make friends with people of all ages except my own age group.
    Telling it almost exactly like it was so many years later - and proud of doing so!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Speed Dating

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard1978 View Post
    I think my brother had a try at speed dating when he was single, I've just used the online introduction sites.
    Just a few months ago I joined a dating website, despite vouching that I would never want to join them and I was right - I tried to leave a message for someone who looked genuine, and later on that day her profile disappeared because she apparently abused the rules or something hence being unable to contact, while others don't want to have anything to do with you. It is a pity that these sort of websites have too many barriers where one doesn't have a clue what is going on.

    I think that my phobias are something left over from when I was bullied at school in the 1980s and early 1990s - it can affect your entire life if you are not careful enough.
    Telling it almost exactly like it was so many years later - and proud of doing so!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Speed Dating

    Quote Originally Posted by George 1978 View Post
    I do wish that I could find someone who would understand my social phobias, but apart from those trained to do so such as psychiatrists and specialists, I cannot think of anyone who understand me on a personal level - even if I joined something like an Art class, I would be new to the group, and introducing myself can sometimes be a chore. I know that there are lots of groups - one problem is that I visited a certain group a few years ago and found that it was full of OAPs -I didn't check as to what age group it was intended for. I have always been able to make friends with people of all ages except my own age group.
    I don't like crowds, it can be quite nerve wracking when I'm out with family or friends, if we're in a restaurant i have to sit at a table away from crowded areas, the tables against walls are the best rather than sitting in the middle of the restaurant surrounded by people and tables. We all have phobias, it's how well we deal with them. ☺

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Speed Dating

    Quote Originally Posted by Nuggy14 View Post
    I don't like crowds, it can be quite nerve wracking when I'm out with family or friends, if we're in a restaurant i have to sit at a table away from crowded areas, the tables against walls are the best rather than sitting in the middle of the restaurant surrounded by people and tables. We all have phobias, it's how well we deal with them. ☺
    Crowds are one of the biggest things that put me off from going to places - even I am like that when I stay at a Premier Inn and come down for breakfast.
    Telling it almost exactly like it was so many years later - and proud of doing so!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Speed Dating

    I will hopefully be going another speed dating event very soon - let's hope that my anxiety does not get the better of me.
    Telling it almost exactly like it was so many years later - and proud of doing so!

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