So last night I tried speed dating for the first time. It was fun, but weird.
Here's how it works: 12 girls, 12 guys. 6 minutes each. The girls stay seated and the guys rotate. Each person wears a tag with their name and a number. You receive a rating sheet, on which you record the tag number of each person you want to see again - and you say whether you want to "date" them, or see them as a "friend". (Meh, I have enough bloody friends!) You hand this in at the end of the night. There's another part to the rating sheet that you get to keep - on this you can make notes about each person so that you can remember them later.
The next day, you receive an email from the organisers. If someone picked you and you also picked them, you receive each other's contact details and can arrange a date if you want to. If people picked you and you didn't pick them, you don't get any contact details, but instead you just find out how many people picked you (a nice little ego boost).
I went with a few friends who'd done it before. When we arrived, they were disappointed to realise that they'd met a couple of the guys the last time they went - and one of my friends had been on an unsuccessful date with one of them! Un! Comfortable!
There ended up being 12 girls and 11 guys. The age range was supposed to be 27 to 39, but I'm certain that 5 of the guys were in their mid-40s (at least).
Everyone was very friendly. With most people, the 6 minutes went really fast, although there were a couple where I was praying for the bell to ring! One guy in particular wouldn't let me get a word in - it was hilarious. The description I wrote on the night was TALKATIVE. (It was good practice for when I have to deal with verbose patients - how to politely interrupt and bring the conversation back on track...)
Another older bloke told me all about his sad divorce, etc., and I do recall he started talking about how he wasn't just looking for someone to have sex with, but thankfully the bell rang before that train of thought could be followed too far.
Then there was the guy who decided he was infatuated with me. Sure, I had very nice hair and cleavage (such as it is) on display last night, but he was a tad over the top. AND it was the same guy my friend had been on a date with after the last event, so not weird at all, right?
We'd briefly chatted at the bar before the formalities got underway, and then when it was his turn for 6 minutes with me, he pulled the chair really close and told me how beautiful I was, he couldn't believe I was single, blah blah. All very lovely of course, but FULL ON. And of course I wasn't interested in him. Then he proceeded to talk about me when he had the 6 minutes with each of my other friends. And then he came back at the end of the night to reiterate everything to me. Sheesh.
Work came up in about 75% of the conversations, so that's where I had to break the news that I'm a poor student (with the prospect of a prosperous future). It drew the usual responses: "you're so brave", "how many years is the course?", "are you going to specialise or just be a GP?" (aaaagh pet hate - General Practice IS a specialty people!). Unfortunately I didn't find myself a sugar daddy.
I picked one guy out of the 11 to see again, and I wasn't even sure about doing that. Got the results today - he didn't pick me, so no matches! However 6 of the other guys picked me, which is nice (I think we can safely assume infatuated guy was one of the 6).
Would I do it again? Sure, but maybe next year. I don't want to see the same people again. And I'd probably only go with one other friend, or maybe none - I think the guys found it odd when they realised we all knew each other so well.