Words by Annabel.
In a world where multiple potential suitors are only a swipe away, I often wonder if we’ve lost the ability to see someone from across the bar and turn on our flirting charms without seeming like an absolute creep.
Although I have met a few guys in the real world, over the past 6 years I’ve found the majority of my dates on either Tinder or Bumble. And whilst I love the randomness of them all; from the headphone stealer, the guy who insisted on splitting the £200 bill at the most expensive sushi restaurant in town, to the guy who was so drunk he slid his bank card along with his pin number across the table before proceeding to trip over the chair – I find it increasingly annoying there is no pre interaction with these people before committing to an evening of either fun and laughter or one of absolute, nightmarish hell.
Being a proactive sort of girl I thought it best to tackle this phenomenon head on and go speed dating. I took the plunge with a friend’s recommendation and checked out Last Night A Speed Date Changed My Life. With the promise of 25 dates in one night, what could possibly go wrong? I swipe through more than that in an average bus ride to work, so why not get some balls and go meet these men in real life.
After a heavy 4 day weekend I felt completely shattered and was slightly apprehensive as I head down the basement of The Bookclub in Shoreditch with two of my best looking guy friends, to check out the sold out monthly event. As this was on a Monday evening at The Book Club in Shoreditch I decided it was completely acceptable to turn up wearing bright red lippy, jeans and my white converse.
Run by the nicest hostess I’ve come across in East London for a while, I truly believed in her spirit and hope that tonight be the night – I might actually meet a guy who I want to go on a date with!
A half hour pre-drink session to help ease the nerves, a piece of white card to jot down the names of any potential suitors and away we went with the girls staying put and the guys moving around the tables every 3 minutes. Conversations flowed from the standard “So what do you do?” to “What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done in front of your parents? (yes, apparently that is a chat up line). My favourite was being asked to show my best party trick; my bendy arms came out along with his face of disgust and horror.
With 13 dates down and 12 more to go, the hostess rang the bell for a welcomed 15 minute where I could grab another needed large glass of wine ready for round two. So far so good, I was having a great time. The second half went just like the first, more fun awesome chats with some really interesting people. At the end of the night it was time to hand in that all important card with the names of any love interests.
Nerves and apprehensive aside, I had a great evening. Although I can’t say speeding dating changed my life, it certainly changed my approach to the way I view dating. Even though you can tell from spending 3 minutes with someone, I don’t feel you can tell from just a swipe on a dating app. From now on I’m going to be less judgmental and give me more people a chance. I may even book myself in for another night of speed dating.