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CJF

Speed Dating?

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I am 8 years out and haven't had any desire to date.  Until recently.  My kids are grown and most of my time is spent working and helping my elderly parents who live nearby.  I need something more in my life.  I am not sure if I want to start dating or if I just would like friends to do things with, as most of my friends are married and still busy with kids.  I know online dating is not for me and I saw an ad for speed dating.  Anyone have any experience with this?  It sounds easier and safer than online, but still kinda intimidates me!

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I do not have any experience with speed dating. You say you don't know if you want to start dating or just find activity friends. My opinion is if you don't know if you want to date, a dating venue might be inappropriate; I think in a dating venue you are going to find people who want to...date.... Maybe check out clubs or groups that fit your interests to find activity partners instead?If you do want to date, then I say go ahead and try speed dating! 

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I’ve seen people recommend Meet-Up groups to jump start a social life. You might also look at community college classes, see if anything piques your interest? Find a lecture series that sounds fun, join a club... I went to a great lecture on doing bonsai, a friend just finished a ceramics class she greatly enjoyed, another friend belongs to a fossil club that’s very active. 

 

I’ve never done speed dating but I certainly do like the concept- face to face (any chemistry?) but short and sweet (non-committal!) Maybe forcing yourself out of your comfort zone would be a big confidence booster and give you a clearer picture on if you’re ready to date. You could do it and then report back here for everyone else who are also curious...

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CJF,

 

I tried online dating sites and they were horrible - you have to weed out so many who are not as they present themselves to be. Then, you have to spend time messaging - which is only one-dimentional and does not give you a feel for who the person really is. I found that almost always that when I met them in person they were not the same as their online persona.

 

So, I tried speed dating. Bottom line - for me, it is so much better than online because you get to meet the person. You can weed out the duds, or phonies, right away. Our sixth sense is pretty good at telling us when there is an attraction or not. If there is none, at least you only have to interact with them for a few minutes.

 

I know it can be intimidating (it was for me). What got me past it is I focused on the facts that: 1. It was only a few hours - if I hated it, it would be done soon enough. 2. If I didn't like the person I was talking to, I only had to endure a few minutes of conversation. 3. At the worst, it would be good practice talking with new people (something I have always been uncomfortable with). and 4. No one could contact me after it was done unless I wanted to match up with them, so it was truly safe and sort of anonymous.

 

I found my fiance this way so I would recommend it to anyone who was even thinking about dating. Don't be scared of it (it is not difficult - our expectations can be more intimidating that the reality). Also, don't expect that it will magically result in finding the perfect match right away (see below), so don't give up so easily if it doesn't work the first time.

 

Again, it is infinitely better than online dating!

 

More detail about my experiences

 

The first time I went, I connected with a wonderful person and we dated for about 7 or 8 months. I eventually broke it off because I was looking for a long term relationship and I didn't feel she was "the one". Back to speed dating. The next several times I went, I had spotty results - sometimes I was not attracted to anyone, sometimes I was, but they were not attracted to me. I dated several other women but none developed into the relationship I was looking for.

 

At one point, I seriously doubted that I would find someone this way or any other. Maybe I was too picky, but I wanted someone that completely fit my criteria. I would not settle for "good enough" (the first lady was in that category).

 

I reached a point where I said to myself that I would try one more time, and if it didn't work out, I was going to take a break from dating - indefinitely. So I signed up for one more event. This time, I matched up with three ladies, all of whom I thought had a lot of potential. As it turned out, I called the first one, met with her and following that, I did not even call the other two - I knew she was the right one for me. As I said in the beginning, we are engaged and we plan to be together for the rest of our lives.

 

I hope this helps you decide what to do.

 

Michael

 

 

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Thank you all for your responses.  Michael, how does it work?  After you are done meeting with each, do you get something showing who showed interest in you and who you showed interest in?  

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CJF   I did some speed dating a few years ago.  It was a little intimidating at first, but everybody was there for the same reason and once it started it was fine.  The way this particular event worked - we were grouped according to an age range, women sat and guys moved to a new table every 3 minutes or so.  We got feedback later on who was interested and then went on  from there.  This service gave women the choice on whether or not to meet, and provided all positive responses from the dates.  I think this is a good way to vet out people that are truly interested in dating - there are a lot of phonies out there.   Agree with Mike that it's so much better than on-line dating.  

 

Let us know if you decided to try it out! 

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CJF,

 

The one I did was called 8 Minute Dating. You had 8 dates, 8 minutes each, with people in your age group. everyone had a name tag with their first name and a number. There was a social hour before the "dates" started and more social time after all the dates were done. You can talk to anyone there at the social times (there were several age groups attending). After the evening was done, you logged onto your account at home and put in the numbers of people you wanted to match with. If they also put you in as a match, the system would send email and phone numbers to each of you. If no match, you did not get any contact information. It's nice that way - you remain anonymous to those you did not match with and no unwanted contact from the others.

 

I have to tell you, I talked with a lot of women and a few were really out there - one was downright scary. But most were nice people with whom I did not feel the attraction. The thing I liked was that you kind of knew right away if there was a spark and if not, you did not waste a lot of time or energy trying to figure out if the person was a possibility (as one would do with online dating). Some times I matched with several people, sometimes with no one so don't get discouraged.

 

Michael

 

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I didn't make it to the speed dating event I had written about, but have been looking out for others in my area.  I think I am ready to try and see what happens! Speed dating seems more my thing than online dating - and not sure how you meet anyone "organically" these days so what do I have to lose!  If and when I do, I'll give an update!  Thanks all for the info.

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Best of luck, CJF, if you try the speed dating route.  I also prefer getting to know someone in person first and hope all goes well for you.  Let us know how you're doing.

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