While online dating has totally shed the stigma that was long attached to it, speed dating is still largely seen as a last resort for desperate singles who have failed everywhere else in the dating pool...
for clueless men and women who naively think they’re going to meet their Prince Charmings and Snow Whites in a Times Square hotel meeting room. I pictured a snaking line of dolled-up girls changing seats at a dinging bell in front of a small handful of awkward, overwhelmed men. In fact, speed dating may actually be NYC’s best-kept dating secret.
If there are no matches, you’ll never know who liked you and vice versa -- somewhat akin to Tinder. There was the guy who just moved here from Texas who taught college courses online and was going to Venice for the summer because he could work from anywhere; the man who was raised by parents in the UN who spent his childhood in France, Morocco, Dubai, Rome, and about six other places; or the man who wasn’t physically my “type,” but who made me smile with his over-the-top laugh.
Far from what I expected, the majority of guys I met were… The constant flow of visuals in front of my face was also kind of like swiping through Tinder... But here’s where speed dating is completely different (read: infinitely better) than Tinder and any other dating app -- it accounts for chemistry.
The majority of the daters at speed dating were new to the city, which makes sense -- you’re overwhelmed by the amount of people, you feel a little lost, and you want to meet someone easily.
It’s hard to imagine longtime New Yorkers signing up for speed dating, but maybe the transplants have the right idea.
Of course there were a few oddballs, like the guy who was obsessed with his karate prowess and kept insinuating that his skills would come in handy to protect me on our pending second date.
But that’s how it is in any social/dating situation, and I’m sure there’s a Pink Power Ranger out there who would swoon over his high kick.
Inside, it looked more or less like a restaurant preparing itself for regular dinner service (dim lighting, candlelit tables), rather than the morose, clinical vision I had concocted of name tags, clipboards, and other trappings of business conferences.
People filed in one at a time and checked in with the hostess, who cleared their name from a list and handed them a card for keeping track of dates that night.
At the end of the event, you pick the top people you were interested in and return the card.
Should there be any mutual matches, the organizers of the event will put you two in touch.
We give you a few minutes of quality time with fellow cyclists - just enough time to decide if you'd like to see eachother again.