Monday, November 24, 2014

Speed Dating

The next book that I’m writing has my hero and heroine meeting through speed dating.  I thought sounded like a fun way of having them meet. The problem is, I have no experience with it. I hate to sound old, but speed dating didn’t exist when I was single.

I’ve seen it on TV, but usually on a crime show and one of the people usually ends up dead. Not a great plug for the activity.

So, like I do for most of my research, I went online. I found sites where you can sign up for speed dating. Each event is held at a different location for different groups of people, whether delineated by age, ethnicity or whatever. The research was great, but there was only so much information I could find out without actually registering for one of the events. Could be problematic, considering I’m happily married—there’s only so much “research” I’m willing to do, and dating isn’t one of them.

My next step was contacting a single friend of mine. She put me in touch with one of her friends who had actually participated in speed dating, so I asked her lots of questions. And her answers were great and very helpful.

But then I went out to dinner this weekend. My husband, daughter and I met up with a friend in New York City and we stopped at an Irish pub for dinner. The food was great, but more importantly, they were holding a speed-dating event at the back of the pub! The pub was next to a hotel and in order to get to the restrooms, you had to go through this extra room where the event was going to be held.

The first time I walked back there, there were signs on the tables reserving them for the event, and staff putting together packets for the participants. As we ate our dinner, we noticed people arriving. The women came in groups of two or three; the men arrived by themselves for the most part. The next time I walked back there, people were waiting for the event to begin. The last time (we’re in a strange place in New York, you don’t really think I’m going to let my daughter go to the restrooms by herself, do you? At least, that’s my story…) I was in time to hear the hostess go over the rules for the evening. While I waited for my daughter to finish using the restroom, I surreptitiously recorded the hostess, so I could go back to the information later.

It was just like I’ve seen on TV, but more low-tech than I expected. People were told to fill out their pamphlets by hand. I’m not sure; maybe I expected a speed-dating app?

My husband and our friend actually suggested I try to participate, but again, there’s only so much “research” I’m willing to actively engage in, and I wouldn’t want to prevent someone from meeting their match because they were busy speaking to me!

Have you tried speed dating? Would you?


  1. Sounds like a successful research trip! How fun you got to see this first hand. I've had some interesting research excursions. One of my FAVORITE parts of this job. :) I'm like you. Speed dating didn't exist when I was single and I'm not so sure I'd try it now. Maybe when I was younger, but at my age I think I'd need more than a few harried answers to make sure I wanted a real date with someone. I would try this over internet dating though.

    1. I think I'd do it with a friend or a group of friends, but never by myself. Funny story, though-my parents met using one of the first computer dating experiments. Their story was reported in the 1967 issue of Cosmo, Time, etc.