Speed dating is a somewhat modern way to meet new singles but every potential “dating” situation can be awkward or disappointing. Felicity gives a reader some advice on how to find the wins in even ho-hum circumstances.
Hey Felicity – I went to a speed dating event the other night in an effort to “put myself out there”. I don’t know why I even stayed, I got there and immediately felt out of place and weirdly on display. To top it off, the men were all kind of boring and I didn’t see anyone I was immediately attracted to. There were a few okay-ish guys but then when they sat with me, there was no spark. Ironically, I did exchange numbers with some of the other ladies and got invited to join a book club. It feels like these so-called “great men” are never at these singles events. Where else should I be looking?
Let me commend you for putting yourself out there. So many singles lament their solo-status yet expect Mr. or Ms. Right to knock down their doors to find them.
Getting social is the best way to meet people (duh). Speed dating is certainly a great way to immediately identify as “hey, I’m single and looking to meet other singles”. But expectations can cloud the experience.
Let me explain by taking a moment to dissect your situation, mmmkay?
Issue #1: All the guys were boring
Speed dating events are a method of efficiently meeting other available singles. However, the very nature of these aren’t conducive to deep connections.
Expecting to have a dazzling conversation with a guy when you are both inundated with timers and announcements of “Next!” is a tad unrealistic.
Speed dating conversations are brief icebreakers and simple introductions. The event is just serving to bring single folks together.
The wow-factor is what happens in subsequent conversations. Or not. Maybe the guy is a complete bore. The point is, you can’t unequivocally pinpoint him as a dud simply from this brief intro.
Issue #2: Not immediately attracted to anyone
We are ALL visual creatures. Men AND women. Each of us has a set of criteria in the looks department that gets our attention.
However, to have “immediate attraction” as your expectation is limiting.
If a guy is reasonably attractive and in your short introduction you find at least one or two redeeming qualities about him, be open to agreeing to a future conversation.
That attraction factor may kick in only after you’ve gotten to know someone a bit more than a 3-minute rushed conversation.
I’m not saying you should date men you aren’t attracted to. But I am saying loosen up on the notion of “immediate attraction”.
Here’s a lesser-known fact: When we feel uncomfortable, we are more prone to find fault and see a situation through “Negative Nellie” glasses.
You mention feeling kind of out of sorts at this event. Totally understandable. Speed dating is inherently awkward and totally manufactured.
There’s a good chance that your level of discomfort had you looking for more signals to validate how you were already feeling.
So rather than looking at moderately attractive guy and seeing his potential, you quickly categorized him as “not hot”.
It’s kind of a survival thing our brains do to match our perspective to our emotions. Remaining open-minded when feeling uncomfortable is a practiced skill (one that I highly recommend, by the way).
Issue #3: You only met other single women
Why is that ironic? Maybe because your only idea of the outing being a success was getting numbers from hot, interesting guys?
It’s no secret that women tend to outnumber men at singles events. Meeting fun, like-minded women is not a bummer…it’s a big positive!
Look, for many of us, once we hit a “certain age” our pool of single gal pals to hit the town with has dwindled. Meeting other women whose company you enjoy and who are available to hang out socially is a GREAT thing!
Who else knows lots of available single guys than other single women? Think of the single guys you know who aren’t men you want to date.
Could be co-workers or relatives or the ones who are strictly in the friend-zone…but could be terrific options for these single women you just met. And, hellooo, they have a list of the same types of guys who could be ideal for you.
Where should you be looking?
Everywhere! And I don’t mean that in a desperate manhunt sort of way. But keeping yourself open to the opportunities to meet other people no matter where you go is key.
I see a lot of singles only put on their “I want to meet someone” glasses when they are at places like bars or singles events. The other 95% of their time is spent closed off and unreceptive.
Practice being approachable as often as possible. Smiling at strangers at the grocery store, engaging in a quick chat while in line at the coffee shop, and basically considering that each new person as either a romantic interest OR they might know your future romantic interest.
Keep attending social events that put you in proximity to other singles, too.
And understand you never know exactly how or where you might meet a great guy. Let go of the expectations of how you think it’s going to happen and just enjoy the process.