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Speed dating: A social experiment

So. What does it say about a girl when she’s in a room filled with guys who are mostly Microsoft employees, doctors and engineers (throw in a few lawyers and you’ve got every Asian mother’s dream for a son-in-law) and all she can say is, “Meh”?

This was the exact situation I found myself in this weekend.

In an effort to meet more people, get out more and basically just get a life, I agreed to attend to this speed dating event with a friend. Having never done the whole speed dating thing — or any type of dating, lately — I didn’t really know what to expect and didn’t really get my hopes that high.

I was pleasantly surprised with the event as a whole. I met some pretty nice people, both in male “dates” and fellow female participants. But I’ve got to say, with a few exceptions, I felt like I was talking with the same guy over and over again.

This having been an Asian speed dating event, I can’t say I was surprised to hear what the guys’ professions were. And I have to say, impressive as their jobs were, I was more interested to hear about how they ended up in Seattle (there weren’t many who were originally from the area).

I was surprised to find how similar the guys’ stories about how they ended up in the Seattle area were. Many came from the Toronto area and moved here for their jobs. North Carolina of all places was another shared point of origin.

After this experience, I can’t say I really think much about the whole concept of speed dating.

For those who may not know what it is, speed dating basically throws a bunch of people into a room with the women sitting down while the guys move from table to table every few minutes to converse with said women. I understand how this would help you meet a lot of people in one go, but the conversations were almost never done when it was time to move (except in those cases where I wanted to be rid of the guy) and it always seemed to end awkwardly.

And how can you tell if  you’re attracted to and want to get to know a guy better after only five minutes? Is that even realistic? Besides a physical first impression, it was difficult for me to differentiate most guys from each other, though this was probably due to their similar jobs, origins, etc.

While it was certainly an interesting experience and I’m glad I did it, I can’t say I’d want to go speed dating again. It’s just too forced and unnatural for me. I’d rather be naturally awkward on my own and just hope for the best.

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