davidm tries speed-dating...

Since my previous relationship ended I’ve been discovering how hard it is too meet new people. I’ve tried several methods.
I tried a local dating phone line where you post a message about yourself and what you’re looking for and then exchange messages back and forth with the women who respond to it. I got some rather interesting responses. I got messages from women who sounded like they were ready to hack a lung our two out from their smoking (my ad did say I prefer non-smokers - maybe I should change “prefer” to “insist”). I got women who sounded drunk or high. I got messages - that must have been children playing games - that said things like “you’re ugly” or “you stink” (why would people pay money to be able to leave messages like that :confused: ). I got messages that were obvioulsy men speaking in a high squeaky voice in a futile attempt at sounding female. And I got messages like “Hi Dave, I’m Fantasy and me and my friend Coco are looking for hot times with generous men.” All in all, a very unproductive experience.
I’ve tried online dating services. For the most part the women on these don’t ever answer. You can be exactly what they’re looking for; you can live practically around the corner from them, you can write a nice chatty email explaining all of this and mentioning how easy it would be to get together for lunch and a cup of coffee and that we really shouldn’t miss this opportunity - and they won’t even respond. You could probably write that you’re the heir to the Gate’s fortune and they still wouldn’t respond. Sometimes I think the messages I send don’t actually go anywhere or get read by anyone. Or I would think that - except - there are some that do respond. These responses are similar to the following

So the online experience has also been unproductive.

Now, to finally get to the subject in my title, Speed Dating. I’d heard about it several times and it seemed like it might be a fun and interesting way to meet new people. And it should work well for me since I’ve finally outgrown my native shyness over the last few years and IMHO I’m not a bad looking guy (cite). If you don’t know what it is Google on “Speed Dating”, you’ll find lots of links. Basically it’s an event where, for example, 12 men and 12 women meet and each man gets to spend 5 minutes talking with each woman. Everybody then marks down who’d they’d like to see again and turns their sheet in to the organizer. Afterwards you are contacted with a list of contact information for your matches. A “match” being where both you and she indicated that you’d like to see each other again. It was featured on an episode of “Monk” where he attended such an event in order to meet and talk with a female murder suspect. The Simpson’s also did it. Moe Sizlak announced that he was going on his speed date, went out the bar door, came back a few seconds later and stated “I get 42 rejections”. I knew that I could do better than mister Sizlak!

I arrived at the bar/restaurant and was directed upstairs by the bartender. When I got there, there were a number of people being given nametags, pens, name sheets, and clipboards. I was “#4 Dave”. The women ranged from acceptably attractive to one really cute little hottie! I was early so I had time to strike up a conversation with one attractive woman who definitely seemed to be interested in me. We spoke for a few minutes until the event started and we agreed that we’d continue the conversation when we met again.

Since I was #4 I started with woman #4. the hottie! She was a lawyer. We hit it right off and discovered that we had a number of things in common including our political leanings. We were laughing and smiling and joking and having a great time. When the bell rang I thanked her for her time, got up, and, as I was moving to the next table, circled “I want to talk again!” next to her name. I spoke with 11 other women and I was on a roll! No hint of shyness or awkwardness on my part. I was having a lot of fun! The one problem was a teacher who herself was too shy to really carry her end of the conversation, but we had little in common anyway. I finally got to the 12th woman and it was the woman I had been talking with before it started. I made some dumb joke like “so, we meet again” and got right back into our conversation. And I mean literally right back into our conversation. I remembered exactly where we had left off and answered the question she had asked before we were interrupted. It turned out that she was an ER Doctor (a resident actually) who had difficulty finding time to meet people. We talked about the outdoors and camping and hiking and rock climbing. We talked about movies and discovered that we both love the Coehn brother’s movies. She even knew relatively obscure ones like “The Man Who Wasn’t There.” We also were laughing and joking and having a great time.

The bell rang and we said goodbye. I circled “I want to talk again!” next to her name and handed my sheet in to the moderator. He informed me that I would probably have an email tomorrow morning with my matches.

As I drove home I was feeling really good about the whole thing. I had marked 6 of the 12 as being someone I’d like to see again and I was confident about the hottie lawyer and nearly certain about the ER Doc. I figured that I would easily have 3 or 4 matches if not all 6!

When I got up the next day the email had not arrived. All day at work it did not come. Finally, around 8 PM that night it arrived. There it was in my inbox with the subject line "Dave: Your Dating Match Email!.

This was it. I would find out whether it was all 6 or only a few. I was relatively confident that the hottie lawyer would be there. And certainly the Doctor! I tried to steel myself for the worst possible case by telling myself “if I don’t get all 6 I’ll be better off because that’ll make it easier to choose”. At least I knew that I would have a date this weekend. I tentatively double-clicked on the email.

:eek: SCREEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeech… BAMMM! :eek:

My ego slammed headlong into reality!

:eek: I’m Moe Sizlak! I guess I’ll take advantage of the half price event. I have the feeling I’ll be using the free event also. Sigh…

Well, maybe it was the OTHER six women that circled your name! :smiley:

Sounds a little fishy to me. Any chance they’re baiting you into paying to come back? I seriously doubt that someone you hit it off with so well would not at least give you the chance to contact them again. Especially since you’re all there for the same reason. The fact that you’re all looking increases your chances over, say, a chance encounter. The odds are in your favor from the start.

Next time, I’d have small slips of paper ready with your phone number on them. Slip them to the people you want to contact anyways, just in case.

Maybe I’m just a born skeptic, but I don’t think this company is on the level with you.

XJETGIRLX,
You know, exactly the same thing crossed my mind. But then I dismissed it as more of my male ego talking. But you’ve got me wondering again. They say that they have a system that prevents you from running into the same person twice at different events and that this protects you from the awkwardness of that situation. But it would also protect them from being found out if they’re doing what you suggest!

Honestly, I’m a normal enough looking guy. I’m in good shape and I have all of my hair. I have a college degree and a good job in software so they knew that I wasn’t stupid or poor. And most of these woman weren’t beauty queens. Not that they were homely, they were attractive enough just not head-turners (except for that lawyer, pant pant…). You would think that at least one of them would have been interested.
I really liked the lawyer and the doctor so I circled them. I wasn’t nearly as interested in the others but I circled some that seemed to have potential because I knew that the more I circled the better my odds. You would think that they’d be doing the same.

But, I can’t quite figure out how they would ultimately profit from running a scam like that. Wouldn’t word spread that nobody gets any matches?

It seems to be a popular enough activity. Wouldn’t they do better by delivering what they promise and simply bringing in new customers?

Anyway, a customer recieving matches in no way guarantees that he won’t come back for more. How often does an initial spark really become a long-term serious relationship? When your first match or matches don’t work out, you may go back for more. If you get no matches at all, you may just give up in disgust.

I decided to follow up on XJETGIRLX’s suspicions. If someone is running a scam and you call them on it, chances are they’ll suddenly realize that there was a “mistake” and rectify it if possible. With that in mind I sent them the following email. Gigi is the name of the coordinator. She had left me a message asking if I had gotten my match email.

I think you should get a T-shirt made up with that endorsement on it. What sane woman wouldn’t take the word of someone who goes by the name “twickster”? :smiley:

You’re talking, of course, about the cite in my OP. correct? I thought that it added just the right touch to my story.
I guess it’s about time for another Philly suburbs MicroDope isn’t it? But we should discuss that back in the original thread rather than hijacking this one.

Good for you for calling them out. It never would’ve occurred to me that they’re running a scam, and I’ll be they’re banking on that fact – that people’s own insecurities will work against them and they won’t question it. But the “half-off next time” business sounds mighty fishy. Why wouldn’t they let you go to the next one for free? They have nothing to lose; they already got your money from the first time.

I really hope it works out for you as a clerical error! But in any case, don’t sweat it, and don’t get discouraged. It doesn’t mean anything at all in the grand scheme of things; that situation just manages to concentrate a couple months’ worth of dating (including the possibility of rejection) into one night. Some people just don’t click, and there’s nothing wrong with either party. And some people are just impossible to read (I speak from lots of experience, unfortunately).

The second one is half off. If there’s no matches from that one then the third one is free. They say nothing about what happens if that one’s a failure.

I received a reply from Gigi.

Do you mind telling us how much you paid for this?
I’m going to be on the market soon and I’m just wondering.

[ot]You’re still interested in the Doper Dinners? Since you didn’t come to the one in July, I wasn’t sure. Was it because I started a new thread for it? You missed a good one – danceswithcats and quiltguy154 both came, along with ben and pandora and moi.

Anyway, I’ll start drumming up interest for September early next week sometime – no point in doing it today. [/ot]

I don’t know what the rest of you are thinking, but that get together with Fantasy and Coco seemed promising.
Seriously, this is pretty rough:

Ouch.

Maybe you had a booger hanging out of your nose.

Maybe you have a poor sense of what good conversation is.

Maybe you are a good looking/charming guy but the other 11 were moreso.

Maybe you’re ugly.

Maybe you stink.

Maybe you need to lower your standards. What were the other 6 girls like?

Nope, I don’t mind at all. $35. Well worth it if you actually get one or more good matches.

I can imagine some better (or at least fairer) pricing structures however. For example, they could charge nothing up front, give you a list of the names that you matched on, and then charge you X dollars per name for contact info with you deciding which ones you want to contact. The problem I can see with this is that you could bypass the system by surreptitiously exchanging contact info at the event, so I guess that’s why they don’t do that.

Or it could be something that bars or clubs do for free to bring in customers. Maybe with a 1 or 2 drink minimum.

I’m actually starting to think about looking into the business. It seems like an easy way to make a good amount of extra money on weekends and evenings and maybe a good hedge against unemployment. I imagine that you have to pay something to the venue but other than that there’s very little overhead and I already own a computer. Hmm…

I wasn’t even aware of it. Didn’t see the new thread. Can you email me?

Oops. Should have known you didn’t see the thread, when you didn’t even chime in with some lame excuse for not coming. As I said, I’ll start a thread (or bump the old one) next week – and email you the link when I do.

Sorry about that, Chief! :smack:

I already gave a cite proving how good looking I am. What, you dare to disbelieve the inestimable twickster? :slight_smile:
I showered beforehand so I don’t think I stunk.
Some of the other 6 were attractive enough but we just had nothing in common. The teacher I mentioned, for example, was not only very introverted, but was really into country music and line dancing. :eek:
The whole point of the thing was to find people that I found interesting and attractive. Sure, I could have simply circled all twelve but then what’s the point? (Imagine how I’d feel if I did that and still got no matches. :frowning: ).

The final word:

Plus it would be a great way to meet 12 potential babes every time you ran an event. Hey, baby, it would appear that your perfect match is me.

Haj

Well yeah, I was thinking that too. Just didn’t want to say it.

Since I got no matches the last time, I was eligible for a second try at half price. I took advantage of it this evening. There should have been 12 men and 12 women but, apparently because of the weather, only 5 women and 6 men showed up. I guess we were the desperate ones. :slight_smile:
Since the minimum guaranteed is 8 there was some discussion about whether or not we would bother to do it. If it was cancelled then we would all get a credit for another event for free. The guy running it said that he was pretty sure that he could run the event this time then also get us a each a freebie but he wasn’t absolutely positive about this because he couldn’t get hold of his boss on the cellphone to confirm it. None of the guys were complaining but several of the women were bitching about how they didn’t want to do it this time unless they could be assured of the freebie. You can imagine how us 6 guys were feeling at that point! There were a couple of those women that I wanted to meet even if I did have to pay for it. They (at least the complainers) apparently didn’t feel the same about the selection of men that was being presented to them. :eek:
Anyway, it was eventually confirmed that they could hold the event and that each of us would get a credit for another one. The experience was very similar to my previous one and I had a good time. I ended up picking three of them.
Now I have to explain something for the next part to make sense. Next to each woman’s name there are two choices: “Let’s Talk Again” and “Let’s Talk Business/Friends”. You’re supposed to circle the first if you’re romantically interested and the second if you’re interested in being friends or making a business connection. You can also circle both of them. At both events they emphasized, especially to the guys, that if you like somebody then you should circle both. This is because some women might be interested but unsure and might not want to give the guy any wrong ideas at first so they only circle business/friends.
I got home tonight and there was my email waiting for me with the subject: “David: Your Pre-Dating Match Email!”

So, since I didn’t make any romantic matches, I get a freebie the next time plus I also get a freebie because of the shortage of people this evening. So I now have 2 freebies coming to me.
But I got a friends/business match! And since there was no conceivable business connection with any of the 5 women the odds are she thinks that she might be interested but is playing it safe. Thats Great! :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:
There’s only one problem. The match is with “Badge: 3 Name: Joan”. (I’m changing the names to protect the innocent.) Okay, looking at my notes, there was no “Badge:3 Name: Joan”. There was however, a “Badge: 1 Name: Joan” and a “Badge: 3 Name: Shirley”. And I picked both of them. My memory confirms what my notes say and I remember these women distinctly. “Badge 1 Joan” was the brunette on the far right at table 1 and she was definitely my favorite. “Badge 3 Shirley” was the blond in the middle, table 3, whom I picked because I thought that there might be some potential, But “Badge 1 Joan” was definitely my favorite. I’ve emailed them to ask if they can clear up the discrepancy since I’d like to know who she is before contacting her. Now I’m anxious as to whether I got the one I really wanted or my fallback. I’ve also lost some faith in their ability to get these things right.