Category: speed dating


A Case Of Mixed Signals

January 18th, 2011 — 1:58pm

When you’re single, every once in awhile you find yourself genuinely surprised at how some people date. This week witnessed one of those moments.

It happened during a phone call from R, a cute, 28-year-old media guy I’ve gone out with a couple of times. Out of nowhere, R says he could feel we were moving into relationship territory — and he wanted to let me know he’s not looking for anything serious.

Though I appreciated his candor, I found it odd that he assumed we were progressing beyond the casual stage. Three dates and one tepid goodnight kiss do not a relationship make.

What made R’s declaration of being non-committal truly curious, though, was how it didn’t quite jibe with his behavior. If actions speak louder than words, then he’s been sending a completely different message since asking me out a month ago.

In addition to calling and/or texting daily, R brought up future events more than once. In December, he mentioned Valentine’s Day. Right after New Year’s, he asked me about my upcoming birthday and quickly booked concert tickets and a hotel room for the occasion (he lives in Connecticut). He even said we were in the “honeymoon period.”

“Just heard ‘On The Wings of Love’ at a diner…thought of you,” he texted me a few days after our third date.

While it sounded like R was on a completely different page, I didn’t give it much thought since — again — we had only gone out a few times and I’ve been dating other people. Clearly, he did overthink things and ended up spooking himself as a result.

R confirmed for me that, fling or not, men who scare easily are most definitely not my type. And made me even more excited about my first foray into themed speed dating.

Coming up…the full scoop about said event and some strange characters from OkCupid.

| mixed messages, OKCupid, speed dating

Speed Dating In Dublin

August 23rd, 2010 — 1:15pm

Thursday night, at Dublin’s Café en Seine, I chatted with forty something Irish bachelor Patrick. Tall, with a warm smile and salt and pepper hair, Patrick was easy to talk to.

After a few minutes, it was time to head upstairs to a private section of the restaurant for speed dating hosted by MysteryDates. Speed dating organizations in the US could stand to take a few pages out of MysteryDates’ book. The company selected a much more upscale venue and offered light hors d’oeuvres, which encourages post-event mingling instead of bolting New York-style.

Host Hugh Redmond also keeps things moving along seamlessly by announcing into a microphone when each five-minute date is over. A very welcome departure from the more jarring US tradition of sounding a cow bell or whistle. You barely have time to register who’s in front of you because of the ringing in your ears.

The biggest, most refreshing difference from speed dating in NYC? The men, of course.

In New York, speed dating conversations tend to feel like job interviews. Gotham men will quiz you on your job, zip code and hobbies as though they’re going through a checklist to decide if you’re worthy of more than a few minutes of their time. Here, in keeping with Dublin’s friendly, convivial vibe, all of the bachelors I met were down to earth and what they talked about reflected that.

There was Brendan, who shared his affection for San Francisco and excitement about visiting Austria soon. And Mark, who observed that conversation goes much further than good looks when you’re dating.

“You want to look at someone and know you can have a laugh with her,” he said.

Of course, there was the inevitable socially awkward contingent. Like the guy who spent a little too long talking about U2. Or the bachelor who spent our five minutes together describing his ex girlfriend’s mortgage — and how the constitution of his, ahem, bowels changed when he last traveled to the US. Yikes.

Of all the men I met, Patrick was by far the sweetest. Which is why I’m looking forward to spending my final evening in Dublin with him.

Coming up…the details about my date with Irish bachelor #2 and the next stop on my European Dating Blitz — London!

| Dublin, speed dating, The European Dating Blitz

Dublin: Day Three

August 22nd, 2010 — 1:44pm

Thursday, after a rainy afternoon of exploring Dublin from a tour bus, I headed over to Café En Seine on Dawson Street. The occasion — speed dating hosted by MysteryDates, Ireland’s top speed dating company.

At Café en Seine: Hugh and me

Before the event, I met up with Hugh Redmond, who runs MysteryDates and sister company Get Out, which hosts a variety of singles parties and activities. Having lived in Boston for awhile and worked for a speed dating company there, Hugh had an interesting perspective on how being a bachelor in Ireland is different from what it is in the US.

“Irish guys suffer from confidence issues,” he said. “They rely heavily on alcohol to get the gumption to talk to a girl and they’re heavily influenced by their mothers.”

When I mentioned Dublin women’s number one complaint — that men don’t make the first move — Hugh argued that women need to be more approachable. I couldn’t help thinking how both sexes seem to be equally guilty of sending mixed signals, and being completely unaware of it.

Hugh says there’s more of a stigma associated with being single here. He’s noticing younger men becoming disillusioned with the dating scene and signing up for events more. Women remain most proactive, though, booking MysteryDates three months ahead while men usually book within a 48 hour window.

While waiting for speed dating to start, I grabbed a bite at the bar. A tall, forty something guy sat down beside me and introduced himself as Patrick.

“You’ll never guess why I’m here,” he said.

“Speed dating?” I said.

“Yes!”

Up next…more about my conversation with Patrick and the scoop on one of the best singles parties I’ve ever been to.

| Dublin, speed dating, The European Dating Blitz

Dublin: Day Two

August 19th, 2010 — 7:05pm

Yesterday, after sorting out my hotel situation, I headed over to the Dublin Tourist Centre for a quick chat with local single gal Áine, 27.   

 

Me Out and About In Dublin

Áine gave me her take on Dublin’s dating scene, saying one of the biggest differences from the U.S. is how much more the dating process unfolds. Men, she says, aren’t quick to make the first move and when they do, it’s after meeting out and about several times.

“You wouldn’t go on a date,” she says, “Unless you’ve seen them out at a pub three times first.”

With a population of 500,000 in metro Dublin– half of whom are under the age of 30 — it can feel like three degrees of separation when you’re single here instead of the usual six. Áine says this makes it harder to meet new people.

“You don’t have to go far for a background check on someone,” she quipped.

Online dating is growing in Ireland, as evidenced by a number of sites such as MaybeFriends, Connecting Ireland and Get Out. Get Out is Ireland’s #1 speed dating company. Tonight, I had the pleasure of discovering why.

Coming up…a full report on speed dating (and why it’s better than the NYC version) and a few Irish bachelors share their perspective on being single in Dublin.

 

| Dublin, speed dating, The European Dating Blitz

Houston: Night Two

March 28th, 2010 — 6:39pm

Thursday night, I headed over to Manor on Washington for a speed dating event hosted by PreDating.com.

Manor On Washington: charming venue, though the speed dating didn't happen

When I arrived and saw a very small number of people, I had a feeling I was in for something very different from speed dating New York-style. Sure enough, the hostess said that a cancellation might be in the offing if enough men didn’t show up.

Meanwhile, I ended up chatting with a few local single ladies. First time speed daters Elvi and Casey lamented the shortage of bachelors who are comfortable with accomplished women. South Africa-born former St. Louis resident Karen said the same thing.

“It’s very hard to find educated men here,” she said.

A handful of guys trickled in and the hostess invited everyone to take their seats — only to then announce that the event was indeed cancelled because of a computer glitch that permit her to register attendees.

By this time, though, Warren, my first speed date, had already taken a seat beside me. He said this was the second PreDating event he’d attended that got cancelled. Yikes. I couldn’t help thinking how much better organized New York speed dating parties are — and how much better attended. I’ve been to NYC speed dating events in blizzard conditions that have been sold out. Not so much in Houston, I guess.

Thanks to Warren, the event wasn’t a complete waste of time. A native of Sacramento, he filled me in on how different the weather and politics are in Texas (and how challenging it is to be a Democrat in this neck of the woods). Like other locals, he raved about Houston’s vibrant cultural scene, adding that women outnumber men at most singles events.

A true gentleman with a genuinely warm personality, he gave me his business card and offered to show me around town. The single gals I met here are right — Houston bachelors are exceedingly polite and chivalrous.

Though the night was young, I was hungry and craving nothing more than some quiet time in my room at the Marriott West Loop. A quick call to room service later and I was enjoying pan seared salmon with vegetables and a glass of Chardonnay. And I found myself once again feeling so thankful for the hotel’s warm hospitality. When you’ve been traveling for a month, a smile and sincere ‘how are you?’ make all the difference in lifting your spirits.

Coming up…girls night out in Houston and the next stop on my Great Dating Blitz–Denver!!

| speed dating, The Great Dating Blitz

Back In The (Dating) Saddle Again

February 26th, 2010 — 7:34pm

Wednesday night, I had drinks with real estate executive Frank down in Gramercy.

The date marked my first since things fizzled with HurryDater and PR guru E, so it felt good to flex my flirting muscles as I gear up for my Great Dating Blitz across the U.S. And it felt fitting that, like E, I connected with Frank at a speed dating event — Purple Lab’s frenetic back in January.

PS 450: This trendy Gramercy bar is always packed and plays a heavy rotation of 80's tunes

Frank and I met up at trendy bar PS 450, where he filled me in about his day job, his passion for family, and his talent for cooking. I also learned that he’s 28 — i.e., much younger than I had guessed.

Though I was surprised, his age quickly became apparent as he described how good he is at his job, how outgoing he is and how he can strike up a conversation with anyone. While all true, it sounded like a sales pitch more appropriate for a job interview.

And it didn’t help that he repeatedly checked his Blackberry  — who knew RE managers were always on call? — or that he asked me more than one question I had already answered.

The music at PS 450 became too deafening for easy conversation, so we headed over to the lobby bar at the W Hotel in Union Square. A pair of delicious cocktails (Gin Fizz for Frank, Bellini for me) got us onto the subject of gastronomic delights.

Proud of his Italian heritage, Frank not only cooks but he makes his own wine and cheese. He had me laughing when he described smuggling in olive oil and cured meats from Italy. You have to admire a man whose willing to risk the wrath of the TSA in the name of authentic food.

A true gentleman, Frank drove me home before making his way back to New Jersey. It was a fun evening — and I’m looking forward to many more…with the men of Cleveland, Atlanta, and all the other cities I’m about to visit!

| first dates, Gramercy bars, speed dating, The Great Dating Blitz

January 31st, 2010 — 9:41pm

Friday, after chatting with matchmaker Steve Ward, I rejoined the sizable crowd at Purple Lab’s speed dating party.

Extreme Speed Dating: Purple Lab’s event drew 400 people

About 400 people turned out for the event, evenly split between men and women.

During the cocktail hour, I found myself chatting with amiable twenty something Jersey natives Edmund and Colby. We talked about what kinds of questions are appropriate for a three-minute date. I had a good chuckle when Colby suggested this one — if you were a drink, what would you be?

Both Edmund and Colby were speed dating virgins and so, based upon my informal polling, were most of the men in attendance. Not surprising, given the age spread of 21-35 (most speed dating events have a more targeted range).

Around 9pm, the round robin dating began. Despite impossibly loud music, I managed to have a few memorable conversations. One of my favorites — Matthew, a music producer whose opening gambit was to say he’s only interested in women for sex.

“I’m just trying to keep it real,” he said of his candor.

How romantic.

Thankfully, the other men present appeared to have more than booty on the brain. Like adorable real estate exec Frank, who charmed me with his passion for cooking and appreciation of his Italian heritage.

“I would love to hang out with you,” he said. Sign me up.

After speed dating was over, I ran into Edmund and Colby and we headed over to a nearby Irish pub, where we enjoyed a few laughs about the evening’s festivities.

Upon sharing my story about the randy music guy and how taken aback I was by what he’d said, Colby said–

“If a guy heard that from a woman [he just met], he’d be like ‘Alright! Let’s get out of here.’ “

I laughed again, amused to be reminded of the biological differences between men and women. And happy to be reminded also that, sometimes, the most fun connections to be made with the opposite sex are those of the platonic variety.

| differences between men and women, Find Your Luvah party, Purple Lab, speed dating, Steve Ward

Find Your Luvah Party: Part Two

January 31st, 2010 — 4:41pm

Friday, after chatting with matchmaker Steve Ward, I rejoined the sizable crowd at Purple Lab’s speed dating party.

Extreme Speed Dating: Purple Lab’s event drew 400 people

About 400 people turned out for the event, evenly split between men and women.

During the cocktail hour, I found myself chatting with amiable twenty something Jersey natives Edmund and Colby. We talked about what kinds of questions are appropriate for a three-minute date. I had a good chuckle when Colby suggested this one — if you were a drink, what would you be?

Both Edmund and Colby were speed dating virgins and so, based upon my informal polling, were most of the men in attendance. Not surprising, given the age spread of 21-35 (most speed dating events have a more targeted range).

Around 9pm, the round robin dating began. Despite impossibly loud music, I managed to have a few memorable conversations. One of my favorites — Matthew, a music producer whose opening gambit was to say he’s only interested in women for sex.

“I’m just trying to keep it real,” he said of his candor.

How romantic.

Thankfully, the other men present appeared to have more than booty on the brain. Like adorable real estate exec Frank, who charmed me with his passion for cooking and appreciation of his Italian heritage.

“I would love to hang out with you,” he said. Sign me up.

After speed dating was over, I ran into Edmund and Colby and we headed over to a nearby Irish pub, where we enjoyed a few laughs about the evening’s festivities.

Upon sharing my story about the randy music guy and how taken aback I was by what he’d said, Colby said–

“If a guy heard that from a woman [he just met], he’d be like ‘Alright! Let’s get out of here.’ “

I laughed again, amused to be reminded of the biological differences between men and women. And happy to be reminded also that, sometimes, the most fun connections to be made with the opposite sex are those of the platonic variety.

| differences between men and women, Find Your Luvah party, Purple Lab, speed dating, Steve Ward

Find Your Luvah Party: Part One

January 30th, 2010 — 4:57pm

Last night, I headed to Hoboken for Purple Lab’s “Find Your Luvah” speed dating party.

Strike A Pose: All smiles at the W Hoboken

Held at the swanky W hotel, the action-packed event promoted the brand’s new Luvah lip color and featured cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, a swag bag and Vh-1 “Tough Love” host and Master Matchmaker CEO Steve Ward.

Known for his no-nonsense approach to dating and relationships, Steve tells it like it is — and yes, he’s even more adorable (not to mention very, very tall) in person.

What A Charmer: Vh-1 “Tough Love” host Steve Ward and me

His top dating tips — be yourself, be honest and don’t overthink things.

“Women try really hard and make it really complicated, when it’s really simple,” he said, adding that a little common sense goes a long way.

When I asked him the number one question he gets from single women, Steve said it’s invariably about failed relationships.

“If it doesn’t work out, it’s always about the other person, it’s nothing [women] attribute to themselves,” he said. And yet, he added, women are far more inclined to look inward about their dating behavior when they’re unattached.

His Rx — do that introspection regardless of your relationship status.

“There’s always something you can do differently, I don’t care if you’re Drew Barrymore or Joe the Plumber,” he said.

Up next…a look at the big speed dating crowd and the two Jersey boys who made my night.

| dating advice, Find Your Luvah party, Master Matchmakers, Purple Lab, speed dating, Steve Ward, Tough Love, VH1, W Hoboken

Find Your Luvah Party: Part One

January 30th, 2010 — 11:57am

Last night, I headed to Hoboken for Purple Lab’s “Find Your Luvah” speed dating party.

Strike A Pose: All smiles at the W Hoboken

Held at the swanky W hotel, the action-packed event promoted the brand’s new Luvah lip color and featured cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, a swag bag and Vh-1 “Tough Love” host and Master Matchmaker CEO Steve Ward.

Known for his no-nonsense approach to dating and relationships, Steve tells it like it is — and yes, he’s even more adorable (not to mention very, very tall) in person.

What A Charmer: Vh-1 “Tough Love” host Steve Ward and me

His top dating tips — be yourself, be honest and don’t overthink things.

“Women try really hard and make it really complicated, when it’s really simple,” he said, adding that a little common sense goes a long way.

When I asked him the number one question he gets from single women, Steve said it’s invariably about failed relationships.

“If it doesn’t work out, it’s always about the other person, it’s nothing [women] attribute to themselves,” he said. And yet, he added, women are far more inclined to look inward about their dating behavior when they’re unattached.

His Rx — do that introspection regardless of your relationship status.

“There’s always something you can do differently, I don’t care if you’re Drew Barrymore or Joe the Plumber,” he said.

Up next…a look at the big speed dating crowd and the two Jersey boys who made my night.

| dating advice, Find Your Luvah party, Master Matchmakers, Purple Lab, speed dating, Steve Ward, Tough Love, VH1, W Hoboken

Back to top