As a dating blogger, you tend to hear a lot about singles events – whether they’re mixers designed for mingling or functions related to improving your dating game. BetaDater offers both.
BetaDater is a feedback-based dating mixer. Over the course of three dates and a three course meal, you receive and give three pieces of feedback that are anonymized and aggregated into what they a call a Dating Diagnostic Report. After successfully piloting in San Francisco, BetaDater has come to NYC. Thursday night, I was invited to check it out.
The event was held at Tromba Restaurant, a cozy eatery with a rustic vibe on NYC’s Lower East Side. My three dates were a mixed bag — the result, no doubt, of BetaDater’s big age range (21-40).
First up, a thirty something software developer and NYC newcomer who avoided eye contact and had me doing most of the conversational heavy lifting. Then, a handsome, charming former journalist turned non-profit think tank manage – who was two days away from moving back to Geneva. And finally, a recent college graduate with (yikes) bad body odor and a penchant for four-letter words.
Though the event was supposed to last for two hours, it ended up running closer to three. Not surprisingly, I felt like I was running out of steam and sparkling conversation toward the end. This could easily be avoided if BetaDater kept things moving along — and increased the number of dates.
Having done speed dating a handful of times, I know from experience that it doesn’t take long to form a first impression about someone. While four minutes is too brief to provide effective feedback on a person’s first date skills, 30 minutes plus is way too long.
I think BetaDater would benefit from doing shorter dates and more of them in one evening. It also needs to reach more people. Apparently, several of the guys in attendance were pulled in last minute from a neighboring bar. A more targeted age range and larger number of dates would likely make the events more well attended.
Having said all this, BetaDater brings something fresh and valuable to the dating scene. Even while the kinks are still being ironed out, it helps you put your best foot forward on a first date.
My experience the other night also reminded me that New York is a city which inspires hope when it comes to being single. Two of the guys I met said they moved here because of NYC’s many opportunities to connect with new people. You never know when one of those connections is going to be of the romantic variety.