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Feel the fear and speed date anyway! – A guide for the guys

Monday March 23, 2015

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I apologise. The title of this blog sounds like a motivational exercise video from the 80’s replete with golden mullet and over-white teeth.

Then again, from the questions I’m often asked and what many people are telling me, there is quite a lot of nervousness when it comes to speed dating.

Since year 1ASD (after speed dating roughly circa. 2000AD) the perception of speed dating has changed immeasurably. Well not quite. I measured it. It’s about yay long.

Anyhow, it’s gone from being seen as a realm for the desperately dateless, to the latest trendy fixed wheeled bicycle thing to do, through a period of ‘let’s incorporate this into our corporate team building’ and now sits as a relaxed, easy and fun way to meet other single folk in London. In other words, people are finally understanding exactly what it is.
However, people are still understandably nervous when about to attend their first event.
With this in mind, I’ve compiled the following five steps to feeling the fear and speed dating anyway.

1) It’s weird!

Here’s a confession for you. SPEED DATING IS WEIRD! It’s one of the oddest ways to meet people. It’s also amazing fun. Because of this you should feel no shame in thinking such things. The trick is being relaxed enough to acknowledge this at the event. I promise that doing so will not only relax you, but also those you meet who are, invariably, in exactly the same position as you.

2) Everyone there will judge me for attending!

Newsflash Einstein. Everyone that you think will judge you is doing exactly the same thing. There is no such thing as a dating expert. Everyone there is likely to be as nervous, questioning and generally reticent as you. You’re all in the same boat. How about a bit of solidarity.

3) What will my friends think?

Fair question. What will they think? They’re your friends. What do you think they’d think? Maybe they’d take the proverbial Michael. Maybe they’ll tell you you’re desperate. Maybe they’ll be impressed.

Maybe it doesn’t matter. Seriously. Rather than repeat myself, have a quick read of these two blogs here and here.
    
Read them? Good. Now book an event and tell me I’m wrong.

4)  All the other guys will be better looking/more charming/have bigger feet/have better jobs than me.

Firstly, you’re going speed dating. People just like you are going speed dating. I promise you the people attending have not walked off the set of Made in Chelsea. Thank God. If this were the case do you really think I could stand to host these events?

When you go, you’ll invariably notice all the other guys eyeing each other nervously. Why? Because they’re all thinking exactly the same as you. Say hello to any one of them and you’ll be greeted with a relieved smile that they’ve met a fellow traveller and you’re all in it together.
    
By the end of the night – I see this time and time again – you’ll be best mates and invariably be chatting to a group of girls who’ve gone through exactly the same experience.

5) The girls will think I’m a weirdo/ugly/an idiot

Well are you? In everyday life do you stand out as a complete odd ball that no-one talks to? I doubt it. And I’m going to let you into a little secret. Men are not from Mars and women are not from Venus. We share the same fears, desires and doubts. But one person’s doughnut is another person’s lifesaver. In other words there are as many varieties of women as there are men, with just as broad a variety of likes and dislikes. This is the point of speed dating. It’s the perfect way to meet a good sized group of like-minded singles in London. You meet some people you click with? Fantastic! You meet a few you don’t? It’s only four minutes and then you move on. It couldn’t be simpler.

Which is precisely why I say to you, good sir, it’s okay to be nervous. Just make sure you feel the fear and go speed dating anyway.