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Confessions of a Speed Dating Host

Friday July 17, 2015

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If you read yesterday’s Metro you would have come across an article by our very own John Davis on some of the stranger things he’s overheard while hosting a speed dating event. If you didn’t, it would be remiss of us to let you live your life without hearing some of the more peculiar occurrences he’s been witness to over the last thousand or so events.

Being a speed dating host is never an answer I gave as a child when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up.

And yet, here I am. Just under a thousand events hosted and for the most part the people I’ve met have been a wonderfully normal sample of humanity. It’s definitely the most successful way to meet like-minded professionals and is certainly safer than online dating.

Think about it. It takes a degree of confidence to meet 20 strangers and an ability to socialise is a pre-requisite. About 80% of our guests find a match at each event and between 12-15 couples marry per year as a result.

But every so often one or two slip through the net.

The Romantic
A young guy wearing a purple velvet jacket asks one question then scribbles into a note book for the first minute of each date before tearing out the page and handing it to his potential paramour. The responses vary from amused to aghast with one hovering over pity.

Later, I find one of the scraps of paper left on a table.

“I cannot describe,
how much I would pay,
to bribe,
the part of you that may,
say no.”

He’d written a poem for every one of the twenty dates.

Result: I wrote a complaint to the secretary for education (his spelling was atrocious).

The Exactor
Two sheets of typed paper are in her hands.

“Nice to meet you. I’m Karen. Please pick a number between one and 40.”

“Um… Er… 17?”

“17. Right. If you were a shoe, what shoe would you be?”

Next Date…

“33? If you were me, would you spit or swallow?”

Next…

“12? Is halitosis morally reprehensible?”

Result: A request from other girls at half time to ‘borrow’ questions.

The Tester
“What do I do? Well, I came speed dating about three months ago and I’ve just found out I’m pregnant so I’m here to find out who the father is.”

One brave gentleman responded, “It may be me although, to be fair, it was pretty dark in that alley”. He got a definitive ‘yes’.

Result: Yes it was a joke. Humour and horror in equal measure.

Love at first Date
Three dates to go. A guy and a girl greet each other but say little else. I turn away to make sure everyone else has moved on. I turn back and they’re holding hands and staring into each other’s eyes. They then leave the table, still holding hands, and climb the stairs to a more private bar.

I move everyone on to their next date and then go in search of our missing couple. Needless to say I wasn’t going to interrupt what I witnessed

Result: 18 months later we receive an invitation to a wedding.

Cocky
Him: “I’ve got a cock like a dog’s leg.”

Her: “What? A Chihuahua?

Result: R/ejection

Top Gun
Then there was the guy who started confidently as a pilot, started to lose his nerve and became a trainee commercial pilot with a personal licence by date three.

By date four he was training but working in the office of a private airport.

By the end of the evening he was in IT and thought learning to fly may be fun.

Result: A surprising amount of attention. Apparently he was ‘sweet’.

To be honest, rather than put people off such occurrences add a degree of entertainment to the evening. You’re not alone. It’s not as if you’re meeting a stranger you’ve only talked to on the internet.

I guess it’s a rule of numbers that at some point a few oddities will slip through the net. The best results come when those who attend approach the night as a relaxed and enjoyable way to meet new people rather than to meet ‘The One’.

If nothing else, it’s more fun than standing at the same bar with the same mates staring at the same group of people you won’t talk to and waking up alone with the same hangover.

I challenge you to give it a go by booking an event HERE. I wonder what stories you’ll come away with.

WORDS BY JOHN DAVIS


ORIGINAL DATING IN THE PRESS
Trustpilot

HOW IT WORKS

The beauty of Speed Dating London lies in its no-nonsense approach. You take an equal number of single girls and guys, put them in a room and give them a few minutes to chat with every other member of the opposite sex.

When you get there

Original speed dating events in London normally begin at 7.30pm. You will need to register with our hosts and to begin with they will issue you with a score sheet. This will help you to keep track of the singles that you would like to meet again and perhaps go on a date with. After a short period of mingling, your host for the evening who will run through detailed instructions and give you your starting position if you are a guy or table for the event if you are a girl.

Meet & Mingle

A London speed dating event is split into two halves, each lasting around an hour, there will be an interval at half time of about 15 minutes. You will have between 4 and 5 minutes with each person, after which you need to tick a box on your score sheet - "yes, I would like to meet this person again" or "no. Thanks but no thanks". Or "friend" if you'd like to get to know them platonically. Make sure that you do this after each date to keep track. Afterwards there is an opportunity for everyone to meet and mingle informally - this is often where the real action begins, so make sure you don't disappear too quickly!

Complete your score sheet

After the event you simply tick who you liked on the Original Dating website and the site works about your matches automatically. If the dates you have ticked as a "yes" have reciprocated you have a match. You will be able to view the first names and message them via our site online without revealing your email address until you are ready to. You'll be having proper first dates in no time.