I do not recommend speed dating as the first thing you do when trying to get back into the dating scene. That is like jumping in the deep end when you are not sure if you remember to swim. Out of survival, all your skills will be summoned at once – but you are probably going to swallow some water. Pee water.
I recommend meetups and online dating first. That is a post for another time.
If you do want to try speed dating, it makes for the BEST stories and can be fun if you have low expectations and find people watching fun.
Just googling “speed dating Portland” will reveal Event Brite tickets (tickets usually cover the cost of a complimentary drink and seem to be mostly a trick into getting people to show up. You are less likely to flake on a speed dating event if you paid $8) and companies dedicated to the events.
They almost all have the same basic formula. You get a card with the names of the people you are going to meet. Girls sit in designated seats and the men approach them and you talk for a designated time period- usually 5 minutes- until a bell rings and the next person rotates.
At the end everyone marks their cards with who they would like to see again. If you both picked each other, the coordinators email you contact information.
Rapidly figure out if you have conversation chemistry, even with someone who you might not meet otherwise (maybe he is not going to those board game enthusiasts meetups you signed up for).
Everyone is clearly nervous- you are in good company.
Face to face interaction but no pressure to accept or reject someone face to face
Cons: Almost everything.
People you talk to are totally random except MAYBE for an age range
It feels like having 10-20 rapid pace job interviews. You quickly come up with an elevator speech for yourself and have a stock of questions ready. LINK
Trying to make notes on your card is awkward. You hope he doesn’t seem them, or the guy you are talking to NOW doesn’t see what you wrote about the guy before him
You don’t get the chemistry of being asked out. Even when you match there is the lull as you wonder if you should email him, or wait for him to email you? The heat of the moment is gone and often this fizzles out
My first speed dating experience was harrowing.
There was the accountant who blurted out “you must make a lot of money” when I answered his question about what I do. (What do you respond to that?)
Then the guy who literally put his hand in my face after my second sentence and said “nope” and walked off, much to the shock of everyone there. The guy was balding, with a ponytail, a huge beer belly and showed up in a Deadpool and jeans that looked like they hadn’t been washed in a month. WTF, I am getting rejected by THIS?
So at this point I am somewhat nervous, and it is getting later. The bar was split level, with speed dating taking place on the second floor. I realized as I was talking to bachelor #8 that I had been placed directly ABOVE the downstairs bathroom… and someone JUST FUCKING DESTROYED A TOLIET.
So #8 and I are talking and I am trying not to gag or hold my nose. His expression changed and I could tell he was smelling it too. It was almost to the point that not mentioning the smell was going to be awkward when the bell rang and he started walking toward the next girl, and #9 is approaching me. I overhear #8 say to his buddy, “Dude, I think that girl just nervous farted!”
I am frozen, I can’t exactly run up to #8 and explain it wasn’t me, because the next guy is approaching me. Oh my gawd, the smell is still there! Is every guy going to think I smell like the worst part of a men’s restroom in a bar?! I feel panic, then decide #8 is a lost cause…
So, super smooth, I turn to the next guy as he is sitting down and the FIRST thing I blurt out is, “I DIDN’T FART!”
So I made it out of the event with NO info exchanged, NO mutual likes and NO dates. However, the experience made me feel like if I can survive THAT then I can survive any bad date.