NEW YORK – Two FOXNews.com reporters tried blind dating (click here to read about their blind dates), speed dating and Internet dating in their search for love — all in the name of journalistic research, of course.
Cassie is a 26-year-old news editor from Ohio looking for someone who can laugh at himself and lives in the moment. Michael is a 23-year-old news editor from Long Island, N.Y., who wants a real, hip, intelligent and, yes, good-looking woman.
In part two of this three-part series, Cassie and Michael try their hand at speed dating. Check back here tomorrow to read about their Internet dates.
Does Love Take Time?
Is four minutes long enough to decide whether or not you’ve met your soul mate? These two single FOXNews.com reporters say “Yes.”
In an effort to explore the many facets of dating life, we decided one must-do event was speed dating, the fast-paced event where singles without a lot of free time meet many potential soul mates at once.
We looked to HurryDate, a Manhattan-based dating service, for help. Here’s how it works.
Curious singles sign up for a HurryDate event and, for a small fee, get to post a profile on the HurryDate site and attend an event at an area bar where they are matched up with other singles, each of whom is assigned a number.
Once paired off in a cordoned-off section of the bar, you get four minutes to chat up the person across from you. When the whistle blows, the men all shift one seat over, and another four-minute session begins. After each conversation, you can jot notes next to your current partner's number on a sheet provided by the organizers, to remember them by later.
After the event, in the comfort (and privacy) of your own home, you can log on to the HurryDate Web site and give each person you met a “yes” or a “no” as to whether you’d like to hear from them again. Then all of the yeses are matched up and you get a list of matches when you log back into HurryDate. From here, you can send messages (through the service) to your matches, as well as contact any other person who is signed up.
Here’s how we each did…
When I walked into the speed-dating bar in midtown Manhattan, I have to admit I was very skeptical. I was expecting the next hour and a half of my life, in which I would be faced with a different single guy’s face every four minutes and having very quick conversations with them, to be entertaining at best.
Despite being armed with two other single friends on either side of me and my colleague Michael De Dora Jr. (see below), I left the event mentally exhausted and, I’m not going to lie, a bit skeeved out.
It wasn’t so much the conversations. I'm not what you would call "shy," so talking to about 20 guys for only four minutes each wasn’t a problem.
See, people like to say speed dating is for those who don’t have enough time in their busy schedules to go through the hassle of meeting people “the traditional way.”
But after this experience, I would argue otherwise. This event really catered to guys I'd bet would be too shy to approach and ask out a girl under normal social circumstances. Which is all well and fine — but it’s not my personal cup of tea.
Every single guy asked me the same three questions: “What do you do?” “Where do you live?” and “What do you do for fun?”
And while I love my job, my East Village apartment and the salsa lessons I’m taking, there really are far more interesting things to ask someone, especially a potential paramour.
I went with “What are your favorite pizza toppings?”
I ended up snagging 14 matches out of 19. Since one match was my fellow reporter Michael De Dora, I really had 13 real matches. I confess — I said yes to every guy just to see how many would say yes to me, for the sake of this article. And of those 13, I really don’t have any interest in meeting any of them again.
So whom did I meet? Without using names, there was the investment banker who said his job was too “high profile” for his image to be used with this story (and whose shirt had so much starch in it his name tag wouldn’t even stay on). There was the gym teacher with an earring. There were many, many guys who generically worked in “finance.” And, sadly, there were none I’d want to have the company of again.
Over the course of a normal Friday night out at the bar with my friends, I’ll be lucky to talk to one woman.
That’s one woman over the course of, say, five hours. What can I say … I’m a shy guy and I don’t initiate conversation with women.
So being forced to have "speed dates" with 20 women in 80 minutes wasn’t a task I necessarily felt equipped for.
While waiting for the HurryDate event, which was at a bar in midtown Manhattan, to start, I scoped out the “speed dating” area. It was the back half of the bar, and there were about 20 to 25 tables spread out. In no way did I understand how this would work.
Finally we got the go-ahead.
Ken, the thin, exuberant man in a charge, directed us to take a seat in the cordoned-off area.
I walked around for a few seconds before spotting an elevated bar table with two stools. I sat facing everyone entering the back of the bar as to get a good view and hoped a winner would sit across from me.
A very nice woman walked over to my table after her friend pointed to me and said, “Sit over with him!” We talked for a few moments about why we were there and how we were doing so far before Ken took over. He explained the process.
And that’s when I learned I had four minutes with each woman, and that I was the one moving from table to table, not the girl. So much for my prime table selection.
Problems arose early. I forgot to mark down the names and numbers of the first two and whether I liked them or not. It just slipped my mind because I was so rushed, which brings me to my next point.
Four minutes is actually much less time than you think. Once you get past the normal questions — where do you live, etc. — you’ve already burned nearly two minutes.
And time in between stations counts in the four minutes. So you’re actually working less than four minutes with each.
With one girl, I learned she was originally from Pennsylvania. So I mentioned my grandparents live there, and by the time I got into exactly where, the whistle blew for me to change stations.
So all in all, you get four minutes to meet a girl, get a feel for her, write down her name and number and mark down whether you liked her or not — it’s a little stressful, to say the least.
Then factor in that some of the women I met and liked were not on the Web site. So it was almost a waste of time connecting with them — unless I got their phone number, which I forgot to do.
But there were some positives.
First, some girls I knew I wouldn’t like off the bat. I didn’t even bother marking these girls down. To me, this was down time. I was able to relax a little.
Which leads to the second positive: You don’t waste too much time with girls you don’t like.
Third, the time limit forces you to ask good questions. One of mine included asking a girl to name the musician or band that was most kicking her behind at the moment. When she answered a little-known post-rock band (Mogwai) that I knew, it was an instant connection. I asked another girl what she was drinking. It ended up being a drink I had never heard of before.
And for me, there’s a fourth positive: five of the 20 women I spoke with were women I’d pursue. Of course, three of them were not on the Web site. But one I’m still “talking to.”
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by the experience. Going into the event, I was convinced I wouldn’t see a good-looking woman. And I was convinced there would be no more than 10 women there to work from. But out of the 20 women there, at least 10 of them were good-looking enough for me.