At the beginning of the year I said to myself that I really wished I was more confident as a person and that I would find it easier to interact with new people, and for a while I had toyed with the idea of going speed dating. Not specifically to find someone- although that would have been great- but to meet people and to be in a situation where I had to talk to strangers. So when Original Dating offered to send me a friend to one of their speed dating nights in London I couldn’t turn it down.
The way Original Dating works is slightly different to your standard speed dating. The night itself was fairly standard, you sit at a table with a number in front of you, a guy comes over and you speak for four minutes, then he moves on and the next man sits in front of you. Pretty standard stuff in the speed dating world. But it’s the technology side which is really clever. With their own app you sign up beforehand with your details and a photo of yourself, and after the event you can then go onto the app and rate the dates you had as whether you would see them again yes or no, or flag them as friend. This then allows you to see any matches and then message them to potentially arrange to meet again; slightly less awkward than a rushed conversation before you leave.
The location for our event was Black and Blue’s near Oxford Circus which is a lovely bar with some beautiful cocktails. I had some amazing passionate and peach cocktail and would happily go back there just for the drinks. In the smaller bar downstairs tables were lined up and I was terrified. Being made to speak to 14 new people and make small talk seemed like my idea of hell but this couldn’t be further away from how I felt afterwards.
On the night pretty much everyone I spoke to seemed nice enough, there are very few lulls in conversation, and in actual fact 4 minutes goes really quickly when you’re in the middle of conversation. The night flowed with ease- made even better by the host who had to shout out every four minutes, so I do feel sorry for this throat. The night made me realise I don’t have an issue talking to new people, it’s just the initial approach to go over to them.
Original Dating’s night was well run and a less daunting experience than I would have expected. Although I may not see any of the guys I met again it’s made me realise a lot of things including not to judge a book by their cover. There were a few guys at the event who I highly doubt if I was out I would chat to but actually were really nice and really fun.
They actually do speed dating pub mixed with a pub quiz which sounds like a right laugh so maybe that’s next on the list.
So girls – and guys – don’t be afraid to give it a go it’s actually a refreshing experience.