For anyone who’s ever wondered what it’s like to go to a speed dating event but didn’t have the guts to do it, you’re welcome: I’ve been to one, and I’m warning you that it’s probably not going to be worth your time or money.
Maybe it’s just the company who put on the event I attended, Speed Phoenix Dating, but I left the event feeling ripped off — and my friend did, as well, which made us both feel like we should have just gone bar-hopping instead. While I’d like to blame my friend’s invitation as the only reason I went to the speed dating event at The Duce (there are ones all over the Valley — I was hoping there’d be more hipster-y guys there than I’d find at Spanish Fly), I actually was just super-curious to try it out to at least be able to share my experience with others, though I doubt I’d ever go to a speed dating event again.
Speed Phoenix Dating claims to be a matchmaking service with a British sensibility, though there were no British organizers at the event. Instead, the night seemed very disorganized. We wandered around the giant venue, past a work party and past a group of swing dancers (there were lots of events going on that night) to where the speed dating was taking place. Women are able to receive “makeovers,” which consists of a makeup application. I didn’t even get anything done because the artist said I didn’t need anything, so if you want a makeover, go to the event with a clean face.
The $50 ticket didn’t include any drinks, just maybe three bites of appetizers each, so we bought drinks before the speed dating began. All the ladies sat at the long tables in The Duce, within inches of each other, and the men rotated through, talking for only 5 minutes with each lady. With all the other commotion that was going on in the room, it was close to impossible to hear what the other person was saying — let alone really focus on them, considering you were elbow-to-elbow with your “competition,” and the other guys you just talked to were also in earshot of your next conversation. It was a really weird venue to have the event, and I didn’t like how loud it all was.
After you talked to each potential suitor (there were maybe 10 guys to the 15 girls at my event, so there was a lot of downtime for the women, too), you marked down notes to save for the end of the night, when you put down whoever you thought might be a match. If he put you down, too, you’d receive each other’s e-mail addresses the next day.
I guess I might recommend speed dating to people who are extremely desperate to find a date and are looking for any avenue possible, but I easily could have had the same loud, 5-minute conversations with the guys in a normal bar. I would say try online dating before you try speed dating. I feel like with the short amount of time you get to talk to someone at a Speed Phoenix Dating event, everything is based on physical chemistry, anyway, so you might just be better off online.