I stood in front of the mirror staring at myself, wondering if I looked good enough. My stomach felt like it was producing little circles of anxiety. Thoughts ran through my head about the night ahead. I was nervous yet excited. I’d never been one to shy away from new experiences, and as much as I don’t care about what others think of me, I wondered what type of people went to these events and more importantly how would I come off looking.
I’ve always thought myself to be fairly decent in looks and personality. I usually have no problem with men asking me out. So why was I doing this? The answer was simply - I don’t know. Granted, it’s not the way I would like for any potential romantic relationship to start. But I’ve always lived with the belief that everything was a learning experience. I talked myself into going with no expectations and to just have fun. And with that, I added the final touches to my makeup and hair. I tried the duck face to see if it maximized anything. Nope, normal face is more attractive. Then I headed out the door. Let my dates begin.
I’m not one to feel shy to start a conversation with anyone. Having been on my fair share of dates, I have a fairly good idea about the dos and don’ts of what topics should be covered. And I decided for the purposes of this article to try speed dating. It was a good incentive for me to do something that I’d been wanting to try for a while but didn’t really have a valid reason to. I figured it was also a good way to meet some new people. If nothing else, I would get a good story out of it. A girlfriend and I signed up together just in case we needed to cling to each other for emotional and/or moral support if the night turned out to be a complete waste of our time.
I have to admit it was a bit funny to be able to say that I’d been on 15 dates in one night. The good thing is I didn’t have to sit through an hour of conversation with someone I didn’t have a connection with. The bad part – was 5 minutes really enough to get to know someone?
I saw a few candidates already sitting there after signing in. I seated myself at my assigned table with the checklist armed in my hand. I saw a few men hovering around the area of the bar and I mentally checked off who I thought was attractive and who wasn’t. As people started to take their seats, I waited for my very first speed dater to join me at the table. Hmm… not bad.
I ended up meeting a variety of interesting people of different ages and professions. I met one man who was an investment banker, another one who was an engineer, a few accountants and IT professionals, a salesman, two lawyers and a businessman. They ranged in age from 25 to 40 years old. Surprisingly, most of them were normal and great to have a conversation with. Not very attractive, but something like that can be put aside provided that they dazzle me with their personality and charm.
Of course, you can’t be in a room full of people without meeting one or two creeps who send shivers down your spine. I remember sitting there wondering whether he was just too shy to look me in the eye or whether he found my chest area more attractive. Either way, he was definitely a big no. There were other men who, no matter how much I tried, couldn’t hold a proper conversation. They were so awkward in their communication that I had to mentally force myself to not look at the time on my cell. These are the moments that I was glad I only had to endure a few minutes as opposed to a few hours.
The evening turned out to be a lot of fun. The best way to go into this was without expectations or hopes. I decide to treat this as a girls night out – trying something new and taking on whatever may come my way. Had I gone in expecting some magical romance to arise, I would have been sorely disappointed and likely not as open-minded to try future speed dating events.
We live in a culture and society where there is an expectation that we find someone to marry. But sometimes – regardless of how old we are – the best thing we can do for ourselves is to just let go and let it happen. When we try to control the romance in our lives, we miss out on the good things that come our way because of certain expectations or requirements.
As for the guys at table #3, #8 and #11... I think there was some potential there. I guess only time will tell.
TamilCulture is hosting “15 First Dates”, a speed dating event and social mixer for Tamil young professionals. To find out more and to register, visit www.planetreg.com/E13185414889.