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In a world of Tinder and social media, who still goes speed dating? In a world where Tinder is the place to be and Love Island reigns supreme, do couples still meet by actually just talking face to face? After spending a week on Tinder to get some insight as to what it's like to date online I thought I'd try another way, speed dating. It tells you how fast the world of dating is changing that people in their 20s think of speed dating as old fashioned while anyone over 35 sees it as a new, modern thing. I booked onto an event in Cardiff , filled in a form and dived into the world of the unknown.
I didn't really know what to expect, I didn't really know how popular it would be - but I found out. You have four minutes to chat to each person before the bell rings and you switch. As soon as everyone turned up I could see speed dating is clearly quite a common way of meeting people. The turn out was better than I expected - there were around 10 to 15 men and roughly the same amount of women. If I'm honest, I sensed it was quite popular before I got there because when I Googled local events there were quite a few to chose from and they were held at various venues across the city.
Speed dating is not a thing of the past - it's alive and well and there are lots of events people can attend. Let me start with the not so good parts. To be honest, they were more personal dislikes rather than major problems. I think it was more because I'm not used to doing anything like this, but it was quite strange to talk to so many people about the same things over and over again in one night.
You get into a bit of a repetitive cycle by asking the same questions and laughing at the same jokes. I'd also say, if you're going to try it, it's not wise to go back to the same event twice. People either said it was their first time speed dating or they'd been to a few at the same place before, which implied you're likely to see the same people if you went back again. I think, from my well-rehearsed people watching skills, I was one of the only if not the only person to turn up by myself.
Most people came with a mate for moral support, which you can completely understand, but a lot of guys commented on it when they talked to me. If I'm honest, I'm wouldn't really say I'm any of those things, I'm just used to doing things on my own.
In a way it made me a bit sad that so many people commented on it - not because I felt like I was on my own but because I don't think you need to be brave to do things on your own. I'm single - I do most things on my own which has been ly documented. I was also, once more, reminded that I'm just not someone who can go out looking for a relationship. This came to light when people asked what some people would consider to be normal questions, but I found them to be a bit intense.
I didn't know what to say, so I simply replied with: "I don't know. A laugh. I'll just see what happens. It was a fair question from someone who's looking for a partner, but it did make me feel a bit on edge. It's quite nice to know dates, apparently, still exist but I haven't got an ideal image of one.
I don't need a grand gesture to be impressed - most women just want someone to take the time to know them and to treat them with respect. I get why the questions were asked, but some of them felt pretty staged as if someone was going to paint a really romantic image of how they'd impress someone. Bit of a turn-off. When you like someone, you like someone - you don't need several boxes to be ticked to make the mark. I don't know if four minutes is really enough time to make a judgement about someone, but it did give enough time to see if someone was genuine or not.
At the very least, it gave you a chance to see that there are some really nice, chatty guys around - even if they're not the one for you. It's definitely a way to meet people - people from different backgrounds, with different stories, who you'd never get to meet unless you did something like this. Even if you just came away with a new friend, I'd say it's a good tool to just throw yourself into talking to people and getting to know them. For me, the most refreshing thing to come out of it was to see that people can actually still hold a conversation and show an interest in the person you are.
Not to sound awful, but social media has definitely had an effect on the way people are able to communicate. Dating apps, as popular as they are, are all about judging people on their looks until you get to know them a bit better. And as for really dodgy chat up lines on a night out, I've heard enough of those to last me a life time. From the cheesy classics like "Remember me? Speed dating forces you to engage in conversation - you have to ask questions, find out about what they do and what their interests are to see if you can actually connect.
In my opinion, it's a much nicer way of meeting people if you want to put yourself out there. Talking is much nicer when it's not done sending messages via a screen, but if you can't hold a basic chat things will get majorly awkward very quickly. Trust me when I say four minutes is a long time to be sitting in silence and not knowing where to look. When you really think about it, we're actually living in a world of speed dating without even realising it. Dating apps are essentially the most up-to-date version of it, and you could even call Love Island a version of speed dating on steroids.
It has become quite a normal part of society to chat to someone before just moving onto the next person. Some people dubbed it strange, others said they think I'm too fussy and some just think it's a really unnatural way to meet people. You're forcing yourself to meet new people, but for some people that could be a really good thing.
If one thing was clear from the experience it's that people, in , are struggling to meet people naturally. Some struggle to meet people online, some struggle to meet people at all and others just want to give things like speed dating the benefit of the doubt in case they could actually find someone really lovely. There were some really nice people, and there was a buzz of an excitement when the event came to an end. I looked around and saw some people mingling, some stayed and shared a drink together while others were nervously awaiting potential match notifications to appear on their phones.
As for me, I don't think I'd go back. But that's me. I'm not really deed for it. Could you find someone? If you really are looking for a partner, I'm sure there's a chance. Did I meet the man of my dreams? I guess you'll have to wait and see if there's a follow-up on the wedding.
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'I went speed dating and this is what happened'