Five minutes never seemed so long. The 20-something music teacher could play several instruments, but he couldn’t string two sentences together.

DING! Time was up. I smiled politely and shook his limp hand, relieved that he was moving on to girl No. 6.

Saturday I undertook the adventure of speed dating.

I’ve heard a lot of horror stories, so I went into this with low expectations. A girl I know returned from speed dating with stories of men who had real mental difficulties, only a few teeth and other traits tempting to the young, professional female.

I’d tried speed dating before, right after I moved to Raleigh. Both times, I used Dateswitch.com.

Last time, I had 22 five-minute dates in two hours. By the end of the night, I was sick of sharing the same information about myself: job, how long I’ve been in Raleigh, hobbies. It’s the same three questions.

Some of those 22 were odd. I swear, one was making stuff up. “Porn star,” he told me about his job. He told another girl he was a rock star. It’s his $35 I guess, so as long as he got what he wanted out of it.

For the uninitiated, when you speed date, you circle “yes” or “no” by the name of each gentleman. You turn your sheets in at the end of the night. Later, you get an e-mail with the contact information of your matches. I circled “yes” on my sheet for two guys.
I ended up talking with one on the phone, but we never went out. I just wasn’t that interested. I did go on a hiking date with Bachelor No. 2. But aside from my fear of crushing his 80-pound frame should we ever get to the bedroom stage of a relationship, he was too raw, open and creepy for me.

He left me a two-minute voice mail the day after our date, telling me I was really beautiful and that he’d written me a song. Sounds sweet, but a little too strong for me, especially since I wasn’t attracted to him at all.

This time it was lucky 13 and we sat at Metro Café in the City Market. Of course, the questions were the same. city_market

This time I had a lot more fun. Most of the men were 28 years old – perfect. Many I had no interest in, but I had a ton of fun talking to them. I laughed, I relaxed. I sat back, and enjoyed the show. I was a little sassy with one, a little flirty with another.

With the awkward ones, I played a game: what can I do to keep them talking about themselves. Some were foreign – one was a doctor from South Africa, one was from Argentina. Many had technical type careers.

I wish I had some amusing anecdotes, but really, most of these guys were fairly normal. The only other really odd one was a 25-year-old (or so he said) who was quite overweight. His forehead sweated in big droplets as he sat next to me. Maybe I’m that intimidating, but I doubt it. I felt bad for him, really.

I circled “yes” to four. All four like to read books – one of my requirements – and seemed somewhat interesting. As I review my notes, I’m not sure I’ll really want to go out on dates with them – assuming I get a “yes” back, of course!

But I was adventurous enough to go speed date, so I might as well see what happens.

Have you ever speed dated? If so, what kind of results did you get?

If You Go: Dateswitch.com and Cupid.com both provide speed dating in Raleigh. Dateswitch is $35 and Cupid is $30. The events are divided by age group and take place at different venues in the city.
Take: Some cash for a drink at the bar, and a good attitude.