Flirting with Speed Dating
30 BEFORE 30 - Celine Novenario () - February 20, 2011 - 12:00am

NEW YORK — One defining characteristic of the city is the breakneck speed with which everything and everyone moves.

To survive in this city, you have to be quick — whether the task at hand is racing through Grand Central station to catch the next express train or putting down a deposit on that sweet one-bedroom apartment with a terrace before somebody else beats you to it.

Another thing that defines this city is its notorious dating scene. What woman from my generation isn’t familiar with the trials and travails of the Sex and the City ladies?

I used to wonder how so many bizarre things could happen in the lives of those four New Yorkers. But after living the life of a single woman in this city for a little over a year and having my share of dates ranging from puzzling to downright disturbing, I’d say crazy is not just plausible but possibly the norm.

So what happens when one combines these two quintessentially New York things?

What happens when one goes on a speed date in the Big Bad Apple?

In a city where half the households are single and everyone is averse to wasting time, speed dating can be a great way to meet a pool of potential partners in a short amount of time.

Speed dating in its simplest form is a dating system that brings an equal number of men and women together in a bar or restaurant where they are given anywhere from three to eight minutes to meet and chat before moving on to the next “date.”

At the end of the event, each person selects whomever he or she is interested in seeing again.

If two people select each other, the dating service provides them with contact information and the rest is up to the potential lovebirds.

What I learned from my foray into this world is that these days, even speed dating has become niched.

Speed dating events are now organized to cater to one’s deal makers or breakers — whether it’s age, political affiliation, profession, education, hobbies or specific physical attributes (e.g. hair color, height or endowment in certain anatomical parts).

In a city where half the households are single and everyone is averse to wasting time, speed dating can be a great way to meet a pool of potential partners in a short amount of time.

Themes can be innocuous and wholesome, such as pet-lovers night and herbivore night.

Others straddle the line between racy and potentially offensive.

In this category, one might lump the extremely popular “cougar seeking boy toy” event or the night dedicated to men and women who are currently in relationships but seeking an “upgrade.”

That’s New York for you — there’s something for everyone.

As intrigued as I was about the prospect of being rescued from singledom by a hunky fireman, I decided my best bet would be “Fitness Singles” night.

Fitness enthusiasts should be reasonably good-looking, I figured — and the constant endorphin rush should make them fairly pleasant to talk to.

It was a nice surprise to find the event not overrun by gym trainers and juiceheads. There were lawyers, bankers, consultants and web designers with well-maintained physiques.

There was even an ex-military man who told me he once ate 10 baluts in one sitting while in Manila and actually enjoyed it.

Of course, there was the occasional oddball, like the man of questionable fitness level who seemed to be grasping at straws when I asked the very simple question, “What sports are you into?” But for the most part, my three-minute dates were quite enjoyable.

That said, to no great surprise, I did not find the love of my life that day. I did, however, enjoy the wonderful smorgasbord of men, the pleasant conversations, and the post-date rehashing with my friend.

Because apart from the dizzying speed and complicated dating scene, there’s also this to say about New York — you may not find your happily ever after in this crazy city, but the Big Bad Apple will always show you a good time and leave you a great story to tell.

  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with