It’s been a hot sec since I last wrote a blog post and my absence is honestly down to a multitude of excuses, such as: having my heart broken (AGAIN), feeling too emotionally drained from life/work, and generally my bone idleness. I find it difficult to write unless I am inspired or fueled by rage from an incident that has happened. I didn’t want to write about my heartache as it was too fresh and raw. But fear not dear readers, I too, like the mighty phoenix shall rise from the ashes of my misery to bring you a hilarious and moderately well written manuscript of my experiences finding love.
Anyone who follows me on Instagram will know I’ve been threatening going to a speed dating event for months now. Well, would you believe that I finally went? I roped in a couple of friends as well for the laughs (and support). Now there were 3 aggressively single women in their 20’s ready to take on Bristol’s finest Bachelors…or so we thought.
Now, one of my most prominent fears when it comes to dating, is that I’ll be stuck on a date with someone:
- I don’t fancy
- Have nothing in common with
- That has catfished me
- Who I would rather not be stuck speaking to
I aired my woes with a colleague in regards to the above. Her reply was simply ‘it’s only 4 minutes and then you never have to see them again’. Never a truer word spoken. Even if it was awkward I would be out of there within 4 minutes, jobs a gooden.
In terms of the caliber of men, I thought it would be brimming with Estate Agents and Recruiters with their fuckboy fades and designer shirts. I imagined the room to be thick with the smog of Paco Robanne’s 1 million mixed with lad chanting and the unmistakable air of toxic masculinity.
As we were going as a group of young singletons, I believed the men would do the same and wouldn’t dare enter a situation like this alone. Oh how wrong I could be.
Minimal effort was made on my part in terms of rehearsal. I thought of potential questions to help steer the conversation but gave up on that idea and instead opted for a ‘just wing it’ approach. I didn’t want my questions or answers to seem forced or like they were scripted. If I was going to find my next Beau, I needed to see if there was a natural flow.
I put far more effort into my appearance for the night than I am wiling to admit. Posting polls on Instagram for people to vote for their favourite outfit because I couldn’t decide. I wanted to make a good impression, so opted to leave the PVC skirt and translucent top locked away in my wardrobe. The voters decided on a black velvet jumpsuit, a much more modest ensemble.
We felt like we needed some liquid encouragement so went for a refreshing beverage at the local high class watering hole, The Berkeley (AKA Spoons on Park Street). A couple of swigs of Zinfandel from the tap later and we were ready and raring to go. The nerves had substantially subsided and we were almost excited to start dating.
We crossed the road over to Browns and entered with confidence. That was soon shattered once we took a quick look around and saw people eating their dinner and a couple of very sad looking guys drinking alone at the bar. FUCK. I instantly wanted to leave, but I was assured that another glass of wine would soon have me buzzing again.
There were 15 minutes at the beginning to give everyone a chance to mingle. I, instead chose to strop on a table with my wine, questioning what I’d gotten myself into. I looked around the room again at the sea of untucked shirts wrapped aroundbasement dwellers and sigh to myself ‘I’m just gonna have to suck it up’.
‘Are you ready to date?’ We were taken to our tables by the hostess who informed us it would in fact be the women changing tables this time around. ‘Oh great, just what I need when I’m 3 glasses down’ I thought to myself. I wont go through the individual dates because we will be here forever, and in all honesty I have blocked 90% of them from my memory and unearthing them may trigger some underlying PTSD from that night. Lets just say all in all it was like one never ending episode of The Undateables. It didn’t matter which table I sat at, I was repeatedly greeted by the same awkward smile, stiff body and limp, clammy handshake. I was torn on how to feel about the handshake, I hated that it was overly formal, but I also didn’t want any of these beta males engaging in physical contact past my wrist
Most conversations went like this:
Him: Hi I’m (insert name here). Lovely to meet you, whats your name?
Me: Hi, nice to meet you I’m Charli
Him: So Charli, what do you do?
*conversation about jobs*
Him: So do you live in Bristol? How long have you been here?
*conversation about going to Uni here*
Me: So have you done this before? It’s my first time here.
Hostess: Your time is up, please move to the next table.
So, as you can imagine I got to know very little about my dates. In all honesty I was listening out for the Hostess telling other couples their time was up so I could leave each and every dreadful date. Don’t get me wrong, I was charming, bubbly and smiley (thank you Zinfandel) and it was the last thing on my mind to make it a challenge for these poor boys. But my god it was dull and quite frankly STRESSFUL.
The dates ranged from full on socially stunted and stuttering to unjustifiably cocky. I wasn’t physically attracted to a single attribute of any of the applicants. Put it this way, I haven’t eaten meat in over 4 years and I can tell you these men weren’t exactly choice cuts. More the sinewy off cuts that need a lot of treatment and added extras to make them tolerable, and even then you’d rather not eat them at all. I went round to every single table and had my 4 minutes in hell, repeatedly.
It was honestly one of the most mind numbing and torturous experiences of my life. Sitting date after date with guys who ordinarily would not earn my attention. One guy was having a conversation with my chest for 4 minutes. One spent the entirety our ‘date’ telling me about how he met up with the wrong Helen at his last speed dating event. Another sat and listed all the countries he’d been scuba diving in for a whole 240 seconds. It truly was my worst nightmare relived 10x over in 4 minute intervals.
As you may have already guessed, I got no matches after the event. This is solely down to the fact that I did not want to see anyone again. I had originally put down two guys as ‘date’ but as it turns out so had my friends. That’s when I realised I didn’t actually want to date these men at all, they were just the two that I could tolerate the most. My advice to anyone who wants to go speed dating would be as follows:
Women: If you’re genuinely looking to find the love of your life or a long lasting relationship then don’t leave it up to some poorly organised company which will rob your of £15 and 40 minutes of your life you’ll never get back. If you want to meet a man in real life then put yourself out there. Join a class where you can meet a man you’re likely to have genuine shared interests with. If you do choose to go speed dating then PLEASE intoxicate yourself and set your expectations incredibly low.
Men: If you’re an average looking guy with a fairly interesting personality and in need of a confidence boost then definitely go speed dating. Chances are you’ll have your pick of all the women just be being the most ‘normal’.