Inside, it looked more or less like a restaurant preparing itself for regular dinner service (dim lighting, candlelit tables), rather than the morose, clinical vision I had concocted of name tags, clipboards, and other trappings of business conferences.People filed in one at a time and checked in with the hostess, who cleared their name from a list and handed them a card for keeping track of dates that night.While online dating has totally shed the stigma that was long attached to it, speed dating is still largely seen as a last resort for desperate singles who have failed everywhere else in the dating pool...for clueless men and women who naively think they’re going to meet their Prince Charmings and Snow Whites in a Times Square hotel meeting room. I pictured a snaking line of dolled-up girls changing seats at a dinging bell in front of a small handful of awkward, overwhelmed men. In fact, speed dating may actually be NYC’s best-kept dating secret.If there are no matches, you’ll never know who liked you and vice versa -- somewhat akin to Tinder. There was the guy who just moved here from Texas who taught college courses online and was going to Venice for the summer because he could work from anywhere; the man who was raised by parents in the UN who spent his childhood in France, Morocco, Dubai, Rome, and about six other places; or the man who wasn’t physically my “type,” but who made me smile with his over-the-top laugh.
After I was sure enough that the people at the restaurant were there for speed dating, I rose from the bar, took a seat on the ladies’ side of the tables, and waited for my first prospective match made in heaven. Women sit on one side of the table while men rotate from seat to seat in front of them. After five minutes, the men move to the next seat, and so on.
After every “date,” you write down that person’s name on the card and rank them based on how likely you’d be to date them again.