So, if you’re a 30-something who’s looking to meet a good guy to date before (hopefully) finding one to call your ‘boyfriend’ …. how does one find HIM? Dating is tough. Dating after divorce, tougher. Dating as a petite plus sized beauty, even tougher. (Click here to link to a clip from Louie to see what I’m talking about). I’m not one to write about dating advice nor do I want to start recapping all my adventures in dating via this forum…but I recently found a GroupOn for a speed dating event with 25Dates.com … and since Petite Plus, Meow! is both a fashion AND lifestyle blog, I wanted to share my experience and thoughts in this review with ya …. along with my outfit choice.
How It Works:
In one night, you will sit down, one on one for up to 25 three-minute dates. You will decide who you like, and who you would like to see again. It could be 5 people, it could be all 25! Now we all know there’s nothing without mutual chemistry, so the 25 people you talk to will also be deciding if they want to see you again. If there is a mutual match, your contact info is forwarded to them, and theirs to you. You are then free to explore your connection. Typically, the cost for a ‘regular event’ like the one I attended is $50.
The GroupOn voucher allowed me to attend this event for $25…plus HST once you secure your spot for an upcoming event via 25Dates.com’s site for a date and location and age group that best suited your preference.
Sounded like a good deal. But then I thought, “Do I really want to be meeting men who used a GroupOn to participate in this dating avenue?”
I’ve found with dating in general, it’s best to keep hopes high, but expectations looooow! 😉 I’m thinking these men clearly made some effort in searching out and investing in this event and possibly share a similar view on value vs. money – which is an important characteristic to have in common I think – so why the heck not!
What I Wore:
I picked up this dress from my recent cross border shopping trip from Rainbow Clothing at a fantastic $15!! I decided that it was smart-casual enough with just the right about of cleavage to be “date appropriate”. After all, the mission was to get handsome, eligible bachelors to mark ‘yes’ beside my name in their scorecards after a mere 3-mins of chit-chat and banter. A girl’s gotta use all her assets, so to speak, to hook a guy’s interest at warp-hyper-speed 😉
The event I signed up for fell on a Thursday night hosted by Vagabondo Italian Resto + Lounge, a really nice upscale spot just east of the Financial District, specific to Women 30-40 and Men 35-45.
Upon arrival I found the facilitators of 25Dates.com to be a bit disinterested. In fact, there were no official welcomes or icebreakers or formal introductions by the 25Dates.com reps at all. As participants trickled into the venue they were given a scorecard, name tag and a quick rundown as to how the evening was going to unfold: Women to sit on one side of table, Men would do the actual rotating around from table to table. And that was it. If you arrived at the designated time, you were then left on your own until the event official began. I made my way to the bar and ordered a drink – as you’re left to fend for yourself – the fee for this event supposedly covered hors d’oeuvres, but I personally didn’t see any. Those who did said they were sad state of affairs and not nearly enough for everyone in attendance to have a taste.
Considering how much time was allotted to the ‘registration’ portion of the evening, I think 25Dates.com should have included a free drink (or two) instead of hors d’oeuvres with the price of the ticket. This way EVERYONE gets one and a little liquid courage is always helpful, possibly needed and appreciated in a meet-market-event like this one. Also, another benefit to this ‘first drink free’ approach … the facilitators could/should be encouraging everyone to mingle in the bar, rather than having people sit alone at tables until the event was ready to begin. I mean, isn’t that the whole point of this event? An opportunity to meet new people. It’s uber difficult to get motivated enough to come out and try an event like this in the first place, so it’s critical that the facilitators create a more welcoming environment, create rapport building opportunities perhaps by way of some general ice breaker activities to get people comfortable and chatting, prior to the exclusive 3-min one on one dates. Just my two cents.
As the name of the event and company implies, I was expecting to meet at least 25 guys. But there were maybe 16 men at most. With this reduced attendance turnout, you’d think the facilitators could/would modify the event and increase the 1:1 time for each meeting, but this wasn’t the case. Again, another improvement that could have been made that would ultimately benefit all attendees. Also, it seemed that the facilitators didn’t really factor in the time it takes for these men to get up and rotate from table to next table…which ate into the precious 3-min timeline of the next mini-date. Not cool.
When the event ended, everyone hands in their scorecards to the facilitators….if you have matches (that is, you picked them AND they picked you), 25Dates.com will send you an email with your matches’ email address – and then its up to the two of you to take it from there! What I found interesting about the attendees of this event is how quickly people cleared out of the venue once the event concluded. I mean, if you did select ‘YES’ to someone, isn’t this now the perfect opportunity to chat them up a bit more, have a drink with them, grab a bite to eat, etc.?! Since I had plans to meet up with a gf afterwards, I made my way back to the bar and chatted up the last two participants (a guy and girl, friends who work together) and we debriefed our experiences of the night together. Much of my above thoughts and overall mediocre impressions of the event resonated with them also.
I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised at the calibre of men at this event. Most of whom worked for financial institutions, like myself, were dressed well and seemed generally positive. This is a nice change from what I’ve been finding on free internet dating sites. It does seem that if men have some ‘skin in the game’, i.e. made an effort and shelled out some cash to be a part of a dating/introduction event like this, they seemingly put in more of an effort. Click here and here for my previous thoughts on the Art of Manliness.)
Needless to say that after my 16-mini dates, there wasn’t an instant love connection with any of them. 11 of them seemed very interested in reviewing my CV in full, asking job-realted-interview type questions. Sigh… guess its sort of default topic, but seriously, asking me ANYTHING else would have made for a more enjoyable mini-date. Of all the dudes I met….5 gents really held my attention. Those who made it to the YES category of my scorecard were those who DIDN’T ask me about work right off the bat, those who not only dressed well but uniquely with a bit of swagger in their own personal style, and last but certainly not least, were Tall and Handsome 🙂
Turns out 4 of the 5 men I selected YES to, picked me as well! Since I couldn’t remember what any of these dudes looked like, I used their email addy’s to find and friend them on Facebook. And so far have already begun chatting and making plans with two in particular ……weeeeeee! So there you have it – speed dating, way better experience than online dating. Buying the voucher via GroupOn pricing for this event was of fair value, but had I paid the full price for this event with 25Dates.com I would have been very disappointed.
How I Got The Look:
Coral & navy patterned faux wrap dress from Rainbow Clothing; Brown sandals from Payless; Purse from Guess; Gold bracelet Michael Kors watch + gold drop earrings AND new fantastic lipstick: Rouge Artist Intense by Make Up Forever
Have you ever gone Speed Dating? What were your thoughts and experience like? Would you go again? Why/Why not? Tell me in the Comments section friends.