It's time to step away from your computer and find a date the old-fashioned way with speed dating. OK, so it isn't exactly a vintage concept, but meeting your potential mate face-to-face has certainly become one with the growing popularity of Internet dating. And let's not forget that speed-dating was in vogue long before sites like E-Harmony and Match.com, where background checks are performed before you even have the chance to catch someone's virtual eye.
Instead of lurking about online and discreetly searching profile after profile for your ideal hair color and body type, DateandDash (a local speed-dating service) allows you to relax in plush red chairs, nibble on chocolates and sip champagne at unique venues like Ethel's Chocolate Lounge, while you mingle with other singles. Thirty-nine bucks gets you in, and champagne and chocolate are included, so it's not a total loss if you don't meet Prince Charming. But chances are you will end up with someone, as a whopping 90 percent of DateandDash singles get matched immediately.
The best part about these events is the variety of people that attend. In fact, you'll have just as many choices for dates at Ethel's as you will for the shop's vast selection of chocolates. The process of choosing a guy or gal really isn't that different from picking your favorite truffle, either. (Does he smell good? Will she make you happy? Should you try something new?) And just like the sweets here, your dates will go down much more smoothly with a glass or two of bubbly.
The goal, according to DateandDash, is for everyone to date each other. In the real world, this could cause some serious heartache, but in the world of speed dating, it's all about options. Dating everyone within the span of an hour means you only get to spend about three to eight minutes with each participant. But, as veteran speed-daters know, even two minutes can feel like an eternity when you end up with the awkward guy who breathes heavy and stares blankly at you the whole time.
Thankfully, dating coach Patty Feinstein offers a list of conversation starters to help break the ice. She suggests sticking to pop culture and humor questions, and to avoid politics at all costs (save the arguments for later in the relationship). One example from Feinsteinís list, "Do you believe in tantric sex?" is sure to cause a reaction, while others like, "What do you think of Dancing with the Stars?" may spark blank expressions. In any case, the point is to keep it light and to have fun (e.g. nobody wants to hear about your exes).
At the end of the evening, when you're all liquored up and your dating card is full, it's time to go home and find your matches on the company's website. If you and your dream date both circled yes on your match cards (given at the beginning of each event) then you're in. Of course, one of you still has to make the next move and ask the other on a real date. If you end up in the unlucky 10 percent of matchless folks, your next DateandDash event is free.
If you'd like more info, call (800) 957-DASH or log onto the company's website.