71 thoughts I had when I went speed dating for the first time

On Valentine's Day. Alone.

By Jessica Chandra
Crazy Stupid Love Jacob Hannah

1. Am I desperate?

2. Why am I doing this?

3. Well dating apps aren’t really working for me – what could go wrong?

4. I can’t believe my friends are making me do this alone, and no one will come with me.

5. Everyone’s saying I’m really ‘brave’ – yay?

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6. Shit, I keep talking about going speed dating alone. Why can’t I shut up.

7. Is it too late to back out? I’ll only lose my money.

8. But I could meet the love of my life. Just do it.

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9. Wait, who else goes speed dating on Valentine’s Day? This could already be a bad sign.

10. OK I just need to finish work so I can mattify my face and get there.

11. Oh God I’m lost inside Central Station again.

12. Made it! They’ll know I’ve come as a loner.

13. It’s not starting for half-an-hour. There’s time to smoke-bomb.

14. But that’ll stuff up numbers. Just be a good sport.

15. Drink coupon!

16. OK the guys are alright. Never expected these kinds of guys to be here on Valentine’s Day.

17. There’s a charity initiative so half of them were probably roped in at the last minute.

18. OMG I’m starving. Please let there be food.

19. It doesn’t LOOK like anyone else has come alone. Otherwise they’re better at making fast friends than me.

20. I bet I look busy just standing in the corner on my phone…

21. We’re told how the night will pan out. The girls get table numbers and will stay seated the whole night, while the men move around. Sounds like a sweet deal to me. The dates will go for four minutes each, and we need to tick people we’d be keen to see again.

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22. If two people say yes to each other, they’ll swap our details. So it’s like Tinder IRL.

23. Oh shit, it’s actually started. All my mental conversation starters have gone out the window.

24. Guy #1 is nice but our conversation is pretty #basic. Please don’t tell me it’s this for the whole night.

25. And bam! It’s over. How was that four minutes? I don’t really know anything about Guy #1.

26. Now I’m chatting to someone else but there’s so much pressure to not have the same conversation, so I think I’ve asked something really dumb and random.

27. Food. I’m talking about food. Well food’s very important to me so I need to know a prospective partner’s feelings about it.

28. And then all of a sudden that’s over too. Four minutes is nothing – it’s the length of a song!

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29. Chatting to Guy #4 and he’s cute but I think I made the whole speed date a downer by talking about something really depressing. Whyyyyyyyyy.

30. After four dates it’s time for a break. Break = I need a drink.

31. A guy at the bar I haven’t speed dated offers to get my drink. If speed dating means getting free drinks then speed dating is easy!

32. TBH I’m pleasantly surprised and impressed with the guys. Is that mean?

33. Break is over and now I have to speed date four more men before the next break. I should have gotten a back-up drink.

34. OK I think I like this guy but how can you tell if you like someone in four minutes? Time’s up so I’ll never know.

35. Is it bad that instead of concentrating on my current date I’m kind of looking at cute previous guy and trying to suss out his conversation with the girl next to me? Probs.

36. I am talking about the most random things tonight. I’ve asked someone what dog breed he’d be (’cos my name badge had it as a conversation starter question), explained breadcrumbing to another, and talked about how my godson and his siblings were named. Weirdly I haven’t said that much about myself – what I do, how old I am, all the general info. But maybe that’s good.

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37. I just asked someone how old he is and I think that offended him. Oops.

38. I don’t know if four minutes is enough to work out if you have ~chemistry~ with someone.

39. Where’d Cute Guy go?

40. Also seriously, where are all these guys on a normal night out?

41. Chatting to fourth guy with an accent.

42. The girl next to me got a hug. I didn’t get a hug. What did she do to get a hug from a guy who didn’t hug me? (I don’t know if I actually wanted a hug, but still.)

43. Break time!

44. I’m exhausted.

45. And still hungry – WTF? (Where’s the food?)

46. Bathroom break. I hear a girl in a cubicle say, “I’ll never get those four minutes back.” It’s not THAT bad.

47. Or maybe I’m just lucky I haven’t had a dud.

48. I need to do this four more times. Four minutes. Four times. Should be easy…

49. Oh wait there’s a raffle! I won candles!!!

50. Back to business. I’m out of talking points. OK, not really, but I can’t really be bothered.

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51. Also I’m three drinks in with no food so SORRY LAST FOUR BOYS.

52. The love of my life could be one of the last four boys but I’m not presenting my best self RN.

53. But actually, HOW do you present your best self in four minutes?

54. The guys are starting to blend into one.

55. I need to eat something.

56. A guy tells me he accidentally ate food at the bar that he thought was for everyone before realising someone had bought it. LOL. (Maybe he’s my kind of guy.)

57. IT’S OVER.

58. I’m talking to someone I speed dated and he’s taken off his name tag, so I have no idea what he’s called. Or what we talked about on our date.

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59. I need to leave or I’ll faint because I’m so hungry. And that won’t help me make a good final impression on anyone.

60. OMG I didn’t fill out my sheet as I went so now I actually don’t know who’s who.

61. I need to go. I don’t have the energy for post-mingling.

62. I just gave my sheet to one of the organisers so my love life is literally in her hands.

63. I’m home, and finally eating. I’ve never been happier – I know what the real love of my life is. Can you speed date food?

64. I have a brilliant idea: food speed dating!

65. Also known as a degustation.

66. Which would be fun to do alone but could be more fun with a partner…

67. Well, it’s out of my hands now.

68. Next day: I get an email saying not everyone handed in their sheets, half the returned sheets were unnamed, so most of the matches “got lost in translation.”

69. LOLOLOLOL I just can’t even.

70. They had one job.

71. At least I’ll always have food.

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