The Magic of Technology
I went back to speed dating readers! And I did it FOR YOU. Where else am I going to get insane stories?
Ok, I'm kidding, I forayed back into the world of speed dating because I heard someone had a good experience with a particular site and I wanted to try it for myself. The dates were lame, but the platform was golden and I want to talk about it until I am blue in the face.
This was on the popular Facebook group Corona Crush, a group of over 30,000 where Jew(ish) people post their profiles and others can comment on them or message them. You may remember an earlier article "The Fallacy of Flirting Through Poetry" that explored when I posted my profile on the page and received several dubious answers including a guy that sent me not one but two poems.
So after that experience I wasn't exactly on board with the guys in the group but after learning about a relationship that started there and after seeing quite a few engagement made through there I decided to give it another shot with their speed dating event.
Let's get the guys out of the way: 3 were super frum teachers including one that had a beard down to his waist, one guy didn't speak English, one was a no-show, one's room in the background was so messy I was nauseated and one was fine but not for me. Trying to explain what I do for a living (marketing) to a non english speaker was difficult to say the least.
Ok, the world moves on another drama drama.
But all I can think about is how well run this thing was. Being in a well run event changed my entire perspective.
All participants were sent a link when they signed up and an hour before the event started. The email with the link had clear instructions AND A SCHEDULE. That's right, it listed the 7 dates that we would be going on by first name so you could judge them in advance but also emotionally prepare! The 7 dates were all picked by the system based on a survey we each had to take.
When I clicked on the link I was taken to a page with the schedule on the left and a countdown on the right. It was literally counting me towards my first date, whether I was ready or not. There was no uncomfortable speech from a shadchan, boiling down to that we all suck at dating and if we only gave her money to use her pretend mental health skills on us we would be better. There were no inexperienced moderators hastily trying to put together breakout rooms and accidently leaving a guy with 5 girls for 45 minutes.
And the timing. The timing was perfect. 7 minutes ON THE DOT with each guy which is the perfect amount of time (see: 7 minutes in heaven) to know if you want to see someone again or not. In between each session was a one minute break which is the perfect amount of time to check your phone and also Dancing with the Stars scores. Everyone had a maximum of 7 dates so the entire ordeal was done in under an hour.
Quick, painless, well run. And yes, the guys weren't for me but as you may have read on this blog, none of the guys are ever for me.
But this time I walked away not miserable. I walked away with energy and with dignity.
I have a lot of hills that I will die on. It's called living in a hilly area and having a death wish. But this may be my favorite hill ever. I might need to adjust my goal in life to simply begging shadchans to use sophisticated online setups for dating events and to, for the love of G-d, stop giving us speeches, divrei torah, and putting us in groups for 30 minute group dates. These strategies leave all of us feeling hopeless and like less than the valuable people we are.
I hope that shadchans want to make this a pleasant experience for all of us and they aren't just doing this job for the sense of power it gives them.
Wait. Hold on I'm getting a statistic in my ear. I've just learned that 99% of shadchans are doing this to feel powerful and gain a sense of control over an uncontrollable world.
I'll keep writing in my suggestions and trying to tell people what works and what doesn't work. And I'll continue to not be heard. But I'll die on this hill knowing that I tried.