So many people, especially people in relationships, seem to have a lot of strong opinions about single culture and what single people do. ‘Tinder is just for hooking up’ ‘Singles clubs are sleazy’ ‘Singles have all the fun’ – or – ‘singles are always lonely and sad’.

Are these things true? Not really, sometimes maybe, but not really – and the same goes for speed dating. For something that has a lot of mystery and a lot of opinions thrown around about it, it’s actually very simple.

If you punch ‘what is speed dating’ into Google right now, in March 2019, you get this – noun ‘ an organised social activity in which people seeking romantic relationships have a series of short conversations with potential partners in order to determine whether there is mutual interest’.

If you type ‘speed dating’ into Wikipedia you’ll get this – ‘Speed dating is a formalised matchmaking process which has the purpose of encouraging eligible singles to meet large numbers of new potential partners in a very short period of time’.

This gives us a bit of an idea of what’s going on, but seriously: what is speed dating?

What Is Speed Dating and How Can I Benefit?

Well here is the process in a nutshell: You (a single person who wants to meet other single people – and in our case – also loves food!) pre-book a ticket online. Then you show up to the event, usually a bar or function centre – or a warm and cosy eatery in our case, but more on that at the end. Lets pick a hypothetical and say that there are twelve men and twelve women for this event.

The events are categorised in age group, say late twenties to mid-thirties, mid thirties to forties etc. Here’s where the fun begins, the host – yes, someone warm and friendly needs to be looking after you all and setting the tone for the night – welcomes everyone in, shows you to the bar (we all need a bit of liquid courage sometimes!) if you need a drink and helps you to relax and unwind from the day.

Once all of the guests have arrived the host gets everyone seated, so that means twenty-four guests seated on twelve private tables, one girl and one guy on each table.

Sounding like a date yet? Well it is, only it’s a very short one, usually about seven minutes long. The host is the timekeeper, and every seven minutes he or she rings bell, how often do you get to go somewhere were bell ringing is really fun? What does then mean? Well, it means that the speed date is over. The men all stand and move around the room clockwise or anti-clockwise while the women stay seated (come on guys, you can do the heavy lifting!)

The men move around the room, table to table, every seven minutes. There’s usually a break in the middle and by the end of it all, all twelve guys and all twelve gals have had a seven minute date with each other – that’s probably more dates in one night than many people will have in their entire lifetime! It’s incredibly fun and stimulating.

Now, what happens if you decide you want to see someone again during your seven minute speed date? Well, just like all dating it’s a two way street, so if you like them and they like you and you both tick ‘yes’ on your card (did we mention that you have a little card you fill in over the night? You don’t have to write a master degree on each date, all you have to do is tick ‘yes’ or ‘no’, it’s very simple) then your host will match your emails that night, or by the next morning.

If you don’t connect with any of your speed dates you simply tick no or leave the space with their name blank, it’s that easy. The night is over after all the dates and for some, the night is still young – so some people go out, some people hang at the venue afterwards and enjoy a few more drinks, some people go straight home to rest all that off social excitement off, it’s really just up to you. And that is how speed dating works.

What makes Taste Date special?

At Taste Date we do the same classic speed dating process, why change it? It’s been a fantastic, solid format since it was invented in the seventies (check out next week’s blog for a bit of speed dating history).

The difference is that we add food. Lets face it, everything in life is better when you add food, especially dating! But no one wants to sit in front of their first date with a four hundred gram steak and a kilo of chips (sorry men, we weren’t talking about that kind of food!) so we’ve made it fun, neat and dainty by dishing out small plates of delicious tapas at each of our events, small portions, easy to eat, no mess – and lots of serves over the course of the night that add up to a full meal by the end.

If you’re a bit on the shy side, it means that you can at least talk about food – one of the most interesting topics anyway, and a great way to learn about other people.

Come back next week when we go in to a little more detail about how this all started, like food and dating itself, speed dating has an interesting history…

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