I’ve tried all the methods you’ve heard or read about when it comes to meeting romantic potentials. In high school and college I joined different clubs and organizations. I let friends set me up. I’ve smiled and said “hello” to random guys at Target, the grocery store, the mall food court. I’ve stopped looking. I joined Match.com.
And last night, I tried speed dating.
During the month between signing up and going, I couldn’t decide if I was brave for trying something new, or pathetic for paying to go to a bar and have forced conversations with complete strangers. I can honestly say, I’m still not completely sure, but I’m leaning towards brave.
I took my time getting ready- I curled my hair and put on a cute little black dress (very casual, but still a black dress, which you cannot go wrong with), traded my glasses for contacts, and did my makeup. I’m not going to lie, I think I looked pretty good.
It started raining- hard- halfway to the restaurant and I wondered, “Is this a sign? Should I turn around, go home, put on my pjs and snuggle up on the couch with Glee and a mug of hot cocoa?” I didn’t turn around though: I pressed on.
Have I mentioned before that I have the worst sense of direction? Well, I do. So there was no way I was going to find the restaurant on the first try driving in the dark in the rain- and I didn’t. Even with my GPS. Luckily, I found a parking deck pretty easily. Unlikely, I had to walk 2 blocks in the rain in flip flops to find the right address and was convinced I was going to slip and break my neck before I got there. But I didn’t!
When I walked in the door, I immediately regretted the decision to come- but it was just a momentary panic, dread in not knowing what the hell I’d gotten myself into. I checked in, sat at the bar, and ordered a drink. It took a while to start because more people came in, but when it finally did, I took my place at “Table 4” and waited for my #4 counterpart to join me.
It was a very surreal evening in a lot of ways. I found myself smiling and laughing through most of it- I actually had fun! I knew that most of the guys were not men I’d ever want to see again in a romantic setting, but they were all friendly and kind. None were cocky or arrogant or gave me a “player” vibe, which completely shocked me. At the end of the evening, I turned in my “match” sheet, selecting three guys that I wanted to possibly see again.
This morning, I got my matches from the event’s organizers. 2 of the guys I choose selected me, too. And 5 other guys selected me. 7 guys out of 11 wanted more Rachel, disproving my long-standing belief that men are repelled by me and convincing me that instead, I just need five minutes of their undivided attention to make them realize how amazingly delightful I am.