I signed up for a Monday night event with Speed NY Dating (because what else was I going to do on a Monday night?), and found myself in the restaurant of the Hyatt Union Square.And worse comes to worst, if it’s awful, you know that in five minutes, it will all be over -- unlike that horrific Tinder date you went on last week that lasted an hour and a half because you were too polite to leave. With Speed NY Dating, people are limited to the age bracket 24 to 38.Surprisingly, there were more men than women -- most of whom were young, professional, and new to New York.The majority of the daters at speed dating were new to the city, which makes sense -- you’re overwhelmed by the amount of people, you feel a little lost, and you want to meet someone easily.
Far from what I expected, the majority of guys I met were… The constant flow of visuals in front of my face was also kind of like swiping through Tinder... But here’s where speed dating is completely different (read: infinitely better) than Tinder and any other dating app -- it accounts for chemistry.After I was sure enough that the people at the restaurant were there for speed dating, I rose from the bar, took a seat on the ladies’ side of the tables, and waited for my first prospective match made in heaven. Women sit on one side of the table while men rotate from seat to seat in front of them. After five minutes, the men move to the next seat, and so on.After every “date,” you write down that person’s name on the card and rank them based on how likely you’d be to date them again.At the end of the event, you pick the top people you were interested in and return the card.Should there be any mutual matches, the organizers of the event will put you two in touch.Everyone was gainfully employed, sociable (mostly), and somewhat attractive (again, mostly).The best part is that, drastically unlike Tinder, everyone there was actually looking for a relationship, or at the very least a second date.Of course there were a few oddballs, like the guy who was obsessed with his karate prowess and kept insinuating that his skills would come in handy to protect me on our pending second date.But that’s how it is in any social/dating situation, and I’m sure there’s a Pink Power Ranger out there who would swoon over his high kick.There was also the man (whose job I can’t remember) who openly admitted that he loved being able to talk people into paying more money for things that he knew they didn’t actually need. I didn’t end up meeting anyone special at speed dating, but I still felt like I’d tapped into this hidden sector of the NYC dating world.What makes speed dating in New York so interesting is part of what makes New York so interesting to begin with -- you’re able to meet people from all over the world, from different backgrounds, with all different kinds of careers, interests, and experiences (and best of all, they’re all right there, in one room, in front of you).