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So, whats all this about speed dating then?

So, I guess that it was about six months ago that I had time on my hands, had recently become single and came across a website telling me about speed dating, or round robin dating. Takes yer pick.

Anyway, I thought I'd give it a go and convinced a mate of mine to come along, though he wimped out at the last moment.

I turned up and had a great time, it was a bit hectic and there were only three minutes to get to know my "date" before moving onto the next person.

Finding out who I matched up with at the end was kind of crappy. I filled out a form and handed it back to the organisers who than matched up all the results and then emailed me who was also interested in me.

For a first try at a speed dating evening, it wasn't too bad.

So, what is speed dating?

Well, I think it came to the UK initially from the USA, from a company called Speed dater, though they are not the only ones in the USA or even the most sucessfull ( I'll come back to this in a moment ).

The general idea for an evening is that you turn up and get to have a certain number of "dates", afterwhich you get to decide who you liked and then, without the pressure of having to ask around to find out who fanced you, you are presented with the names of the "dates" who would like to see you again.

Well, I had the opportunity to try 8minuteDating.com in Boston, USA and I have to say, the experiance blew all others totally out of the water.

There is a reason these guys are the most sucessfull in North America.

First of all, I did everything online and they emailed me about 6 times in total from the start of the process to the end. They made sure I booked, they made sure that I didn't forget to turn up, they followed up after the event and through the website, I was able to match up with a few girls and get in contact with them, all the while, I didn't give out my contact details to anyone and vice versa.

But, I get ahead of myself. I turned up on a Tuesday evening at a bar called Barcode, near Fenway in Boston. Tuesdays are dead nights everywhere, so I wasn't suprised to see that all the people in the bar, with perhaps the exception of 4 or 5 people, were for the event - about 40 in total.

I was "registered" as I turned up, given a unique id Seamus254, which I then used throughout the evening and later on the website. I was told not to give out my surname, phone number, email and to do everything via the website. Already I realised that these guys knew how to run a slick and professional operation. This was way better than my previous experiences.

After a drink and some food, we were told to take a seat at the table indicated on out "dating card". Off I went and started my first date. Now, 8 minutes doens't seem like a long time, but its just right. Its way long enough for you to realise that you do not want to see the person again and it is just long enough for you to realise that you would like to find out more about someone.

After 4 dates, we had a break and could mingle with the other attendees. One girl I liked and was able to add her name and number to my dating card. Alas, she didn't add me to her card :-(

We had 4 more dates and then a raffle for a bottle of wine, given by the venue. I was able to chat to one of the girls I had had a date with and we really hit it off. I still see her to this day whenever I am in Boston. We get on really well.

I had a great evening and hit the 8minuteDating.com website as soon as I could to put in the name and number sof the girls I liked. Over the next couple of days, I was match up with a couple for another date and a couple for "friendship". Incidentally, if you don't meet anyone during the evening that you like, you get another go for free.

All in all, a great experience. Everything worked well and was very professional.

Hope this gives you an idea about speed dating and that you will now give it a go!

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