Speed dating
Friday 20th March

It's 8pm and I'm at a speed dating event at the Circle Club in Manchester city centre. I've never been speed dating before and I'm looking forward to meeting lots of people who I can get to know and invite out. I was planning to go to the Woodstock to get the regular meeting place going once and for all, but Baz phoned me this afternoon telling me he had a spare ticket and do I want to come along. I considered how the singles night on Friday 6th February was a success in that I ended up going on dates and making friends there, so this speed dating might be an opportunity to recruit people for the regular meeting place which I will be starting in future. I might also meet some ladies who could be my girlfriend.

I've been dating ladies from the last singles event over the past few weeks. They were nice people and we got on well. We're still in the dating phase so I haven't got a proper girlfriend at the moment.

Poker Face by Lady Ga Ga has been on the radio a lot lately, it's a catchy tune. It's playing in lots of venues too.

Organiser: "Hello welcome to the speed dating event, here's your literature and form for writing details about the people you meet. Write your name and contact details and give me the form at the end of the night, then we'll let you know your matches."

The organiser is a guy in his 30's or 40's and his enthusiasm and professional attitude helps make it enjoyable.

Organiser: "The speed dating is about to start, please go over to your tables."

I go to the first table and talk with the lady there. 3 minutes later the whistle blows and we go to the second table. The second lady I meet I get on with so well we swap contact details there and then! I go to the next table.

The fifth lady says how she wants friends and possibly a relationship, that she finds it hard to meet people outside her group and wants to make friends. We swap numbers.

I'm finding that some people at speed dating are well adjusted friendly people who want a social life as well as a relationship. They're not alcoholics or weekend warriors, and with work offering no opportunities, bars and nightclubs they say are aggressive, women and guys are turning to speed dating.
This event cost £25 and the price is a good thing because it shows that these people are here for a reason, they're serious and made the effort to be here and improve their lifestyle. It's very cool.

After meeting the 10 ladies there's a break. We go to the bar and have drinks. The ladies are exclaiming how so many of the guys here are doctors! I go to the toilets and there are two guys in there plotting and discussing what to tell them, one is saying
Him: "I told them all I was a doctor."
His friend is laughing.

The speed dating restarts. I meet the next 10 ladies. One is too familiar and touching me on the arm which comes across as if she's a professional at this.
Me: "Have you done this before?"
Her: "No."
Me: "Everyone says that."
Her: "No it really is."
Me: "Everyone says that too."

One I met says
Her: "I like going to the theatre and to see bands, anything where people are performing."
Me: "That's good. I went to a play last night."
Her: "What did you see?"
Me: "It was at the secondary school I used to go to, it was really good."
Her: "What was it about?"
Me: "The older generation of teachers who teach for knowledge and the younger generation who are about targets and league tables."
Her: "I like plays."
Me: "It's interesting because I was thinking how plays motivate you because it's something people have done. Most people never get around to anything nowadays but with a play they've put something on. It motivates you to go out and do something yourself."
She agrees. It's something we really connect on.

Another one says
Her: "I ride horses, it's my job to solve problems with horses."
Which is really interesting.

Another is into outdoor sports.

Now I've seen all 20 ladies and the event is finished. I'm standing at the bar with Baz. I ticked all the boxes on the sheet because it will be interesting to see all the matches and I might be friends with some of them. Also, with everyone on their best behaviour it's not easy to gauge in 3 minutes what a person is like. Tomorrow when I've considered what the people were like I'll know, but right now I decided to agree to swap details with everyone and will decide who I like and don't get on with later.

A group of 3 ladies who are all friends at the event spend 20 minutes discussing and comparing notes on who they liked and didn't like. They're taking it too seriously.
Me: They're deciding who to tick so none of them end up in competition."
Baz: "They'll ruin it for themselves. If they all like they same guy they'll probably not tick him so as not to be in competition."

Me and Baz stay at the Circle Club. Half the ladies from the event go home and half stay for the club night. One of the guys, he's dressed smart and comes across as a genuine guy, he says
Him: "Some of the ladies seem to know what they're doing tonight."
Me: "They're professional daters."
Him: "Yes, that's what they are!" he says agreeing.
Me: "I asked a few if they've tried it before, they denied it."
Him: "They're not going to admit that."
Me: "If they did it would be admitting they've been to speed dating before and didn't meet anyone."
Him: "Yes, you've got to let them off that."
We laugh.

Another guy from the event comes over and starts speaking to me
Him: "Hi, how's it going?"
Me: "Ok. I got a few contact details already and will get more by email."
Him: "I don't think I'll get any. I don't do so well at speed dating."
I notice he comes across as shy, his body language isn't confident and he seems dazed from all the talking with people.
Me: "You work with computers don't you?"
Him: "How did you know."
Me: "Stop using computers and you'll get ladies."
Him: "I can't, it's what I do." he complains.
Me: "Well only use them at work. Don't use them at all in the evening. Stop all social networking, emailing, get some hobbies instead."
Him: "But I like…….."
Me: "Trust me. Stop using computers and get your social skills back. It's good you're making the effort to come to this event."

Something I've noticed is that I can spot someone addicted to social networking a mile of. They have certain traits and they're often unable to work out what's wrong with them. The social networking seems to have some kind of effect on people that they don't notice but others realise. It almost comes across as a kind of autism.

Now one of the ladies who has stayed on for the club night is getting close to Baz. A few of the ladies snog guys in the middle of the dancefloor in front of everyone.

One guy is using the pick-up artist technique of negging – it involves winding up a lady by putting her down and makes her attracted to him. They snog. It seems there are pick-up artists here.

I'm sitting on the couch now and Baz is here too.
Baz: "Aren't you approaching anyone?"
Me: "No I decided to get contact details and play it cool. Work out who I like and go on dates. I'm not doing anything more tonight."

Then Baz is with this lady again. I tell Baz I'm going home. As Baz is looking towards the exit of the venue, the lady he's with sticks her tongue out. I laugh at her. I say to Baz
Me: "I'm going."
Baz: "Ok, coming in a minute."
He swaps numbers with the lady and we leave.

On the way out of the venue some of the ladies who came across reasonably well at the event are going home with guys they picked up at the venue. The guys they're trailing behind don't seem that into them though.
The act they put on for 3 minutes earlier has now unravelled!

Me and Baz are outside now.
Me: "All the genuine and decent ladies left straight after the event."
Baz: "I think you're right, they were all competing in there."
Me: "Normally you have to get a lady on her own to kiss her. Most don't even like kissing in the street, but these were doing it in front of everyone."
Baz: "The genuine ones left earlier."
Me: "The one you swapped numbers with stuck her tongue out because she thought she'd stolen you off me."
Baz: "Really?"
Me: "Yes, I laughed because she looked sill. I met so many tonight it was no big deal."
Baz: She was trying to play us off one another. But it didn't work. You're always going on dates so it doesn't bother you. The funny thing is she thought I was the player and you were the nice guy who doesn't go on many dates!"
Me: "A lot of ladies think if you show interest that they've got dominance over you. That they think they're the only one in the world who you like and worship. That's why they put themselves on a pedestal. Also why putting them down – negging works. It makes them realise they're not the only ones and it makes them attracted to the guy. European and more classy ladies are different, they understand dating and are more mature."
Baz: "It's a culture thing."
Me: "50% were more genuine people tonight, they all left straight after the event. The other half were out for taking someone home."
Baz: "I'm not going to call that one I was with. I'll see what matches come through on email."

We go to Subway for food then the casino for drinks. We go to my car and drive out of the city.

It was a really good night and I enjoyed myself very much. Even though I got in for free – as Baz had a spare ticket. It was worth £25 because of the 50% of genuine people that came. The other 50% were easy to spot later so there was no danger of getting involved with them. Speed dating is a great way to make friends and find possible girlfriends. The people at the event are committed to being social and want to meet people.

Summary and venue reviews: Friday 20th March

Circle Club
Busy. Clientele: singles. Décor: 7/10.
Notes: There are some ok people at the speed dating event.
Circle Club
Fast love speed dating

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© Alex Remizo