Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Speed Dating

An interesting read....

Our Reporter Gives It A Try...With Some Reservations

By: Zinnia Faruque
Source: Herald News
Link: http://www.flirteve.com/frames.html

When I told my guy friend that I was attending a speed-dating event for single South Asian professionals, he asked if I had my pitch down pat. "What pitch?" I asked. "This isn't a job conference!"

But, really, it made sense. There would be 20 guys and 20 women. You have three minutes to make a lasting impression before the buzzer goes off and leaves you starting all over again with the next potential soul mate.

Then my girlfriend asked an even more unsettling question: "What if no one puts us down on their scoreboard?"

I didn't know what she meant. All I knew about speed-dating was what I'd seen on "Sex and the City." But a scoreboard seemed vaguely ominous.

If you're young, single and looking for love in the metropolitan area, you may already be date-weary. But add to the mix that you are a South Asian seeking other South Asians, and the playing field gets that much smaller.

Most of my group of twenty-something girlfriends are single urbanites working at our first full-time jobs. We like to party, dance and trade stories about our latest hook-ups or misadventures over mimosas at brunch. Most of us have had at least one serious relationship. Not that we're necessarily looking to marry the next person we date, but in these post-college years, we're less willing to date just for dating's sake.

So it makes sense that speed-dating appeals to target ethnic markets, like us. Speed-dating, of course, isn't new. It started in Los Angeles in 1998 - courtesy of Aish HaTorah, a Jewish educational network - as a matchmaking method for Jewish singles.

Like many veteran urban daters, some of my South Asian girlfriends are tired of meaningless bar encounters. In high school, we may have scoffed at being introduced to a "nice South Asian boy," but the idea no longer seem so ludicrous.

It has been six months since I broke up with an ex-boyfriend of three years, and I can't remember when my last "real" date was. So when the speed-dating - an event sponsored by Flirteve.com, a South-Asian-geared Web site - was broached by some friends, I thought: Well, it couldn't hurt.

We speed-daters gathered, one recent Tuesday, for after-work cocktails at Pop, a hip, dimly-lit lounge near Union Square. Okay, I told myself, I will try to be open-minded. I sat down alone at the coffee-sized table assigned to me, armed with pen, notepad and a box of Tic Tacs. Rahul Shah, one of the organizers, stepped forward and explained how the scoreboard worked. You had to mark yes or no after meeting each prospective mate. If both of you wrote yes, you had a match, and you would be sent each other's e-mail addresses in a few days.

"Okay, girls, so all you have to do is sit tight, and let the guys come to you." Said Shah. "Sort of the way it is in real life."

As it turned out, I didn't need a pitch. The guys came prepared with their pitches, just like they do in bars. The first guy, Kunal, sounded almost a little too rehearsed. But he lived in Jersey City, which is where I moved to a month ago. And he seemed like a nice-enough guy. What the hell, I thought, I'll put him down as a yes.

The next guy, Sanjay, was too thin and wiry for my taste. I tuned out what he was saying - until he told me he had spent much of his life in the Philippines and had studied in Manchester, England. Not your typical South Asian guy from Edison, N.J. He seemed cultured and well-traveled. He was going down as a yes.

Then there was Vivek, about 6 feet tall, black hair slicked with gel, wearing a black blazer over jeans. He was finishing his fourth year of residency at NYU med school. Great, I thought, after tonight's roster of engineers, businessmen and doctors, tell me something I don't know. Vivek must have read my mind, because he said he was interested in researching children's public health in developing countries. A socially conscious South Asian guy? I leaned forward with interest.

A few days later, after a bit of paranoia that no one had considered me a yes, I received an e-mail from Flirteve: three matches. My friend Purvi e-mailed me. She had three matches, too, and, luckily, not the same three.

I don't think I found my soul mates. But I was forced to talk to guys I normally would never have approached, and I had been pleasantly surprised. Will I go out with any if they call? Well, I guess it couldn't hurt...

For Full Transcript Email: info@flirteve.com

After having read this, would any of you try speed dating?

This entry was posted on Thursday, June 22, 2006 at 6/22/2006 10:48:00 AM. You can skip to the end and leave a response.

At June 25, 2006 3:48 PM, Anonymous said...

It's a very interesting read....are you thinking of going on speedy dates!

At July 07, 2006 5:08 PM, sana said...

I'm always up for adventures, LOL, especially where I can have stories to tell!

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