Some people are dating purely for the stories, whether they know it or not. In New York, Tinder is so accepted as a means of meeting that elusive attractive individual who lives three blocks from you and ALSO loves hamentashen, you might not even lie to your grandparents about it. There’s a ton of awesome stuff to do in the city, and since you probably have an awesome and more chill time doing it with your established friends, you’re not likely to risk doing anything "fun" on your list with a potentially lame stranger. If the date goes badly, inevitably you end up doing something super awkward like saying goodbye and then walking to the train in the same direction and slowly trying to fall back. Or to take a magical ride on Jane’s Carousel, or reserve a table at that new restaurant, or hit the concert they’ve been wanting to see. Maybe you ask to be set up with a friend of a friend. Again, I tip my hat to you, but this is increasingly not how it works here. When a couple in a different city recounts the story of how they met, they would often rather lie and tell you it was in a strip club than suffer e-shame. After you’ve gone to the bars, and sent all the PMs, and swiped to the right on anyone who isn’t in a picture with their mom or a tiger (it happens! Or did you not shave your legs/chest in an attempt to behave, but now you’re screwed because they’re hot and smart and you’re going home with them anyway? And you have to figure out how to get yourself there. Does waiting at the bar with a drink make you look totally chill, or like a raging alcoholic? And if your neighborhood happens to be more than three stops outside Manhattan? Yes, New Yorkers also pass on prospective mates because they're too nice, needy, live in a neighborhood that’s inconvenient, or are just plain weird. You’re usually meeting at the bar/restaurant/coffee shop. What if it’s one of the eight months a year when it’s freezing or those other four when it’s unbearably humid?Or someone to call "babe" every Sunday morning at brunch at The Smith. Like, literally, around the corner you can see right now.
), and found myself in the restaurant of the Hyatt Union Square.If there are no matches, you’ll never know who liked you and vice versa -- somewhat akin to Tinder. There was the guy who just moved here from Texas who taught college courses online and was going to Venice for the summer because he could work from anywhere; the man who was raised by parents in the UN who spent his childhood in France, Morocco, Dubai, Rome, and about six other places; or the man who wasn’t physically my “type,” but who made me smile with his over-the-top laugh.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.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.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.Inside, it looked more or less like a restaurant preparing itself for regular dinner service (dim lighting, candlelit tables), rather than the morose, clinical vision I had concocted of name tags, clipboards, and other trappings of business conferences.People filed in one at a time and checked in with the hostess, who cleared their name from a list and handed them a card for keeping track of dates that night.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.