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Great Way to Meet New People

Aug 18, 2007
It's where a group of strangers gather at a designated venue for an evening. You will spend three or four minutes with each person of the opposite sex until the bell rings and you move round. Speed Dating etiquette dictates that you may not ask someone's age, where they live or exchange phone numbers.

At the end of the evening you tick the boxes of those people you'd wish to see again. The organisers will then take away all the information and if you double match with someone they will exchange your contact details.

We sent two of our reporters along to the Pitcher & Piano bar in Tunbridge Wells to participate in a session and let us know how they got on. The event was held on a Monday evening and for those who are familiar with the layout of the P&P was held in the upstairs bar.

So how did our guinea pigs get on?
Representing the male perspective was South East Today's Home Affairs Correspondent Richard Smith.

It was an interesting evening but unfortunately rather fruitless. There weren't as many people as the organisers had hoped, only 9 men and 9 women.

Due to there not being many people we had four minutes with each person and a 10 minute break after every three dates. One woman asked me how my mother would describe me, to which I replied misunderstood.

At the end of the evening I didn't tick any of the boxes but if I were to try speed dating again I would go to London. Tunbridge Wells is not ready for speed dating just yet.

Hunting out the men was Radio Kent's Jenny Barsby.

The first guy I met was really nice and we got chatting straight away. Due to the 4 minute limit we had to break off mid-conversation but later in the evening the numbers got slightly mixed up so we ended up at the same table again. After that we were so deep in conversation I stopped moving tables.

I thought the evening was a good idea in principal but there were people there I was poles apart from. Perhaps a stricter age limit may have better results. The idea has real potential, even just to meet new people and make friends.

Asked if she would go again Jenny replied
Yes, but probably not in Tunbridge Wells. I'd try London or another city.

Jenny ticked one box and had one double match.
40-50% of people matched. We spoke to the event organiser to find out how the evening went.

This is the fourth speed dating event I've arranged in Tunbridge Wells but it's the first of the season after coming back from the Summer holidays. It was slightly disappointing with the numbers of people who turned up but many cancelled. At previous evenings we've had as many as 35 people which was a huge success.
Ordinarily we get a high percentage of double matches but on the evening in question approximately 40-50% of people matched, which is still a good figure. The important thing is that people enjoyed themselves and had a nice evening.

So, if you fancy trying a new way of meeting people then perhaps you should look into finding a Speed Dating session near you.
About the Author
Rod hewitt is 27 years old and lives in Portland, Oregon, webprogrammer and web designer, owner of Namoro a brazilian dating site.
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