“Come on, it’ll be fun! We’ll go for a drink first, then go speed dating, and then have a drink together after and compare notes.”
She’s serious. But she’s laughing too. “This could be a good laugh,” she says. “‘So what did you think about number eight? Do you think that was his real hair?’ It’ll be fun!”
But I don’t see anything funny about it. In fact the very thought of speed dating makes me feel queasy. I can’t imagine anything worse than sitting at a table and having a series of men circulate past, giving me the five minute version of themselves. The whole idea of speed dating wigs me out. It’s ironic really, considering how many first dates I’ve gone on in the last five years.
I’ll admit that I’m torn. On the one hand, my negative reaction to speed dating is visceral.
On the other hand, it would make for a great blog post.
But I can’t do it. Not even for the laugh.
I’m trying to figure out what it is about the concept of speed dating that makes me feel nauseous. And I realize that it’s because I was engaged in my own version of speed dating in the spring. I’ve done the calculations. “A is for Adam” to “S is for Stefan” equals nineteen first dates. Nineteen dates in four months. The Alphabet Dating Game might have seemed like a good blog concept, but it was a terrible idea for my love life.
And so I’m embracing a new approach. I’ve always liked the idea of the slow food movement, and so I’m going to impose upon myself a similar approach to dating.
I hereby swear to abide by the terms and conditions of the Slow Dating Manifesto:
1. I will only date local men. No long distance, no matter how appealing.
2. I will not panic and open up my profile when I’m only communicating with one or two men. I do not need to have a number of men in the wings just in case. Repeat after me: I do not need a warming tray. I do not need a warming tray.
3. I will stay open in the dating process and will be honest and forthright in my interactions.
4. I will not dump a man after one date for trivial reasons. I will remain open-minded.
5. I will avoid placing expectations or pressure on an emerging relationship. Stay in the moment!
I’m excited about this new approach. I think it’s healthy. I think it’s sane. I think it’s a way for me get to know people the way I got to know Dan during the summer.
And besides, I need to slow down. I only have seven letters left in the alphabet.