Yeah that’s right, Speed Dating. I believe I previously mentioned this new website/app that I use called Meetup as a way of meeting new people and trying new things. So when I saw Speed Dating pop up as one of the upcoming events for one of the groups I am a part of, I decided to go for it. I was a little bit hesitant at first, as I’d never tried speed dating before. Not to mention it was £15, which seemed like quite a lot to spend considering there was no guarantee I would actually meet a guy that I was interested in. Plus I’m not really looking for anything serious right now anyway, so was there really any point? But then I thought to myself, “Isn’t this the whole point of being signed up to this website in the first place, and writing this very blog? To come out of my shell and do things I might not usually do? I may not be looking for a boyfriend, but it could still be fun.” So I decided to go for it, and quickly bought my ticket before I changed my mind.
The event took place in a bar in Clapham that I’d never heard of before called Leilani Restaurant & Ashanti Lounge. I was sort of wishing that it wasn’t literally the day before payday, because the place had a menu of really yummy cocktails, and judging by the delicious aroma that was filling the room, it seemed like the food there was really good too. The card machine wasn’t working, which was probably a good thing. This ensured that I could monitor the money I was spending throughout the night, so I wouldn’t go too crazy and then almost cry at the sight of my bank balance by the time I got home. After withdrawing £20 from the nearest cashpoint, I headed to the bar for Cocktail No. 1. Chloe, who is the host of the Meetup Group, was there but only to help out and for moral support, as she already had a boyfriend. She pointed me in the direction of three other girls from the group who were already seated and sipping their drinks. I hadn’t met any of them before, but we all hit it off pretty easily. At this point, there were literally no boys at the event yet, so we sat waiting in anticipation at first. Then when it became clear that they wouldn’t be arriving any time soon, we started getting to know each other better, discussing celebrity gossip etc. We were all talking for over an hour before the boys decided to show their faces. And they say women are the ones who are late all the time; this rule clearly did not apply tonight.
Anyway, the lovely host of the event (I have unfortunately forgotten her name) made the boys all wait outside whilst we were all ushered onto separate tables. I took a quick scan at the men and was pleasantly surprised. There were a few good looking ones so we were off to a good start so far. All black guys obviously, as it had been advertised as “an event aimed specifically at people of colour, aged between 23 and 35”. This meant that they should all have jobs, also a good sign. Once everyone was inside, we were all given a sheet of paper with different boxes to fill out for each candidate. Yes, I am referring to them as candidates, because at this point that was what they were. In each box you were given an option to score the candidate points out of 10, put down whether you thought of them as a friend or as more than that, whether you’d want to see them again and if you would want a potential relationship with them, from what I remember anyway. Now, I wasn’t sure about a couple of these options. I mean, how was I supposed to know if I’d want a relationship with a guy after talking to him for only four minutes? I couldn’t honestly say that about any of them, especially when it comes to men. From my experience, you can no a guy for a long time but it only takes a few seconds for them to fuck it up by being a dickhead, then you realise that you need to cut them off. I’ve met a lot of dickheads in the past, and for me personally, cutting them off just gets easier and easier. Like K Camp says, “it ain’t nothing to cut that bitch off”. If this quote means nothing to you, look the song up on YouTube, but just be prepared to be singing the song non-stop for a while.
The first thing I noticed were that the first few guys I met (the first seven or eight, to be more precise) were Nigerian. I mean, I am Nigerian as well, so of course there is absolutely no disrespect intended, but what was the deal? From what I remembered, surely people of colour didn’t just mean Nigerians? I mean, I’m not even talking just African niggas, specifically Nigerians! I found that very interesting, but also could not help myself thinking “I hope one of my cousins doesn’t roll through next”. You never know. I met a few cool guys though; the second man I spoke to was 48 years old! Clearly he had broken the rules, because as I mentioned previously, this event was aimed at ages 23 to 35. This man was literally only a few years younger than my dad, and even more fresh! No thank you: next please. One of the guys was also very drunk, not a delight to speak to at all, and for some weird reason, he was only speaking to me in Yoruba. This is the language of which my people, from my particular tribe in Nigeria, speak. I was pretty sure he could also speak English, and he wasn’t that much older than me, so this was very strange. Forget my cousin, one of my uncles might roll through next. I mean, anything was possible at this point! He then confirmed that I was wasting my time by expressing that he was more interested in my friend, referring to one of the girls from the group I had been speaking to earlier. I waved him off in relief, whilst thinking “LOL good luck with that”, and silently feeling sorry for her. What had she done to deserve this?
There is no point in telling you about every each and every single candidate in detail because firstly, I do not remember most of them. Secondly, there were only two that I actually had any intention of seeing again. For the sake of their privacy, I won’t reveal any names, but they were the only two guys I clicked with, who were both in their thirties. This wasn’t too surprising though. Guys that I actually liked were usually quite a bit older than me, but unfortunately this did not make them immune to the Dickhead Syndrome that had become so widely spread.
One of the gentlemen was a yardie from St. Elizabeth, Jamaica; one of the first Caribbean guys I’d spoken to that evening. He was really cool actually; one thing I liked about him was that he just had such a positive energy. I really liked that in both men and women in general, so this was definitely alright with me. We could all use a little bit of positivity in our lives. Not to mention that he also gave me a lift home. I know, I know, technically not a great idea considering I’d just met him. But it was really late by then, and I lived all the way in Stanmore (very far from South London) and I had to be at work for 8am the next day. My tipsy self could literally not imagine anything worse than that long ass train journey home at that moment. I did also take precautions and called my best friend to let her know what I was doing. I even took a picture of his license plate with him standing next to the car. I mean, I had to let him know that if he tried anything, the police would be on his ass within hours.
The other guy I’d met was Nigerian, and again, his name will not be revealed for the sake of his privacy. He was cool though; early 30’s, good looking, he had a good job, he drove a really nice car (this wasn’t something that I found out until later, but still) and we definitely had a real vibe when we met. Not just sexually, but a real spark, you know. I kind of broke the rules by giving him my number when he asked for it, because we weren’t supposed to do that. The way it worked was that the host would contact us all within a couple of days to reveal our matches. Although, I’m pretty sure this wasn’t done properly because I only got one, and this is NOT my ego talking, but I know I got more than that in actuality. This same guy told me that he put me down as a match himself, but I was never sent his number. So I guess it’s a good thing we broke the rules.
Anyway, speed dating turned out to be a lot of fun. I would definitely recommend it to someone that hasn’t tried it before, and I will most likely do it again in the future. I would just advise women not to expect too much from it, because you do have to weed out the candidates that are clearly not serious. Like I said, I wasn’t personally looking for anything serious, but I know that most women are hoping to meet a good man as a result. I’m not saying this can’t happen; at the end of the day, you can meet a good man anywhere really. But based on my first experience, I would definitely suggest keeping an open mind for your first time. I liked both guys at the start, but one of them has already pissed me off, and despite the fact we have met a few times, I think it’s safe to say that we are not compatible. But to all the single ladies out there that haven’t tried speed dating before, go for it. What do you have to lose? Enjoy!