Two women, and one man. No, it's not at all what you may be thinking so get your mind out of the gutter, lol. This was simply a creative solution meant to address a shortage of single men in their 40's and 50's. Here is the story:
When Long Island Speed Dating (currently known as WeekendDating.com) was started, I thought the only market was for the 25-35 year old crowd. Wow, was I wrong! Some of our best events are for the 40's and 50's age bracket. Just one problem! Where did all the single guys in the 46-56 age range go? Don't get me wrong, they do exist, but just not nearly as much as women in a similar age range. I can honestly say we have to turn down 40-60 women per event for this age category in order to ensure we have an equal male/female ratio. Women have complained that they have been waiting more than 6 months to come to an event.
As with all new event ideas, the suggestion was potsed to the mailing list. As to be expected, the men were all for it. Hey, why not, they get to meet twice as many women. I was a little nervous about what the women would say, but to my pleasant surprise, the overwhelming majority thought it was a great idea. Here is an actual comment:
"Hi, I think the idea of having two women at one table is terrific!
My friend and I have been trying to get into a session for women between 38 and 53 and have been unable to do so. I think in a way we were relieved since we are very nervous about doing this...Yet now being able to do it together would be a great way to start."
Hmm, well I said the overwhelming majority were positive, but not all. Since every story has two sides, here is my favorite comment from Ms. L. who said
"Your double speed dating is one of the worst ideas I have heard in a long time. Why not just line up the ducks and have a carnival shooting match where the guns outnumber the ducks? While others may like your new idea, please put me down as a vehement "no".
Part II- The event
Our first Double speed dating event was held in July, 2004. From 6:45 PM- 7:30PM, we had a pre-event for ladies only with a complimentary buffett sponsored by Island Plastic Surgery. Initially I thought a lot of women would be coming in pairs, but surprisingly about 70% of the female participants came alone. I was pretty amazed to see how easily the ladies bonded. Each time a new single woman arrived, she was immediately introduced to group and made to feel welcome.
From 7:30 to 8 pm, the men started to arrive. The women had already been eating and were sitting at tables. They had already paired up themselves, and were making new friends. Each man was seated with a pair of women and the night began. Instead of our normal 4 or 5 minutes per date, the time was increased to 6 or 7 minutes per double date. By the end of the evening we had completed approximately 20 rounds and it was time for the feedback. I knew this event was not for everyone, so was concerned about what I was about to hear.
Big surprise! I got a few bits of constructive criticism, but none of these comments came from women. While some men loved the fact that they got to talk to two women at once, a few of the guys found it a bit distracting. The comments pretty much revolved around how to handle the situation where they were interested in one woman at the table, but not the other. The comments from women were overwhelmingly positive. A few ladies who expressed hesitation about signing up for the event said they were pleasantly surprised and were very happy they attended. Not only did they meet several eligible men, but they also made several new female friends.
On Friday, October 1st, 2004, we will host a Double speed dating event at Jillian's in Farmingdale for Men ages 40-56 and Women 38-53. 100% of the profits from this event, and every Long Island speed dating event held in September 2004 will be donated to the LI911 Memorial Fund, a project created by the Long Island Association of Retired New York City Firefighters to honor the nearly 400 Long Islanders who died in the terrorist attacks.