(for those who can't waste any more time, faster service than Micky D's)
By Lauralyn Avallone
"I can't go out Friday night, I'm going speed dating," my friend said. What is speed dating? Invented by yet another entrepreneur exploiting the desperate state of searching singles, speed dating is an eight minute date with a potential suitor.
You go to a restaurant or club, or wherever the service rents out, fill out an application that sums up the essence of you, and then your application is matched with as many others that share common interests/personality traits. Then you sit across from the face behind the matching application, and have exactly eight minutes to catch a vibe - friend, soul mate, or "God, has it been eight minutes yet?"
I wonder how many questions can be asked in eight minutes. How long is a pause? What if someone is a slow talker? How many minutes do stuttering waste? Whoever could get a decent amount of information out of someone in such a short amount of time should be applying for Barbara Walters' job.
The way I see it, these matchmaker businesses are no different than modernized arranged marriages. Of course, no one is forcing you to marry someone they think is your perfect match. But, after years in the single wilderness fending for ones self, a weary single mind can become very easily influenced. A singles' subconscious is wide open to the power of suggestion. The suggestion alone that your one and only has been found, even if the evidence is only on paper, maybe enough to convince someone that it really is true.
This can be damaging for singles whose hope is fragile and hearts tender from one too many crushes. Who would want to go on ten job interviews for companies that look really promising and fun to work for, only to find out you didn't get the job? That's how this form of dating can feel for some, similar to Net Dates, but instead of missing out on a great job, it a great love.
Do singles need this extra blow to the ego? Is it better to hope and wait for opportunity to knock, or to knock the door open then lose all hope? For some, these dating services are their last chosen option to finding true love.
There are always exceptions to the rules, and I'm sure that some people have met their husband/wife through a matchmaking service, though I'd bet the odds are similar to winning the Lottery on any given day. But, the Lotto motto does say, "Hey, you never know."
Maybe my friend will meet someone speed dating. Maybe she will have more luck in those focused eight minutes, than the twenty spent in a bar making eye contact, pretending not to, making it again and waiting to hear that one big opener: "Hi, my name is..."
The Book of Singles
Read it, don't weep
There is a saying that time spent for a good cause is never time wasted. There is another saying that you can't look for love; it will happen when you least expect it. Only destiny knows which theory applies to you. Love is meant to be one of life's great mysteries, and like any good mystery, if you read the last page there's no point in reading the book.
I see dating just like reading a book: you read, gaining knowledge, insight and experience with every page turned. There are some dull parts to books and some tingling climaxes. Every chapter gets you closer to the end. When you finally reach that final page of a great story, you almost hesitate to finish it because you savored every last word. But, once it's done you nod your head, "yeah, I get it," or shake your head filled with pure emotion, "wow." Either way, the passages are done, and the experience is complete, laughing, crying and suspense behind you.
That's when you've found The One. The Book of Singles is completed, and you'll look back and say, boy, oh boy, was it a good read right up to the end.