NewswireToday - /newswire/ -
Beverly Hills, CA, United States, 2006/04/13 - Let's face it: Loud music and free-flowing alcohol are not ideal ingredients for finding a quality date. Speed dating has its critics, but its popularity in recent years has soared.
Speed-dating singles, such as Reston's Wayne Greenfeld, know they will have the undivided attention of a fellow speed dater for a couple of minutes. No circle of friends surrounds them. No one else is trying to hit on them. Two people merely sit at a table and try to make a connection.
"It's all a crapshoot," said event coordinator Chris Maio, about the success ratio of finding a match.
On this night, singles gather at Obi Sushi in Reston Town Center, where most are hoping to find someone they click with.
Well, almost everyone has that attitude.
"I have no expectations," Greenfeld said before the event. He has been divorced since 1989 and is on the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce board.
The event, sponsored by the online dating service Cupid, is only the second of its kind in Reston.
Rules and tidbits:
On television and in the movies, speed dating seems quick. In real life, depending on the number of people signed up for the event, each date can last as few as four minutes or as many as eight.
At each table are a pair of colored laminated cards that signal when someone is ready to talk. Red means they are not ready; green means they are ready. Men move from table to table, while women stay at one table the entire night. Each person is given a sheet of paper to write down notes.
An emergency card is even provided in case the conversation gets too boring. Questions such as "What do you feel most grateful for?" are on the card.
Participants sign up for their age brackets. Greenfeld, 51, signed up for the 40-52 age range.
At the end of the session, Maio collected the sheets. He then sends an e-mail the next morning, sharing contact information on behalf of interested parties.
"Men lie about their age all the time," joked Maio, who noted they are also notorious for not showing up. Speed dating is popular with women over 38 but not too popular with anyone under 25, he said.
A majority of those who sign up are white, Maio said, although there are also nights specifically for African-Americans, gays or other groups. Fees range from $35 to $40, and participants register online.
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