I was fortunate/unfortunate (delete as appropriate) enough to go speed-dating a couple of weeks ago: a modern form of torture/method of helping us middle-class folk meet that all important “one”. Because apparently, by the time you get to my age (which I’m going to say is 30-ish), one almost becomes a social pariah if one is still single. And what with wedding season coming up, that just wouldn’t do. So, I took one for the team, knocked back three cheeky cocktails on a Wednesday night, and went in…
Now speed-dating, friends, is the utmost test of first impressions. For those of you who have been, you will know what I mean. Crammed into a slightly too compact room with roughly 30 other desperate (yes, I did say desperate) hopefuls, one must stand out with confidence, sexuality and humour to bag that much-coveted prize of an exchange of email addresses with the next least unattractive person in the room. But in order to achieve such a feat, one must first overcome many two-mintue obstacles. Some easier than others.
Now I won’t go into the intricacies of each of my dates, but suffice to say, keeping up a smiley persona while trying not to allow my belly to gape out of my especially-bought-for-the-occasion trendy shirt was tough going. So was trying to not judge each date within about half a second of glancing in their direction, and, in some cases, restraining myself from running for the hills.
I know, I’m quick to judge. And yes, there have been times when I’ve judged people way before I’ve even met them. I genuinely don’t see it is a bad thing, though. It’s just efficient networking. And if you choose to be offended by that attitude then that’s your hard cheese. Don’t go speed-dating.
Over the years (oh, so many years) I’ve gotten very good at knowing if I’m going to “click” with someone very quickly. And even if I do put in many subsequent hours trying to build a relationship – platonic or othewise – as I have often been lectured to by many an acquaintance, I always draw the same conclusion as my initial instinct. What about that? I’m a big believer in karma, so I believe that finding a connection with someone shouldn’t be hard work. If it’s meant to be it will be. Otherwise why bother with all the triviality in between?
I fell hopelessly, helplessly and utterly in love seven years ago, on a night of mystery and magic (with someone who consequently left the country five months later never to be heard from again, but that’s another story). I know what that feels like and I don’t want to compromise.
So forgive me if I’m quick to judge or snub people without giving them half a chance. I just know what I like and what I don’t. And I’m not talking about judging in a Nazi kind of way. I mean judging people’s choices. Chosing to wear silly shoes they can’t walk in. What they choose to talk about and be interested in. Whether they have 15 piercings in their face. Sometimes, you just know you’re never going to see eye to eye with them.
And that’s not to say I never try anything new. I surround myself with friends who understand me and encourage me to try new things (like speed-dating, sushi, music from the 80s, trendy clothes etc), and mostly I’m right in my inital view but sometimes they are. Either way I normally know within about five seconds.
What’s my point? For us middle-class folk, first impressions ARE everything. There’s too much going on in the world for them not to be, people get bored quickly. If you feel like you made a bad one, then fight for your life to turn it around. Or not. If it’s meant to happen, it will happen. Follow your heart.