Speed Dating: Finding Love in the Union

“I’m only here as a joke y’know… like I’m here with my friends.” This is line you will hear from almost every single person that attended last week’s SHAG Week Speed Dating in the Union. Yes, we are all here as a joke… or so we say. Shifty eyes and requests for your number afterwards suggests otherwise.

Speed dating is unanimously regarded as an all-time low for the tragic and lonely-hearted. For those who are unsure of speed dating protocol, it involves twenty tables in an interrogation-style layout with a bizarre set of ice-breakers provided and a loud horn blown every two minutes, signaling your move onto your next eager date.

Whilst the Facebook group suggests only nineteen people will turn up, you will arrive to not only find an abundance of people, but the majority of them being fourth-year girls.

As you can imagine, for those who aren’t inebriated, conversation rarely goes beyond the basic questions of what is your subject/year/hobbies/summer adventures. The more adventurous adopt a cannonball approach by throwing bizarre questions at you before you’ve even sat down, in the attempt at seeming just that little bit more “interesting” than everyone else.

I found myself on a speed-dating journey around the room, starting with a beer with someone I already knew, slowly sliding through a selection of first year Geography students, past the older McIntosh residents, gliding through the guys who’d just arrived from India yesterday, interspersed with the anticipated oddbods, Jiu-Jitsu students and boys dressed in suits, finally culminating in the slightly-too-old post-graduates. To be fair to them, most of these guys were surprisingly un-psychotic, at least in appearance.

As for romance, well there were definitely numbers being exchanged on the sly. I mean, what romance wouldn’t blossom after a two-minute conversation about cannibalism in the Salad Bowl? An hour and a half later, after you’ve realized everyone in this room studies either Geography or Astrophysics, you’ll find you haven’t chatted to this many people sober since, well, ever. And that makes a nice change. But now it’s time to grab a drink from the bar and subtly throw those half-scribbled mobile numbers in the nearest bin…

Photo courtesy of Carol Texas Ranger.