Minute-Made Match
Friday, June 11, 2004
By Elise Desjardine

One-on-one, that's usually how the game's played. But when losses are mounting and you feel your edge fading, steps must be taken. But, be sure you're ready for this a tag-team match with only three minutes to 'knock 'em out' before a new face moves in.

Speed dating is not a new phenomenon. It also isn't bound by the vision of creator Rabbi Yaacov Deyo, the educational director of Aish Ha Torah (a Jewish resource group in Los Angeles).

From its inception in the late '90s as a resource to facilitate the Jewish faith, by helping Jews meet Jews, the rationale of speed dating has lost its religious drive. Now it buttresses the busy lives of lusty singles and seductive socialites.

Ragna Stamm'ler, a co-owner of the speed dating service, says in today's society people are just too busy to play the see and be seen game on their own. Most people don't have the time or the gumption to elbow their way through smoky bars in hopes of finding a mate who may return their interest. And, of course, in this scene subtlety and coyness is key - don't let them see you staring, they may think you're interested. But isn't that the point? Not in a world where rejection is pandemic.

"Everyone's there (at a speed-dating event) for a similar reason," Stamm'ler says. "You don't waste time as you might on a blind date when you immediately know this isn't a good match."

That's the great thing about speed dating. At, for example, each 'date' lasts for only three minutes (the unwritten rule is no less than three minutes and no more than nine minutes per 'date')so if romance isn't raging you can end the entire thing right away. No longer will singles suffer the traditional dilemmas of 'What do I do if he/she calls?' and the guilt dates that often ensue.

Stamm'ler also says the rejection factor is taken out of the equation because, if there's a match, both singles know there's mutual attraction.

The matching process is facilitated by cards that the participants fill out after the dates, stating which daters they were and were not interested in.

"Only participants who have a mutual interest in each other will receive each other's contact information," she says.

However, this service isn't foolproof. It's important to realize that three minutes (or even nine) isn't a great deal of time to discover the soul beneath the skin.

"This is just an introduction service."

Stamm'ler stresses that knowing whether a person is the one for you or not is something that takes time, but she adds "A lot can be said for initial chemistry."

Consider how people react to stress. In a high atmosphere with the timer ticking away even the smoothest slickster would probably choke. Conclusion, honesty and sincerity will most likely be evident. So, serious singles can watch as buttery babes slip through the cracks, forgotten, as new 'meat' moves in for further grilling.

And don't worry, unlike Prime 'A' menus, these fun events generally cost no more than about $49.

Another great feature that's popping up in the speed dating scene is personalized service. Meaning, people who want to meet other singles who share an interest, hobby or lifestyle can do so by attending events that cater to specific groups.

A great example is the Vancouver based EarthSave speed dating service. For around $25 participants are guaranteed to have around 12 dates with people that share their interests in the environment, animal welfare and healthy eating.

So, what's stopping you? Think about it this way, no matter what dating shape you're in, even Mike Tyson couldn't bring you down in three minutes - a lot can be said for quick feet and determination.