On Saturday 11th February, just three days before Valentine’s Day, SUSU RAG held a lively evening of speed dating at The Bridge bar, promising a fun night out for both those interested in finding love and those just keen to have a bit of a laugh.
With the lights dimmed low and the candle lit tables intimately laid out, each offering two chairs of romantic possibility, The Bridge had been transformed into a dating arena. The mood was further enhanced by ‘Sex panther’ and ‘Chicoland’; tasty cocktails created especially to fit in with the theme of the evening, though thankfully neither contained any real panther. Whilst enjoying these helpful starters to the night, we were able to have a quick introductory chat before the first twenty girls were invited to take a seat at the table of their assigned ticket number and nervously await their corresponding male suitor. My first companion was not someone I would normally have found myself talking to but was nonetheless very genial and talkative.
Then again, it was wise of the organisers to presuppose any awkward silences that would undoubtedly arise in situations such as these and we were provided with pink cards displaying conversation starters. Examples included: ‘Have you had your dinner yet? If so, what did you have?’ which, although mundane, would certainly instigate some discussion. The resource backfired though when I used one asking ‘TOWIE or MIC?’ to which my buddy looked utterly bemused. Generally, most people present really enjoyed the format of the event although the brevity of the encounters was criticised; Alex, a Masters student, claimed “One minute is just not long enough.”
The auction of dates with nominated contestants rounded off the evening, proposing activities like special film screenings and restaurant meals.
This was another great way to make money for charity and ensure that at least a few people would definitely meet up again. I was surprised to find that of all the men I spoke to, only one disagreed that speed dating could find you love; the rest believed you could tell in that first minute if you clicked with the person opposite you. Indeed, anyone familiar with recent episodes of Take Me Out will know the importance of first impressions and the things you choose to reveal about yourself may give a false representation. I myself did not feel any sparks in the short amount of time you get to know so little about each person and the numerous faces were hard to keep track of, but perhaps that was just the ‘Chicoland’ effect.
Of all the men I spoke to, only one disagreed that speed dating could find you love
Nevertheless, I was informed by one of the organisers, Louisa Johnson, that couples have been formed through previous events but the main thing is that “It’s just a bit of fun … it’s a way of helping people.” It is true that the fundraiser was beneficial for not only charity, but for the people there, in that we were able to make some unexpected friends, regardless of their love potential.