I was glad Adam and I were in it together, though, because I started feeling a little anxious about the night.
The main event Sadé: Speed dating took place upstairs, so there were regular folks downstairs drinking and eating when I walked in.
It’s billed as a “low key, sophisticated approach to dating in Chicago.” The booking process was super easy — we bought our tickets, received a confirmation email and waited.
For some reason, I never thought of how heteronormative traditional speed dating is: It’s all straight men going from table to table to meet straight women.
I not-very-creatively asked a lot of the potential matches if they’d done speed dating before, where they worked, etc. I didn’t feel sparks with anyone and some of the prospects’ jobs were more interesting than they were — I really wanted to learn more about this funeral director’s work, but, alas, our time was up — but it felt nice and less superficial to chat with people I’d ordinarily left-swipe.
I wrote down mini descriptions next to their names on my Date-Mate Scorecard to help me remember them: John*, works in sales, striped tie. After about two hours, I’d had mini dates with about a dozen men.
My results were also mixed: One of the women whom I wrote down – I thought we had a lovely conversation – left in the middle of the event, and I never heard from her as a match, so she clearly had a different experience both in our conversation and the event as a whole.
I hit it off with several women talking about pop culture and Chicago, but, like Sadé, the spark-count was relatively low.
I was pleasantly surprised by the range of ethnic backgrounds among the other daters — there were several Indian men and way more black women than I expected, as I thought I’d be the only one in a room of white people.The night of Adam: Without being sure what to expect, I was definitely nervous prior to the event.The prospect of packing a “date” into six-minute segments felt stressful enough even if it went well, let alone if it was going poorly.My experiences were a bit different, however, with the exception of the “So, is this your first time doing this? And, while apparently most of my male counterparts had attended speed-dating before, I had not, putting me in the minority of the men there, according to the women I spoke with throughout the evening.For whatever reason, being a rookie seemed to play better than being a veteran.In the interest of giving all the left- and right-swiping a rest, we sent Adam Lukach, Red Eye reporter, and Sadé Carpenter, Red Eye deputy editor, on a speed dating mission. Dating background Adam: After a yearslong relationship recently ended, I have returned to dating in earnest for the first time since 2013. In just the last few years, the different digital avenues available for dating have changed dramatically, and every option comes with its own learning curve.Plus, I’m not the bargoer at 28 that I was at 23, which diminishes a regular meeting spot.There was the conservative preacher’s son I caught in a lie; the sensitive budding filmmaker who was kind and sweet, but ultimately not long-term relationship material; the social activist f---boy — the list goes on. I completely relate to the gray area Adam mentioned.I’ve tried the apps but, like Adam, have gotten mixed results. On one hand, I’d love the companionship or even a very consistent friend with benefits, but I’m also content in my singledom.And I’m holy by my own.”Pre-event Sadé: I’ve always wanted to try speed dating, which seemed perfect for a Valentine’s Day story.We found My Cheeky Date on Eventbrite, and I was intrigued by the description.