I recently went to my second Speed Dating event, but this time…I took some friends. I’ve been obsessing about how much I loved the last event, I eventually convinced my friend Susie, and fellow bloggers SophieRose and Ashleigh to come with me. We went to the Rooftop Gardens in Kensington, which was hosted by DateinaDash. I honestly never thought that I would have the confidence to go to one of these events, never mind two of them and now I’m planning my third.
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I have Anxiety, which I’ve suffered with all my life. Meeting new people has always been difficult for me. I find going to new places and entering new situations I’m not familiar with really challenging. I worry about who will be there? How many people will there be? Will I know anyone? As well as, trying to maintain a conversation while I am panicking on the inside.
I personally like meeting new people but my Anxiety and Asperger’s makes this difficult. I explain more about this in my recent blog about how London has been effecting my Mental Health. I love finding new ways to beat my anxiety and overcome something that effects my day to day life.
Recently, I’ve been ready to get back on the dating scene but it was a lot easier to day when I was living in a small town. There’s more people to meet in London which also makes it a lot more difficult to find the single ones. I’m also very busy with my new job and I don’t have a group of single girlfriends to go out with me anymore. This left me with Digital Dating and after 2 years of trying, I give up. It doesn’t work and I don’t really want to meet someone through an App. I guess I’m old fashioned.
Yes, Digital Dating gives me less Anxiety with my protective phone barrier. However, it left me feeling rejected and my confidence crashed. Speed Dating would mean I have to speak to people face to face but I wanted to try and give something else a shot.
What was I really worried about?
FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN
I never thought I would have the courage to start going to Speed Dating. The thought of going into a room of people I don’t know and having to speak to half of them is what terrifies me. Trying to come up with over a dozen fresh conversations and desperately trying not to showcase my social weirdness. Leaving my house and stepping foot into the venue was the biggest step. I had a few pre-drinks at home to settle the nerves.
WHAT DO I WEAR?
A girls nightmare. This caused me 2-3 days of panic before I’d even left the house. Do I go dressy or do I go casual? Am I overdressed? Do I look like I’ve not made the effort at all? Would an outfit decide on if I get matches or not? What about clothing mishaps? I eventually decided on a nice top and jeans for the first event as it was a small venue on a Thursday night. I went a bit more dressier for the second event as it was a Saturday night in Kensington. I don’t know why I was panicking in the end. We were all sat down so they could only see from the table up anyway.
GOING BY MYSELF
When I went to my first Speed Dating event, I went alone. I didn’t feel comfortable going with someone else and this is something I try to do on my own. I did ask if my flatmate wanted to go with me but I didn’t stretch the invitation further. After she declined, I felt relieved because I could cope with worrying about someone else’s anxiety when I was worried about my own. After I gained my own confidence, I invited others along with me. It fun both times but totally different experiences. I don’t care if I go solo or in a group to the next one.
WHO WILL BE THERE?
Who will my dates be? Will they be weird? Will they be nice to me? What if I like someone? How do I show someone in 4 minutes that I am interested in them or get them to like me? I asked myself all these questions but the guys were probably thinking exactly the same thing about me. Yes, there were a few odd balls but most of them were nice to chat to. You just have to remind yourself, 4 minutes and it’ll be over and onto the next one.
WHAT DO IS SAY?
4 minutes with over a dozen guys. That’s a lot of conversations. What do you talk to them about? Do you ask them the same questions over and over again? That could be really boring. The conversations actually came more naturally than I thought. I had a few questions in my back pocket just in case, such as “What do you do for a living?” and “Are you from London?” I didn’t really have any awkward silences during my dates as 4 minutes isn’t long. For some of my dates, it was too long. Next!
After two Speed Dating events, I have zero dates lines up but I have 10 times the amount of confidence I had before.
Speed Dating is the most courageous step I have ever taken to battle my social anxiety. I am so proud of myself that I have been to two events and stayed till the end for both. I didn’t run away, I spoke to all the guys and I went alone for one of them. I matched up with 3 guys out of 2 events but I don’t think any of them particularly stand out for me to pursue anything further.
I’m thinking about attending another event soon but this time not for my confidence. This time, it’s time to get a match. Hopefully, I will meet someone who I can speak to after the event and try going on a date. One on one date? That’s another social anxiety mountain to climb. I’m ready. Climbing boots on.
Have you ever wanted to go Speed Dating but suffer with Social Anxiety? Let me know in the comments below.