Although I have not been speed-dating myself, organizing and witnessing speed-dating led to some interesting observations and reinforced some trends about courtship.For the uninitiated, this is how Housing Works' speed-dating works: 35 or so women and 35 or so men sign up for the event, and we set them up based on age and literary interest. What is the most adventurous thing you have ever done? What time in history would you like to be born and why? If you live anywhere in the world where would it be? What are the most important thing you look in a person? At the end of the speed dating event or soon after, the event’s organizers will compare the cards.
Since each woman would not have the opportunity to meet every man, and vice versa, because of the size of the event we also offered a post-official-dating mingle time for people to hit on each other the old-fashioned way.
I have four times now witnessed hundreds of people go on hundreds of dates in only a few hours.
I've then analyzed their post-date opinions about each other, and paired them off. I organized literary speed-dating events at the bookstore where I work.
At the end of the night, participants turned in a provided list of all the people of the opposite sex, indicating who they were interested in talking to again.
(We did one of these events for queer women, but most of them were for straight men and women and most of my observations come from that.) If both participants indicated interest, each received the other's email address and they're invited to take it from there.