I recently attended a speed dating event this last weekend to attend a speed dating event to experience a way to people to meet potential dates. For those who do not know what speed dating is or how it works; Merriam Webster defines it as “an event at which each participant converses individually with all the prospective partners for a few minutes in order to select those with whom dates are desired.” For singles who are prospectively interested in seeking a romantic relationship, speed dating may be a reasonable option since there are now various types to better narrow down and meet someone who shares your values and life goals. I was there to help out my friend and was not particularly interested in meeting up with or dating someone after the event. Speed dating comes down to competition and being able to make the right first impression to potential suitors in seven minutes or less. The core lesson that I learned from this event by viewing it from a singleton’s perspective is dating is ultimately about competing for a mate.
There is a stereotype for the people who speed date that they are more socially awkward; therefore, they are unable to meet people in regular areas such as bars, restaurants, or meeting new people at social events. This is probably a half truth and is probably more accurate for the men who attend speed dating events compared to the women at an event. Speed dating essentially consists of only small talk and maybe time for one important question for prospects who are seeking to find a date after the event.
Dating is often viewed as a competition since men and women are fighting to attract and date the person who they found the most attractive and felt that they related the best to during the event. Men and women compete differently while dating, especially during speed dating events. For men, they compete by attempting to come across as having an established career, financially responsible, vast array of interests, and well-groomed and clean. However, as a woman commented to me during the speed dating experience who came to the event with friends, women often compete among themselves— whether friends or not – in order to get the attention of the main person who they are interested in at a dating event. Women being more competitive and choosy when they find prospective dates is consistent with evolution as summarized in the University of Los Angeles paper “Evolution and Close Relationships” explains:
The sex difference in minimal obligatory parental investment leads female mammals to be more choosy when picking mates, and it leads males to compete with one another to demonstrate their relative viability and superiority as mates.
Dating and romantic relationships are merely a competition to find a mate to continue a family name, experience intimacy, and to continue the human race.
This competition has become popularized with shows like The Bachelor and The Bachelorette by society and popular culture. The lesson that I learned while helping my friend run her speed dating event is that dating is the ultimate competitive sport; whether it is for a one night stand, a short term relationship, or a long term relationship. In short, dating is a tournament to find a mate.