I received an email from Date Lab with minimal instructions: wear black, don’t wear anything red and always check for wobbly chairs… Needless to say I was intrigued!
The night started with me and my friend - Rianna - drinking a bottle of wine in work’s toilets whilst wearing our ‘all black everything’. I was excited about the night, whilst Rianna was rather cynical.
The event was held at Coin Laundry, at the edge of Exmouth Market. When we arrived, we quickly scouted the room for the talent - obviously. I topped myself up with a glass of wine and began chatting to a man at the bar. Whilst having an innocent chat, a woman shouted over 'cheater - you’re not allowed to wear red lipstick’ to which I replied 'it’s fuchsia actually’. They said don’t wear red but they didn’t say anything about pink?! However. being the strict rule follower I am, I brought it up with the host who told me to take it off.
So I returned from the bathroom - foundation on lips - to hear the rules of the night. The men were to stay seated for the first round whilst the women were to move each time. We were each given a scorecard, with simple instructions: sad face, okay face, happy face and a star for super like - it was like a real life tinder! There were 19 tables altogether. 19 potential baes. The first round went by so quick, by the time you sat down it was time to get up again. Luckily there was a second round. It was surprising how easily the conversation flowed. There were a few characters: a man in a very waxy jacket, a man we named 'dad’ and a man who had had a very, very productive day…
There was a break in between to: top up drinks, not reapply lipstick and either carry on talking to our favourites or gossip with friends. For the second round the women stayed put and it was the men’s turn to move around - there is a psychology behind this but no spoilers.
The second round was harder because it was difficult to remember what questions you’d already asked, and who worked for Deloitte and who oh hobo PWC?! I also had an interesting conversation trying to work out the psychology behind the not wearing red; one man claimed it was because men were attracted to red because of their primal instincts - basically red reminded them of genitalia - at this point I was glad I had taken my lipstick off…
I was glad of the second round as it gave you the opportunity to talk more, and rethink some of your first impressions. One fitty who I had mouthed to Rianna 'hands off’ turned out to be a little boring on the second round.
The event started at 6.30 and didn’t finish till 10pm - never mind speed dating this was longer than normal dating! I think they could have done with less people just to speed the process up, after all it’s not the quantity it’s the quality!
Overall it was a fun event and I’d definitely recommend going speed dating, it’s an easy way to meet people as well as being very efficient - the longest you have to talk to someone you don’t like is 3 minutes! I was feeling quite generous and so 'smiley faced’ about 6 men in total. No super likes though. It was a fun evening and I was looking forward to seeing who I matched with.
Date Lab emailed the next day with my matches - a total of four. They kindly send a photo of your match (which was necessary!) and give you their phone number – the rest is up to you!
About Date Lab
“Finding chemistry through science.”
Date Lab, aimed at making dating in London so much easier, offer three types of services for busy young professionals: match making, coaching and speed dating events like the one that I went to. Find out more here: datelab.co.uk
Words ~ Karis O’Leary-Smith
Follow Karis on Twitter @karis_o and Instagram @Karis_123
Single guys and gals… Over to you…
Q. Where do you go or what do you use to find a date? Is there an event or an app that you’ve been to/used that has been particularly fun or absolutely horrendous? Tell all!
If you have ‘real life’ suggestions or alternatives to Tinder, Happn, Bumble, Double, Grindr, Plenty of Fish or any other dating apps for the Lucie Loves team to test out, please get in touch!