Meet Adele Testani, founder and owner of HurryDate, a New York City-based company that matches women and men on multiple 4-minute dates in a single night. She took a few minutes out of her busy party-based lifestyle to illustrate a few tricks about the speed dating scene.
HurryDate: Interview with Adele Testani
The Beginnings of a Vision
Adele Testani: When my partner, Ken, and I first started HurryDate, it was sort of for selfish reasons: We were both single and living in Manhattan! There are so many single people in NYC, but sometimes it's really hard to meet them. We've all been there: you see someone "across a crowded room," spend the night working up the nerve to talk to them, and then when you finally do, they aren't single. With HurryDate, we wanted to create a big, fun party where everybody was single and, most importantly, you would get to meet them all. Initially, we were running HurryDate on the side of our regular full-time jobs and only having parties in Manhattan. But after the first parties were so successful, we went full time and began rolling out into other markets. We are now in over 40 cities.
AT: First, go to the HurryDate and signup for the right party for you based on who you are looking to date. We have different age ranges, religions and races. The night of the party, you'll head on down to the chosen venue where your name will be on the guest list. Our party host will seat you at one of many tables for two, explain how everything works to the group, and literally begin blowing a whistle every five minutes! You'll talk to each person across from you for the allotted time and decide if you want to see them again. Mark your SCOREcard with a "yes" or a "no," and we'll match you up! If you said "yes" and the other person said "yes," you are a match and will be able to get in touch through our website without revealing your personal information until you are ready. Then it's up to you to decide if you want to go on a "real" date!
AT: One of our hosts in another city told me about a really interesting first date that came out of a HurryDate party. The woman had a job in the medical field helping with organ donations. She got a call on the date that there was a heart transplant she had to assist with. So, she and her date rode in a helicopter to a hospital, picked up the heart in a cooler and brought it back. Talk about a memorable date!
Speed Dating Insights
AT: I always recommend that a first date be somewhere you can have a good conversation. It may sound cliché, but dinner and/or drinks is always a fantastic date. It can be burgers and beer, but you'll be in an environment where you can look each other in the eye and have a great conversation. I always think activities are too distracting and a movie doesn't let you talk.
AT: HurryDate participants get to meet a lot of people in one night that they wouldn't normally get to meet. It is such an easy, fun, no pressure, way of meeting people. Everyone at the party is single and they are all looking to meet someone. I think it's especially beneficial for men because it levels the playing field. It is also really affordable when you think of all the money you might spend on a first or blind date. A HurryDate party is $35 for up to twenty dates.The disadvantage is you can't learn everything there is to know about a person in just four minutes. It is quick and it is based on a first impression. So, if you are the kind of person where it takes someone awhile to warm up to you, then HurryDate might not be right for you.
AT: As I mentioned, you are not going to get to know everything about a person in four minutes, but you might be surprised what you do learn. I recommend just trying to have a normal conversation. From that you should be noticing: Is there a connection here? Am I attraction to this person? Do we have a similar sense of humor? Is it fun and easy talk? And sometimes, more importantly, you are deciding if you don't want to see them again so you don't waste time on a second date later on.
AT: I believe that when you have found the right relationship, it is easy. I think so often people are in relationships where it is so hard; they are constantly fighting and it's an uphill battle where they just never seem to be on the same page. Relationships definitely take work - especially over time - but I think that when it's right, you know it, because it is easy and it's fun.
Efforts and Expectations
AT: Dating is a numbers game, so the best thing you can do is to just get out there. You need to meet a lot of people and try a lot of different things. Do online dating, do HurryDate, do some charity groups, join some sports groups, have your friends set you up on blind dates. If you open yourself up to all kinds of opportunities, then the odds you are going to meet someone is much higher.
AT: The biggest tip I can give someone is to take a big breath, put on a cute outfit and just try to have fun. Don't have too high of expectations or try and think this is the night you will meet "the one." Instead, if you are there just to see what happens and you aren't taking yourself too seriously, that will show to everyone else. And you'll look like a pretty fun date!