Saturday, April 20Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

Ginger Ale, Germans, and ‘Good Girls’: An Advocacy Against Speed Dating

All names mentioned in this article could be real or I may have made them up, I honestly just can’t remember who said yes or no to name dropping…

Congratulations to me! I have reached my 20s, a decade dedicated to making decisions that will go on to shape the rest of my life, whether that surrounds my career, social life or even – dare I say it – love life. In hindsight, would it be better to scrap the congratulations? I must preface this article by saying it definitely is not about love, because if it was, I would be both deeply embarrassed and entirely let down, however, it is about my first time experiencing speed dating. Reasons for doing this include 1. I am an excellent wingwoman, 2. This article, 3. It sounded hilarious. Notice how none of my reasons include finding the love of my life. I am not delusional. If you did go for this sole reason maybe stop reading here, because I will in fact be calling you delusional. 

I’ll admit, the concept of speed dating did initially feel slightly unnerving at first; I have never really ‘dated’ and I have only been in one serious relationship. Nevertheless, the idea of having a little sneak peak at the decade long journey one feels obliged to take climbing the twenty something dating ladder felt somewhat fun. And so, how could I say no? I’m a strong believer in letting plenty of different beautiful connections pass through you without attachment, whether they are platonic or romantic connections, and this is why speed dating could be enjoyable for some. Though this may be more applicable to real life, this isn’t real life; this is Royal Holloway University. 

Let’s set the scene. It was 7pm at The Armstrong Gun and I was sat paired with Annelie, both of us desperately looking over to the table ahead of us that had Maddy and Ellie on it. Annelie, who thought she could see a guy who she had been out with before, was already clutching my leg and repeating ‘I’m going to die’ to which I said, ‘Annelie, we can’t die, this is already embarrassing enough,’. Luckily, one of our first dates was with a friend of ours who had also dragged himself to the event of the year; we shall call him Mr Democrat, which is a slightly unoriginal name, but in the moment it felt creative so I jotted it in my notes app along with everything else we thought was article worthy. After our five minute pep talk date we continued. On our next date, our rating sheet read, ‘one of them was German,’ which was great for Annelie who, as she told every person in our company that evening, is German. If you are looking for love, look for a love as strong as Annelie’s love for Germany. Whilst he was not the German love of her life, at least she got a good conversation and I am glad at least one of us did. Another date that all four of us had the pleasure of meeting was a self-made, big name on campus (BNOC). I say all four of us, Maddy took a tactful toilet break when he got to her table. He seemed to be having a lovely time, and he did make polite conversation, apart from when he told Annelie and I that the girls were, ‘getting better… the last one was a six out of ten,’. Word of advice, not something you should admit. As the night continued Annelie and I sipped on ginger ale cocktails and proceeded to ask every guy if he had found the love of his life, whilst also only calling people Dylan, even if they had repeated their real name several times. I am pretty sure there was a Dylan there, so clearly his name impacted us so much we had to use it for everyone else. I’ll admit, sitting opposite us must have been a struggle, but neither of us had a huge urge to take it seriously, mainly because of the embarrassment. 

I would also like to add a formal apology to any man who studies computer science. I’m sure you don’t look at computers all day (you so do) and I am sure you are not – all – incels. I am sorry you had to be in my company after I had that much to drink, I don’t know where I got the confidence to make obnoxious sounds vaguely reminiscent of an old fashioned dial up computer. I am still waiting for an apology from the guy who called Annelie a ‘good girl’. You know who you are. I personally don’t think it is fair that I had to hear that and she remained completely unaware. Well, until the very next morning when my first text to her was ‘I COMPLETELY FORGOT SOMEONE CALLED YOU GOOD GIRL,’. Perhaps I should end on a more positive note. Looking at the absolute ramble in my notes app the next morning I found a lovely little excerpt at the end from our very own Mr Democrat, ‘I came for shits and giggles and a genuinely good time of talking and making good friends. All the girls there were amazing and great fun to talk to’. For the sake of everyone who sat there for all those hours, I really hope he found someone.

Image Credit: Odayaka Gurei via Unsplash