Editor’s note: For more details on Speed Dating in Medellin, see our previous article here.
The closer I got to my first experience of speed dating in Medellín, the more nervous I became. I was skeptical, despite having met three of my last four girlfriends online. Would I present well in five minutes? Anyway, I overcame my misgivings and plunked down the cash. Nothing says commitment like payment tendered, be it 80,000 pesos ($25.64) for a night at Speed Dating Medellín or 10 million pesos for an engagement ring.
Maybe one would lead to the other.
On your mark, get set, ding! “Hi, I’m Greggo, my favorite color is purple and if I could be any animal in the animal kingdom, I would be a giraffe.” … Times 20 prospects. … Fears of a long night ahead of me loomed. Worse: a long night with slim possibilities of meeting the future Mrs. Greggo.
Speed Dating Backstory
I’ve been called a serial dater. Plus, only four months into a self-imposed, ten-month period of don’t-look-for-a-girlfriend-and-keep-my-butt-out-of-a-relationship, I obviously had started to waver. My period of isolation had grown out of a desire to eject the accumulated baggage that had me mucking up relationships left and right. I wanted to fix me before subjecting another innocent woman to the foibles, distortions and acting out that destroy relationships from the inside out.
But when opportunity knocks on the door, only a fool jumps out the window. Speed dating, get ready for Greggo!
What did I have to lose, besides the entrance fee (the equivalent of $26 USD)?
Speed Dating in Medellín
Round two: Greggo comes out swinging. He has five minutes to make a good first impression. “No, I love children … roasted with tomatoes and peppers.” Well they need to meet the real me, don’t they? My good impression should vaguely resemble the truth, shouldn’t it?
After each round, you rate the person you just met. Red means not interested. Yellow indicates an interest in friendship. Green means you felt that special connection. Only the event organizers see your ratings.
Round three: “Hi, my name is Greggo. I enjoy mountain climbing, romantic walks on the beach, and I volunteer at a cancer clinic.” Maybe the truth can just emerge after we’re a couple. Hmmm, that might have been the problem in my previous relationships.
Round four: “Hi, I’m Greggo. I’ve always felt Latino. I’ve spoken Spanish for years, I dance salsa and tango, and I’ve lived in Colombia for five years now. I’m not a typical gringo.” (That one was true.)
Round five: … “I also dance a mean Cha Cha.” (That’s true too.)
I may be getting the hang of this thing.
Round six: … “I’m looking for someone who loves to dance, communicates as intensely as me and has a sense of humor.” (All also true.)
Round seven: … “Yes, I would like to settle down and eventually get married. I’m looking for the last relationship of my life.” (Corny, but true.)
Geez, that bell makes me think I’m in a 20-round boxing match. Looking around the bar, I couldn’t distinguish winners from losers. At least there don’t seem to be any knockouts. And in hindsight, nobody lost.
Fourteen rounds to go? Deep breath …
The Pros and Cons of Speed Dating
Though enjoyable, the night wore me down a bit. You shouldn’t have to introduce yourself 20 times in two and a half hours! It’s, pretty much, the same conversation 20 times. That stands as my only complaint.
Weighing heavy on the plus side: how else can you meet 20 women in one night?!
The results arrived in my inbox a day or two after the event. Speed Dating Medellín sends the participants their mutual yellow and green matches. I received matches with four women, one mutual green match was the woman I was most attracted to. The follow-up began via WhatsApp messages: “Hi, this is Greggo. We met at the speed dating event. Remember?”
My First Prospect
I went on a few dates with one of my green matches. Then we just became friends who occasionally text and who like each other’s Facebook posts. The good news from that encounter: having company for Marvel’s Black Panther. She also accompanied me to see The Shape of Water. She cried a bit at the end. Her tears prompted a nice conversation about love and its possibility at our non-millennial ages. She felt the possibility was slim. Meanwhile, as an eternal optimist, I believe Mrs. Greggo is out there somewhere!
Side note: I didn’t mind that my date cried. If I had known she could be openly emotional, I might not have hidden my tears at the end of Black Panther. T’Challa is my hero!
My Second Prospect
We met for a late evening coffee. We had great conversation, but I don’t think either of us felt a love connection. She had an upcoming trip to Europe, and I was going to the United States. We vowed to keep in touch via Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. And we did, too. But I could feel myself falling into the friend zone. I didn’t fight it. The fall was a mutual friend zone settlement or TKO. At the end of the night, we both commented that our second date lasted significantly longer than five minutes. A sense of humor is always a good sign, both for a future wife or BFF.
Speed Dating Wrap-Up
I may not have gotten a girlfriend out of the event, but I do feel that I have two new and real friends. In my book, and as a foreigner living in Medellín, friendship matters as much as any other kind of relationship.
The one woman I was the most attracted to, one of my mutual green matches, never responded to my WhatsApp messages! Well, even speed dating can’t control for the vagaries of human nature.
Thanks, Speed Dating Medellín.
PPS: I’m thinking about signing up for another night of speed dating. Maybe The Future Mrs. Greggo will sign up too.
The next Speed Dating in Medellin event will take place this Tuesday, October 30, at 8pm in Poblado. Registration and payment must be made in advance on the Speed Dating in Colombia website. Get a 10% discount by entering the coupon code MLIVING when registering.
All photos courtesy of Speed Dating in Colombia.
Disclosure: Medellin Living receives commissions from affiliate links included in this article. We appreciate the support of our readers who use these links.
Greggo is a freelance writer who has lived in Colombia since 2013. He came on a romantic whim and stayed. These days he spends most of his time curating the blog GrupoAmos on Colombia. When Greggo isn’t writing, he’s usually dancing Salsa or Tango.