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Sadé: My day before speed dating was pretty normal — I worked out, had brunch with my sister and then wandered around looking for something new to wear, unsuccessfully.I think I tried on at least three different outfits before choosing a black sweater, skirt and booties. The event was originally supposed to be at Suite Lounge (sexy vibe) but was moved to Old Crow Smokehouse (country vibe) so I wasn’t thrilled about that.The night of Adam: Without being sure what to expect, I was definitely nervous prior to the event.The prospect of packing a “date” into six-minute segments felt stressful enough even if it went well, let alone if it was going poorly.A woman explained how the night would work and Adam and I chatted at the bar while we waited for it to fill up.I was pleasantly surprised by the range of ethnic backgrounds among the other daters — there were several Indian men and way more black women than I expected, as I thought I’d be the only one in a room of white people.It’s billed as a “low key, sophisticated approach to dating in Chicago.” The booking process was super easy — we bought our tickets, received a confirmation email and waited.
My straight, white, cis, male social profile is the most common there is, so I found many potential matches at the event, but those looking for a “less common” social profile might find some of these events frustrating in their scope of potential partners.My experiences were a bit different, however, with the exception of the “So, is this your first time doing this? And, while apparently most of my male counterparts had attended speed-dating before, I had not, putting me in the minority of the men there, according to the women I spoke with throughout the evening.For whatever reason, being a rookie seemed to play better than being a veteran.I was glad Adam and I were in it together, though, because I started feeling a little anxious about the night.The main event Sadé: Speed dating took place upstairs, so there were regular folks downstairs drinking and eating when I walked in.