Towards my next Speed-date in Tel Aviv, Israel

Please note: If you read Hebrew, I translated and updated this article in 2021. You can find it at: https://bit.ly/3dkVI2D

Hi Medium readers,

It’s Itamar (35) here, writing my first ever article on Medium. I want to try and write more and I do have a couple of subjects to write about (hopefully I’ll write enough material to perform stand-up comedy in the future), but let me start with the speed date I’m going to in a couple of days.

A bit about me — I’m live in Tel-Aviv, Israel (which is also my hometown). I’m 35, and a lawyer. I went to speed dates in Tel-Aviv before. No big success there. I think I went out on 2–3 dates that resulted from about 6–7 speed-dates (nothing passed a first date). Speed-dates aren’t cheap neither… around ILS 180–220 each (around USD 50–60).

How does a speed date work? Well, the organizer finds an equal number of guys and girls, hopefully around the same ages and belief systems (religious people have their own speed-dates). You come to a bar on a weekday and the 20 single girls are sitting in different locations around the bar.

The rule is — the guys move, the girls don’t. So as a guy on a speed-date, I move between “stations” every 5–7 minutes (hence- speed date).

Each participant has a list of first names of the opposite gender, and you basically indicate who do you want to meet. The girls indicate which guys they want to meet, and the day after, if there’s a match, the organizer tells you about the match and gives you the girl’s phone number. I believe the girl also gets the guy’s phone number if there’s a match, but unfortunately, it’s not customary for girls to call up guys… at least not in Israel at the end of 2018.

My biggest problem with Tel-Aviv’s speed dates is that it draws very specific types of women. Usually not the types I’m looking for. For example, you meet girls who live far away. I have this personal rule — the better the girl looks, the further I’m willing to drive (and vice-versa). There’s a phrase I like in Spanish — “Vale la pena?” which means “is it worth the pain?”. So usually the girls you meet at speed dates who live far away are far from drop-dead gorgeous, so it’s definitely not vale la pena.

Another type is divorced women with kids. Another personal rule (or preference) I have is that I don’t go out with moms. I know, maybe I’m missing out on amazing human beings, but that’s my price to pay. Another funny anecdote — every divorced woman refers to her kids as “princes” and “princesses”. Last time I checked, Israel doesn’t have a monarchy so it’s weird that it’s so common to have so many princes and princesses around… and they’re always the kids of divorced women! amazing!

A third type of girls who come to speed-dates are the good looking girls. Their problem- they’re good looking (and they know it) so the result is that nobody is good enough for them. And that’s why they are still single, despite their good looks. A real shame if you ask me…

Lastly, the most common type is girls who, sadly to say, are just not attractive or are just boring. The situation itself isn’t easy — each person meets and talks to 15–20 strangers in one night. And despite my hatred to perform a job interview on dates, you can’t really escape them, can you? I’ll always be interested in the basics — how old is she? where does she live? what’s her job?… Every time I try not to ask the basic information, I feel like I don’t know who I’m talking to.

Another observation before we conclude- it’s pretty common for girls to quit halfway on speed-date nights. As a guy, it’s a frustrating move since towards the end of the evening, I arrive at empty “stations” since some girls had enough and went home early. It’s interesting how guys can meet 50 girls in an evening and girls “get tired” after 10–15 encounters.

So why do I go to speed dates you might ask yourselves? Well… I go every 6 months (I used go every month but then you might see the same girls) because it’s another way to meet single girls. I do go out to bars every weekend. I’m on dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, OK-Cupid and more. Sometimes friends and family try to introduce me to some girls (never succeeded). Speed-date evenings aren’t a big success neither but I still give it a try. Who knows? maybe I’ll meet 19 misfits but one terrific girl, who ended up trying to look up for guys on a speed-date?… I’m not getting any younger (no one does) and despite the fact that dating sucks greatly, I still have to keep trying. Wish me luck? :)

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