The joys of speed dating

What are the key things that you can do in three minutes?

  1. End a relationship via Facebook or Twitter
  2. Wolf down several bitterballen (if you must)
  3. On a freezing cold day sit outside a cafe and smoke a cigarette. (If you’re a Dutch female)
  4. Apply enough hair gel to your Lion King hairstyle to punch a hole in the ozone layer (If you’re a Dutch male)

The lovely Lieke Bakker from the Hague kindly responded to a request I posted on my Facebook page for people to share their speed dating experiences.  I’m grateful to Lieke for sharing her story, which will almost certainly entertain some and annoy the hell out of others.

The things I do for my readers!

Speed dating, Lieke’s tale

Lieke, another fine specimen of Dutch womanhood that makes me want to get down on my hands and knees and shout, “thank you God that I live in the Netherlands” had recently left an unhappy marriage and thus was a single hot Antelope around town. As the Dutch Lions in the places where she regularly went for a shout and a smoke with her fellow Antelope were too lazy or intimidated to approach her,  she decided that she needed to take matters into her own hands and attend a speed dating event. This she’d been advised by one her friends was the best way to meet bold and available single men, so with a spring in her step, she decided to follow the herd and join such an event.

How does Speed dating work?

For those of you not familiar with speed dating, this event like many others had the following format. Twenty men and twenty women signed up and paid some money to attend the event.  Lieke attended with her best friend, who in spite of having a boyfriend decided to go along just for the fun of it, and was even open for a bit of tongue wrestling if the right man took her fancy.

The room where the event was being held, was arranged with rows of small tables at which the women would sit, in front of which were stools for the guys, who would have a maximum of three minutes with each woman. Once a buzzer sounded the guys needed to move to the next table.


I’m not a number, I’m a free man!

Each participant was given a number. At the end of the event, each party is given a formula where they can tick the number of the Lion or Antelope that they would like to see again. If both parties have expressed a preference for each other, there is a match and they receive each other’s details.

First impressions

They say that first impressions are the most important. When Lieke entered the event and took a quick scan of the men and women that were gathered, she was reminded of the famous last line from George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

“The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

In this context, being a rather stylish lady, who is actually into fashion, and puts a lot of thought into her appearance, she was surprised to see a group of men who nearly all wore identical outfits of brown shoes, blue jeans, creased shirts and various suit jackets made by the famous fashion designer, never mind the quality, feel the width.

The women looked as if they’d just come directly from a demanding day of work behind the counter at the local Hema. All also wore jeans (naturally) an assortment of garish and mismatching tops and had hair that looked as if they’d fallen asleep in a tumble dryer while it was set to the fast spin programme. One or two even had wet hair!




Enter the clones

Lieke and the rest of the ladies took their seats and met their first Lions. As the buzzer went off, single number one, who after an initial awkward silence proceeded to talk at her as if he had memorised his CV and was now recounting every single detail. He proceeded to tell her where he went to school and college, had his first job, and every other place he’d worked, and then this silver-tongued devil went on to explain that after a day of work, he goes home, cooks dinner, watches TV and then goes to sleep. All within the space of three minutes.

speed dating couple date going badly

Oh my god, he mentioned Zwarte Piet

Who says that time travel does exist

Being the optimistic type, she assumed that speed date number one was an anomaly and that she’d meet more entertaining dates. Lieke, being female, does not share the love that many men have for science fiction shows such as Doctor Who as she considers time travel to be simply nonsense.

In spite of this, after enduring a conversation with a Lion, who proceeded to explain the Latin name of every plant in his garden, was shocked to see that the conversation had only lasted three minutes. She was sure that she had listened to him for an hour or maybe four. This did make her wonder if during his tedious monologue if he’d somehow manipulated time.

I'll talk for hours then return you within 3 minutes of when we met

I’ll talk for hours then return you within 3 minutes of when we met

Who says that there are no gentlemen left?

Included in the cost of the ticket for the event was a much-hyped lekker free buffet. So when it was time for a break in speed dating, the participants were led into another room where the much-anticipated buffet was available. This consisted of Bitterballen, Frikandel and Filet American. There followed a stampede, and then a feeding frenzy, where the hungry Lions attacked and consumed the contents of the buffet with a passion that had so far been missing from the interactions with the gathered Antelope.

There was one exception, a bold chap who invited Lieke and her friend for a drink. Or so she thought. He proceeded to order a glass of wine for her but flatly ignored her friend.

She suspects collusion

After sitting through twenty dates, Lieke could only come to the conclusion that the gentlemen in question had gotten together prior to the event, and as in the Wolf of Wall Street, had developed a script, which they all followed to the letter. Time and time again she had to listen to what sounded like the reading of a CV. Many of the men present appeared to work in IT in very similar functions, and nearly all appeared to share a limited or non-existent sense of humour. So ended her first and last ever speed dating event.



The Shallow Man would like to thank

The lovely Lieke for sharing her story.

No hair dryers were used during the writing of this article.

Until next time, happy hunting