American Observer, February 27, 2008

Speed-dating not just about finding love by Sabrina Parker

Some singles in the district are tired of swapping photos online. Instead they head to Chi Cha lounge for four minute speed dating hosted by Professionals of the City. Michael Karlan, who founded Pros of the City, says people can learn more about each other in four minutes than in a night at a bar, “When you go to a bar, maybe you will meet two or three people all night. Here, you know, you are meeting twenty people. It is just so much more efficient than the bars or than something like Match.”

But many say they come out for other reasons than dating. One woman, who has speed dated before, says it sharpens her people skills. “I didn’t meet anybody the last time, but I still feel like if nothing else it is practice.”

One man sees it as an extension on DC’s networking scene, “I am a huge believer in networking. I do have an agenda but it’s not just potential dating.”

No matter the purpose, information is exchanged only if feelings are mutual. Michael says the key to getting on someone’s list is to relax. “Certainly do not look for the love of your life and don’t even focus too much on whether there is someone I am interested with. Just look at whether you will have fun with it, because when you have fun with it you end up meeting people you like.”

One dater says her criteria is simple. “Would I have a second conversation with this person? If I can’t keep up a four minute conversation with you, we shouldn’t talk again.”

If you would like to try your luck, speed dating events are hosted throughout DC weekly.