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Groupon sets the new Guinness World Records title for speed dating (and I was there)

Jessica Downey

Coffee addict. The serial single girl. Jessica will give you the what’s what on single life and dating in Chicago.


Last night Groupon set the new Guinness World Records title for speed dating at the Paris Club in River North. The original record was 313 daters at an even in Hoboken, New Jersey. In Chicago, there were 414 total daters at the event who participated in at least 20 three-minute-long dates. And I was lucky bachelorette number 166.

I have been speed dating before, but never with 414 people. Generally speed dating sessions are in groups of 30-ish. So this was definitely an experience.

I feel like I had some pretty fun conversations and there was a decent amount of flirting. I talked about where I was from and what I do for a living and so on - your typical first date over and over again (26 times). There was actually one guy, though, who asked how many times I have voted which I found to be oddly interesting. I was also told by several guys that I should be a comedian which I think is a good thing and I am going to take as a compliment.

There was also one delightful gentleman who was clearly trying to play the part of the obnoxious guy. He even mentioned about how he is into bestiality which I am almost positive he said only to get a reaction from me (he didn't). I kind of wondered why he was even there. And really, mentioning what you consider to be some off the wall sexual fantasy to get a rise out of someone is so over used. Just sayin.

Now, I know that the whole point of this event was to beat the world record but I honestly think there were just way too many people for a speed dating event. Granted, you couldn't really tell that you were surrounded by 400 other people during the dates but I think that's mainly due to the fact that the dates go so quickly. The atmosphere was incredibly loud and I had a really heard time hearing my dates on more than one occasion. Really, I have to say that I have had an easier time carrying on a conversation at a bar on Saturday night. And, through talking to people afterwards, I know I am not the only one that felt that way.

Also, with 414 people there, I am guessing half of those were guys and I only went on a date with 26 of them. That means there were 181 men that I didn't really get an opportunity to meet. I think I kind of would rather the smaller event that I went to previously where I was able to go on a date with every guy there.

I genuinely feel like I was able to meet a variety of people from all different age groups. I met some pretty interesting guys, most of whom have never been speed dating before. So it kind of seems like the fact that this was a Groupon and that they were trying to set the world record might have brought out people who wouldn't have normally tried speed dating.

There was also a little after party where you could mingle with everyone there so I did get an opportunity to meet some of the other people there. I actually ended up chatting with a very cute and flirty 27-year-old guy (thank god he is not 26) who I found to be pretty interesting. And yes, I flirted (and I mean flirted a lot) with him.

I also have to add that I think registration was very poorly organized. I understand that people who organize events can't control the weather. When I arrived with my friend we had to stand in line for at least ten minutes in the frigid Chicago cold. Generally I am not one to complain about the cold especially if I am going to a bar. But I feel like when you host an event then you make sure the people attending the event are well cared for.

All in all I think it was a really fun event and I am glad that I was able to be a part of it. But, I am really not sure if I would go to a speed dating event with that many people again. Don't get me wrong, it was a blast. It's just, to me, I think that any sort of event where single people are trying to mingle should be on a smaller scale.

And, if you are wondering if I met my love match you'll have to wait and see. Honestly, I am not even sure at this point if I have any idea. I mean, I might have gone on 26 dates, but they only went for 3 minutes.



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GPLDAN said:


I don't think you could call them dates.

Jessica Downey said:


I am not using the term date as in the formal we are going out to dinner kind of date. I know it's different. But it's called speed dating where you go on 3-minute dates.

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