Fast Impressions ‘Single in the City’ party – T2 review

30 Aug

* This post was by T2, a co-author of In The Taratory from 2011-2013. *

I’ve always been somewhat fascinated by the concept of speed dating. The promise of free-flowing champagne, canapés, and a smorgasbord of men to mingle with has gotta be music to any single gal’s ears. So when I came across the invitation to Canberra’s ‘Single in the City Party’ in mid July, I didn’t immediately dismiss it as I would have done in the past. It seemed quite the Carrie Bradshaw (think Sex and the City) type of thing to attend, and this Canberra girl was keen to find her next Mr Big! So with my trusty wing-woman T1 on board, I took the plunge and signed us both up. ‘For something a bit different’, we told ourselves…

Now, to give you a bit of background about T1 and I: T1 (in my opinion—she disagrees) is very outgoing and charismatic. The stories of T1’s dating adventures never fail to entertain; she’s certainly had her fair share of interesting men! On the other hand, I’m newly-single and have been out of the game for quite a while. My ‘mingling’ skills are consequently somewhat… rusty. The mere thought of attending a dedicated singles party was daunting. But I’m told that winter is a good time to find oneself a ‘cuddle buddy’, so I was eager to take a leaf out of T1’s book and explore the world of Canberra men.

Hosted by Fast Impressions, ‘Australia & New Zealand’s largest and most stylish speed dating and singles events service’, the party was held on the fourth level of the Uni Pub on a Friday evening. While Fast Impressions is known for its speed dating nights, where men rotate through the tables with an allotted time to get to know each girl, the format of this event was a bit different. It was completely up to the singles to circulate the room at their own pace and approach those who caught their eye.

We arrived fashionably late after a few pre-drinks in the bar downstairs. A free drink was given on arrival, but there were no canapés in sight to help soak up the alcohol. Given that we had each paid $25 and it was an evening event, some nibbles wouldn’t have gone astray (in fact, they would have been a welcome distraction in some cases – ‘oh hey, hold that thought, I’m just going to grab one of those spring rolls! I’ll be back…’).

For the most part, the evening was pleasant. T1 and I initially kept to the sidelines and eyed off the talent, but we were soon coaxed into the action by guys eager to ‘mingle’. A simple ice-breaker game organised by the Fast Impressions team was a good conversation starter for some. There was a balanced mix of about 100 men and women in attendance; most of which seemed to fit the bill of your typical Canberra public servant. The atmosphere was friendly and, thankfully, there was no air of sleaziness or desperation.

All in all, I had three requests for my number over the course of the night. #1: 35-year-old Adrian* – an endearing character, well-travelled, fluent in three foreign languages, salsa dancer. He was smooth, but perhaps a little too smooth. #2: mid-20s Carl*, the muso from Melbourne with a great smile. Sure, he was good looking, but the spark wasn’t quite there for me.

Then there was #3: a university lecturer with whom I spent a good half hour making small talk. Seeing him stand awkwardly alone in the corner earlier had made me feel a little sorry for him. I really should have nipped the conversation in the bud much quicker given that I had no interest in the guy whatsoever. Obviously, it gave the impression that I was keen and so he spent a good portion of the night lingering in my shadow like a lost puppy. Lesson learnt –do not engage in meaningless conversation for the sake of being nice. At an event like this, where everyone is there for the same reason, it will only be taken to mean one thing…

While the lights were almost excessively dim during the event, T1 and I agreed later that this may have worked to some people’s advantage. Nothing like a bit of mood lighting to set the scene, right?! By 9pm, the couches were full of couples who had ducked away to get to know each other better. It was all very cosy indeed.

I think it’s fair to say that the night was a success – maybe not for T1 or I this time, but definitely for others. As the old saying goes, you’ll get out what you put in. I saw a lot of guys really putting themselves out there; approaching girls and struggling to keep the conversation as free-flowing as the drinks. I admired their courage and perseverance. A few of these guys were later rewarded with a coveted spot on the couch next to their chosen lass.

On the other hand, some girls were giving off a strong ‘do not approach’ vibe. Suffice to say, these ladies spent most of the night huddled in the corner with each other and left the event sans male company. I’m glad that T1 and I at least attempted to mingle and get to know the guys – can’t say we didn’t try.
I’d certainly sign up for another Fast Impressions night. There are events catering for every type of single; University Educated Speed Dating for those who want to meet more than a pretty face, Globetrotters Speed Dating for those passionate about travel, and Tall Men Speed Dating for those women with a hankering for height. Personally, I’m rather keen on attending the next Food and Wine Lovers Speed Dating night. Mmm…
Until then, I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for that oh-so-elusive Mr Big.

Date: Friday, 29 July (~6.30pm-10.30pm)
Attendees: T1 and T2
Cost: $25 per person
Location: The Uni Pub, 17 London Circuit, Canberra City
Worthwhile factor: Somewhat worthwhile
Want more?

*not real names

4 Responses to “Fast Impressions ‘Single in the City’ party – T2 review”

  1. Jins October 9, 2012 at 10:28 pm #

    Nice post. My friends and I are giving this a shot in November. I’ll make sure I provide a reply to this, albeit it being a year old post…

    BTW, very cool blog. Nice to see some people appreciate ol’ Canberra town.

    • inthetaratory October 13, 2012 at 9:36 am #

      Cheers! Definitely let us know how you go 🙂

  2. Seon August 29, 2013 at 6:39 pm #

    This is an old post but I figured I’d comment anyway 🙂 I’m going to an event tomorrow, now I know if you have a good conversation with a woman you aren’t necessary going to get her number. Low expectations no disappointment…


  1. Be My Wingman? « In The Taratory - February 16, 2012

    […] Loyal readers of our blog (are there any of you? Haha ) may remember the review that T1 and I wrote on the Single Mingle night last July. Anyway, BMW had the same type of concept – but with the aim of finding mates, not dates. […]

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