Slow dating for conscious singles : Reclaiming the way people date
How it all started
A little over a year ago, while walking my dog in the city, I ran into Cassie, the younger sister of a high school friend, from back when we all lived in Montreal. We made plans to catch up over coffee. At the time she was taking a break from a 2-year relationship and I was fresh out of an 18-year relationship. Naturally, we started talking about current dating trends and the world of online dating.
From her experienced, having tried various dating apps, she felt that they were all fundamentally flawed for many reasons, some of which were discussed in previous articles (see articles 1,2,3). She also tried speed dating and felt they were rather exhausting and not necessarily fun, nor effective.
From my experience, having been “out of the market” for close to 20 years, the new dating landscape not only felt alien to me but completely unaligned with who I am. Listening to what some friends and peers were going through and all the “rules” they had to follow, I just could not picture myself honestly taking the same route to find a suitable partner.
Although our experiences were different, Cassie and I both felt the same about the current dating landscape: too superficial, too unconscious and too fast. We figured there had to be other people like us, looking for a more meaningful way to connect with like-minded individuals.
But, where could we find them? That’s when we came up with the idea of organizing group dates to attract conscious singles and get them to connect in a more meaningful way. We decided to call those events slow dates.
Slowing down speed dating
One of the main issues we have with speed dating is that it mimics the sleazy kind of networking. It’s the kind of networking where people spend most of their time giving out as much business cards to as many people as they can, and as quickly as possible. Their goal is to cover as much ground as they can. Getting to know who they are talking to is not a priority. If the person who you gave your card to didn’t get a chance to know you, chances are, they won’t keep your card, let alone refer you to someone they care about.
Speed dating is not that different from “sleazy networking”. You get an average of 5 minutes to talk to a potential mate and then you’re on to the next potential mate to start over again. The goal is to make as many contact as possible, but most don’t have enough time to make a connection. So the process can quickly turn into a stressful interview for a “job application” you didn’t know you signed up for. You get to ask or be asked the same questions over and over again. It can easily get overwhelming with the added pressure to choose suitable matches.
Slow dating takes a completely different approach. We’re at the opposite end of speed dating. In our case, speed is taken out of the equation altogether, and so is the pressure of finding a match right away. The point of our events is to allow our guests to slow down so they can have a better understanding of their current situation and furthermore have the tools they need to make genuine connections rather than simply increasing their contact list.
Whether it be through facilitated conversations, exploration of important relationship topics as a group, games, self discovery and new insights from them hearing about the experience of the other participants, there’s always something valuable to be gain by our guests from each of our events.
Intimate conversations online
We were building momentum with our events earlier this year until March 2020 came around and we were forced to postpone our events, as spaces started to close down. While we were waiting, we decided to offer virtual events instead called Intimate Conversations Online. We’ve been consistently running them every Saturday mornings since May 2020 and the feedback from our guests have been very positive.
What we found thus far is that even though it’s not the same as meeting people in person, it does help people connect in a more meaningful way based on the feedback we’ve been receiving from our participants. We covered a wide range of topics such as finances in relationship, the impact of age difference, the difference between compatibility and chemistry, and much more.
Through these conversations, some of the participants were able to get a better handle into who they are, and what they are looking for. Some also got clearer into why they might not be ready for a relationship and others gain clarity into why they want to be in a relationship. These fundamental insights were the results of human to human interactions, which is at the core of the service we aim to offer.
Redesigning the way people should date
Dating apps and speed dating might be on trend, but we believe that the dating landscape needs a serious makeover. We noticed that a lot of people are out of touch with their ability to connect with and relate to another human being. As a large portion of the population mindlessly swipe left or right, or check their mental list of qualities for a potential mate during a speed date, they are forgetting why they are doing all of this in the first place, which is to build a genuine connection with someone.
The danger of relying solely on a computer to do most of the leg work for you is that it will put you more and more out of touch with other human beings. When it feels more natural to text a person of interest rather than talk to them, or let it decide who’s the best person suited for you, one can see where the cracks are showing. At the end of the day, a computer may help you find someone but, so far, it cannot manage and maintain a relationship for you, you have to work at it.
Dating is essentially a form of relationship sampling. You’re putting yourself in situations where you get to interact with another individual with whom you might eventually be in a relationship with. The sooner you can do that and the more aware you are of how you come across to others, what you can perceive in them without interrogating them and how you interact with one another, the sooner you’ll be able to find your suitable partner.
Next year we’ll be offering monthly packages to join our weekly meetup sessions. If you or someone you know would be interested in joining and would like to get the latest updates on our event, join our mailing list : https://mailchi.mp/aa60a7a3dd7b/slovve