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Borough singles find love in five-minute speed dates

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Bayside bachelor Jay Rosensweig has the answer for you — speed dating. An Internet researcher by day, Rosensweig, 33, started his speed dating service last Valentine’s Day after going through some...

By Tien-Shun Lee

Singles: Are you short on time and tired of searching?

Bayside bachelor Jay Rosensweig has the answer for you — speed dating.

An Internet researcher by day, Rosensweig, 33, started his speed dating service last Valentine’s Day after going through some painful rejection while trying to meet women through conventional approaches.

With speed dating, single men and women have the opportunity to go on 20 five-minute mini-dates in two hours, Rosensweig explained, without having to deal with the “awkward approach” to someone at a bar who may not be looking for a relationship or the time-consuming e-mails of Internet dating.

“I’m convinced I will meet my wife this way,” said the entrepreneurial bachelor, who both dates and hosts at his events.

The way Rosensweig’s speed dating works is simple. On the night of each event, about 20 pre-registered men and an equal number of women who fall into certain age categories meet at a location, such as a bar or restaurant. They are each given a score card printed with “yes” and “no” columns.

After about half an hour for mingling and relaxing with drinks, the speed dating begins with men and women sitting at tables across from each other. The pairs are given four to five minutes to talk to each other. Then Rosensweig blows a whistle to signal the end of the date.

The single then circle “yes” or “no” on the score cards next to the date’s name, depending on whether or not he or she would like to see the other person again.

Men then get up and move to the next table, while women stay in place. The mini-dating, scoring and rotation continues until all the men and women have met one another in one-on-one dates.

Singles are welcome to stay at the dating venue after the speed dating to dance, drink and mingle more.

The next day singles receive an e-mail from Rosensweig giving them the e-mail address for each “match,” meaning a date that they said “yes” to who also said “yes” to them.

Rosensweig’s next speed dating event was planned for Friday at the Sly Fox Inn at 177-23 Union Tpke. in Fresh Meadows. The event is open to women between 30 and 45 and men between 35 and 46. Dating begins at around 7:45 p.m.

Speed dating started about seven years ago in California as a way for Jews to meet other Jews efficiently, Rosensweig explained. The idea caught on with singles of all denominations, and speed dating spread outside the Jewish population to cities and suburbs throughout the nation.

The first speed dating service in New York City opened in Manhattan two years ago, said Rosensweig. Since then, more than 15 other speed dating services have opened in the city and on Long Island. Most services hold events after work on weeknights.

Rosensweig said he “had a blast” speed dating through what are now competitors’ services, then decided that Long Island and Queens needed a speed dating service that would hold events on weekends.

In February 2003, Rosensweig launched his service in Long Island. Four months later he expanded to Queens, holding events at the Sly Fox Inn in Fresh Meadows and Udell on Bell Boulevard in Bayside.

Rosensweig said his speed dating service is the first one to hold events in Queens. Unlike other speed dating services, Rosensweig only has sessions on Friday and Saturday nights, and dates last for four to five minutes each instead of eight to nine minutes each.

“Personally I think that eight to nine minutes with the wrong person can seem like hours,” said Rosensweig. “I’d rather meet 20 people for five minutes than eight people for eight minutes. The idea is to see if you feel that warmth or any kind of connection.”

Lisa, 35, a Bayside social worker who met her boyfriend of six months at one of Rosenweig’s events, said she prefers speed dating to Internet dating because she likes to see what she’s getting.

“With Internet dating, half the time their picture doesn’t look anything like what they really look like,” she said. “With speed dating, you get to at least see them and talk to them a little bit. And it boosts your confidence when you get a lot of matches.”

Rosensweig said his worst horror as a speed dating host is when clients end up with no matches, but most of the time people end up with five to seven matches.

Jeff, 33, a business analyst and guitar player from Bayside, said he got seven matches the first time he went to one of Rosensweig’s events, but none of them amounted to anything.

The second time he broke the rules and asked for one of his dates’ phone number before the speed dating night was over. The date ended up going to Bourbon Street on Bell Boulevard in Bayside to have drinks with him, and Jeff was so enthralled with her that he deleted the e-mails of all his other matches the next day because he felt he was “not the kind of guy to date several girls at the same time.”

As for Rosensweig, the still-single speed dating host said most of the women he has met at his events have ended up as friends, but his business has at least allowed him to meet them without having to perform the “awkward approach” and without facing the “brush-off.”

To register for Rosensweig’s events, singles can log on to www.bellspeeddating.com, where clients are asked to pay $35 in advance using a credit card.

Reach reporter Tien-Shun Lee by e-mail at news@timesledger.com, or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 155.

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Lenny Aks from Bellerose says:
Changed my email to clamster250@yahoo.com. Please notify me of next party. Thank you.
Jan. 28, 8:32 pm

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