As sorority girls, we are basically conversation pros after our first year of recruitment as a sister. There are tons of ways those conversation skills can benefit you after your college days are long gone, but as a recent postgrad, I never thought I would use as a way to find Mr. Right. I’m a young professional in a big city and I have tons of connections and a good group of friends, which all seem like amazing ways to meet single guys. You would think with the amount of professional men living near me that they would hang out on every corner, but that’s just not how it is. So what do my sisters and I do sometimes when we feel like switching up our usual happy hour routine? We go speed dating.
It may sound terrifying to willingly enter a controlled scenario where you are expected to just hit it off–or not so much–with a random rotation of single guys. But as sorority girls, we were pretty much trained to do the same exact thing, only in a different environment. We’re used to talking to thousands of eager girls looking to join Greek life during recruitment. After spending four years owning recruitment with my sorority, my sisters and I thought it might be fun to trade in happy hour Fridays every once in a while to check out the speed dating scene. I have come to the conclusion that they are practically one in the same. Recruitment is essentially controlled “sister searching” and speed dating is controlled “date searching.” So, naturally, just like you have your amazing moments during recruitment where you’re certain that you were a boss and totally owned your conversations, the same can happen during speed dating. But we all know that with the good comes the bad, and with speed dating the same rules apply. Let’s take a look at some of the best and worst scenarios that can happen during both sorority recruitment and speed dating.
Nothing In Common
You have two minutes or so to talk to each other, and by the time you’ve exchanged names, there is something about the interaction that lets you know your conversation is going nowhere. No matter how hard you search for anything to make a dull conversation better, there is no topic that makes that certain something click between you two. In a recruitment scenario, you know a sister will bump you soon, and in a speed dating scenario you take joy in the fact that you only have to stare at his boring face and hear stories about his cats for 30 more seconds.
Everything In Common
Either this person was completely tipped on basically everything you love and care about, or this person is literally your soulmate. The conversation could go on forever, and you wouldn’t mind because time seems to fly while speaking to this person. During recruitment, when you have these types of conversations, you know that this girl has to make it to Bid Day–you count your blessings and look forward to her potentially becoming your little. While speed dating, not only are you relieved to not have to suffer through another connectionless conversation, you’re ready to take it to another level by proposing that the two of you go on a real date. There’s something special about having a ridiculous amount of things in common, and great conversation lets you know there is something there worth building on.
The Awkward Transition
Any of us who have been on the sister side of recruitment are well aware of how important it is to have a smooth conversation transition while rotating through PNMs. But as we all know, no matter how much practice goes into the perfect “bump,” sometimes it ends up being a complete disaster. Whether it’s because you were finally in the middle of a good conversation only for it to be cut short, or because you forgot the PNM’s name and you couldn’t introduce her to the next sister, awkward transitions can overshadow the brief connection you two made. The same applies with speed dating, only you have a bossy mediator walking around the room with an old-fashioned hand bell that you wish didn’t exist–she could be interrupting your conversation with your PNB (potential new boyfriend).
“You go, no I’ll go.”
It’s like a conversational tug-of-war. This is the verbal equivalent of trying to walk past someone who keeps stepping in your way, until you both just stop trying. Only this time, you’ve said your names at the same time so both of you keep assuring the other by saying, “You go, no I’ll go” until the awkward level has reached a record high and you can’t stop nervous giggling.
The Therapy Session
You didn’t know your name tag had Dr. Phil on it, but from the way this person spills every issue he or she has ever had on you, you start to think it might be. In a recruitment scenario, nothing says “Choose me!” like babbling about your boyfriend drama; and in a speed dating scenario, nothing says “Date me!” like talking about your ex’s pregnancy scare. There’s a time and a place, people.
This one is sort of bittersweet. It’s like, we have a ton in common and the conversation is going well, but there is something that says we’re better off just as friends. When it comes to recruitment, although the PNM is absolutely Panhellenic material, you know she’ll be a better fit for one of the other sororities. The same can apply to speed dating. You leave the conversation super pleased with how it went, but there weren’t necessarily any special moments that pushed them toward sister–or PNB–status.