As a psychologist, I have always found the concept of speed dating fascinating. During a series of mini dates, each spanning no more than a couple of minutes, participants in a speed-dating event evaluate a succession of eligible singles. They make split-second decisions on matters of the heart, creating a pool of information on one of the more ineffable yet vital questions of our time—how we select our mates.
The concept of rapid-fire dating has gained tremendous popularity, spreading to cities all over the world. One speed-dating company in New York City, for example, holds a gathering almost every day. Last year online coupon company Groupon hosted the world’s largest speed-dating event, with 414 attendees crammed into a restaurant in Chicago. Start-up companies now meet with investors, pregnant couples interact with doulas, and homeless dogs court potential owners, all using the speed-dating format.
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