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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Speed Dating is Easy Dating

Speed Dating is Easy Dating

Photos: Courtesy of HISpeedating

Everyone has pre-conceived notions about speed dating.  I know this from the number of people who laughed when I told them I was going to give HISpeedating a try.  But, it was nothing like I had thought.  The men and women were good looking, polite, friendly and—best of all—the men had jobs. 

Sweetest Date: I’m a school counselor.
Me: Aw, really?
Sweetest Date: Yes, I work with kids and help them get back on track.
Me: Is it stressful?
Sweetest Date: Yeah, it can be.  There are some instances where you see things that are going on between the kids and their parents, but your hands are tied.  It can be hard.

The pupu selection is enough for all, as seen here at Jazz Minds Art & Cafe.

Photo: Courtesy of HISpeedating

On arriving at Hush nightclub, it was nice to see that the entire entryway was curtained off.  “Our events are completely private,” said Nina Atmospera, part-owner of HISpeeddating, “and we offer pupu and a beverage for free.”

What impressed me more was that HISpeedating is being ran by Mahealani Mahiai, Nancy Do and Nina Atmospera—three young, pretty and single women  “Nancy thought of the idea.  A few years ago she lived in San Francisco as a flight attendant and was familiar with the new speed-dating trend.  When she moved back to Hawaii she started working at Jazz Minds Art & Café and thought it would be a perfect place to run a speed dating event,” explained Nina.  Now, the event rotates between Hush and Jazz Minds.

After small talk with the other women daters—mostly arriving in twos—I grabbed a drink and pupu and waited for the dating to begin.  Tonight, there would be eight.

Yes, as expected, there were the awkward moments...

Me: I’m fine, so what do you do?
Local Guy: I’m a mechanic… are you military?
Me: No. I’m from here.
Local Guy: (surprised) you’re not military?
Me: No. I’m actually part-Hawaiian.

And, no matter how open and friendly you try to be, awkwardness can appear again two dates later…

Me: So what do you do?
Date #6: I’m a financial advisor.
Me: Oh, wow!
Date #6: Why do you say that?
Me: That’s a lot of numbers, isn’t it?
Date #6: No. I’m more like a counselor.
Me: (as each of our heads turn the other way) Oh. Ok.

But, there are also humorous moments…

Me: Where did you park?
Last Date: At the ING building
Me: Oh… don’t they chain that off after hours?
Last Date: No? I don’t think so…
He looks a bit worried now.

FLASH FORWARD: I’m driving down Kalakaua Avenue and spot Last Date flagging down a police car while pointing in the direction of the ING parking lot. I hope he’s ok.

Everyone gets a personal connection card to use for notes, and to select if you made a connection.

Photo: Courtesy of HISpeedating

FLASH BACK: Once the speed dating was over, all of the dates filled out their personal connection card with a “yes” or “no” to each date, and also, to whether or not the guest was polite. Then, turn it in.  From there, the coordinators will send out an email with phone numbers for those parties that made a connection.  If no connection was made, then you'll get a 50% discount off your next session.

Overall, I was impressed with the event.  It brought in a great group of individuals who are mostly too busy to go to bars or are just tired of the same old club scene.  I would definitely recommend it to my friends.

HISpeedating hosts events at least once a month and alternates venues between Hush and Jazz Minds. There are events for mid 20’s to 30’s, single parents, surfers, Christian dating and even techies. Email them directly to find out information on their next event at

$25 women, $35 men.



Posted on Thursday, October 8, 2009 in Permalink

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About This Column

This Kamehameha Schools and UH graduate manages the website for HONOLULU. In her free time she researches Hawaiian genealogy, when she’s not out and about or taking care of her 5-year-old son. She blogs about Honolulu bars, Hawaii nightlife and entertainment.

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