Meeting new people and making connections is not always easy, but at 7-in-Heaven's speed dating event at Finley's of Greene Street, it could not have been simpler.
"I think it's a nice way for people to meet," said Gail Adams, founder of the 7-in-Heaven speed dating service. "It's nice because if they go to a bar or a happy hour, they're basically going to talk to a bunch of women that maybe have boyfriends and are just out for the night. They're going to take their free drink from the guy and then they're going to say, 'I'm sorry, I have a boyfriend.' At least here, all of these gentlemen will meet ladies who are single and available."
While this month's event wasn't as crowded as past events, according to Adams, she said the dozen men and women, ages 23 through 37, who came out were eager to socialize and meet with other singles.
"I'm looking for an opportunity," said Rob Ellingham of Levittown. "If all else fails, you still have a good time, meet a bunch of people, make some friends and that's it. I try not to have too many expectations. I'm just looking to meet some people and see where it goes from there."
After a short period at the bar, the speed daters went into the separate patio area at Finley's and were instructed on how to fill out their speed dating sheets. If the seven-minute speed date goes well and there is a connection between the two people involved, the daters check off "date match" on their speed dating sheet. If the seven minutes does not go as well, the daters check off "friend match."
"Sometimes they make a connection and they think that the seven minutes is too short, and then other times the connection is not good and it's the longest seven minutes of their lives," Adams explained.
Once the daters were given the information on what to do the speed dating began. For many people in attendance, like Kristyn Lang of Patchogue, it was a first time for speed dating.
"I'm doing it for the experience," Lang said. "I don't know what I'm really expecting, but it's another form of meeting people."
While some people were new to the idea of speed dating, others in attendance had done it before.
"I've done this twice before," said Brian Defeo of Seaford. "You get a mix of people. Some people you hit it off with, some people you don't. I've hung with a few people and still do. … It's fun, it's a good time."
Defeo added, "I have no expectations. If you meet somebody, great, if not then so be it. I'm just looking to meet new people. I'm not looking for anything in particular."
There were rookies, veterans, and also people who weren't quite sure why they were doing it, like Stephanie Smith of Glen Cove.
"I'm expecting to get nothing out of it," Smith said. "I'm doing it because my friends are doing it and I'm intrigued. Walking into this, I thought that there would be no guys here, but as we found out more guys signed up for this than girls, and that is shocking to me."
When all was said and done, the night was a success for 7-in-Heaven speed dating and the daters in attendance, even if nobody met "the one."
"It does happen," said Adams about meeting "the one" at a speed dating event. "And even if it doesn't, you get a lot of practice talking and dating a few people. … It's all around a good thing."