Approaching someone at the bar in a flirtatious manner is nerve-wracking. Swiping right and talking to someone for weeks to then learn they weren’t the person they were online is disappointing. Going on a date to then discover immediately there is no connection leaves you stuck with them for hours.
Knowing all the struggles of dating, Breanne DeMack and Ivan Pecel brought back something from the 1990s – speed dating.
“People were just complaining about not being happy with online dating, and we were just like, ‘Why don’t we just start speed dating?” said DeMack.
DeMack and Pecel worked together, using DeMack’s marketing skills and Pecel’s social ability, to co-found SCV Speed Dating.
“It was a way to bring people back to in-person dating,” said DeMack.
After the COVID-19 pandemic, the co-founders and daters at their event noticed a big shift in the world of dating.
People were forced to meet people online, but coming out of the pandemic, people are still utilizing dating apps as their reliable source of dating.
“Nobody goes to the clubs and bars,” said aspiring dater Veronica Morales. “If you’re gonna have a drink or dinner with friends that’s fine, but you don’t go thinking you’ll meet ‘him.’ It’s not the same anymore.”
DeMack and Pecel saw a problem, want and demand, and felt that there was nothing like their vision in Santa Clarita.
SCV Speed Dating hosted its first event in November and continuously sells out of spots.
There are two gender categories – male and female – with three age categories: 25-39, 35-49 and 45-59. The age categories are not definitive and participants can choose whichever age category they want. For each age category, there are six to 10 participants per gender.
Participants are given a free first drink, alcoholic or non-alcoholic, a mini notecard and, for the men, four unique questions that are completely different from everyone else, to ask if they wish.
Each participant will get to meet every participant of the opposing gender. The date lasts five to six minutes until the men rotate while the women stay seated.
“We’ve heard a lot of horror stories about really bad first dates and if one of these dates goes bad, it’s five minutes then the next,” said Pecel.
While rotating, participants can take notes on their date and check “yes” or “no” if they would like see their date again.
DeMack and Pecel take the cards at the end of the night and send emails to connect those who mutually answered “yes.”
“You need to make sure you invite us to any of your weddings,” said DeMack and Pecel to the participants.
This dating model takes away a lot of the nerves with the initial approach.
“This is appealing because it makes the approach a whole lot easier,” said participant Joshua Bevan. “There’s no rejection.”
“We’re getting a bunch of people that want to date,” said Pecel. “We are marketing this as, ‘What do you have to lose?’ You have everybody here that wants to meet you.”
DeMack and Pecel have been met with many compliments about their new business venture. They said that they have seen participants talking after the event up until they leave, heard participants going on multiple dates and see them coming back to meet more people.
“It was a lot of fun. I’ve never done that many dates in a day,” said returning, aspiring dater Marisela Morales.
The only “complaint” they have received is that there should be more time. But that’s not the point of speed dating, is it?
For more information, to view upcoming events and purchase a spot, visit www.scvspeeddating.com.