’50 Grizzly First Dates’ speed dating event offers students a chance at love

Joseph Popis, Senior Reporter

Are you currently struggling to meet new people, especially romantic partners? Look no further, as the premiere speed dating research event is happening here at OU. This research project aims to study romantic and sexual attraction amongst real life and online formats.

This event will be occurring on Nov. 4 from 6-8:30 p.m. on Google Hangout. To participate in this research project, you must be a student currently attending OU, at least eighteen years of age, fluent in English, heterosexual, single, and seeking a romantic/sexual relationship.

Participants must complete a survey regarding their preferences for potential mates. In addition, attendees must send in three photos of themselves, including a face and full body photo. A brief bio script will also be included with the dater’s profile. Finally, a dater profile will be created for each participant, and Gmail accounts with code names.

Before the dating begins, there will be a short presentation that discusses the rules for speed dating. These rules include meeting on Google Hangout, not discussing personal information, and not going over the time limit. There will be monitors present to make sure these rules arent broken.

At this research event, participants will go on multiple online dates, with each date lasting about five minutes. After each date, they will then evaluate the dating experiences they just had based on their personal preferences. In addition, daters will indicate yes or no after each date to see if they want each other’s contact information: their oakland.edu email address. If both daters say yes, then the researcher will share that information between the participants.

This research project aims to determine the differences between mate preferences based on online and in-person speed dating.

The goal of this study is “to compare face-to-face speed dating to online speed dating,” said Richard Holler, principal investigator. “I am interested in how the medium of communication to strangers compared to online or in-person impacts someone’s mate preferences or mate choice.” Are they more likely to say yes or no to a date?”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, meeting new individuals have become increasingly more challenging. However, many people would like to meet new people and have a chance at a relationship, whether romantically or as friends. This event provides an opportunity to do just that.

“Meeting other singles can be quite difficult for many people at the moment, particularly in light of the pandemic,” said Dr. Lisa Welling, faculty advisor. “This event provides a nice opportunity to make new acquaintances that could progress into romantic relationships.”

OU students who attend this event have a unique opportunity to gain a potential romantic partner or just a platonic friend. Furthermore, speed dating connects attendees with multiple people throughout the event that they wouldn’t have typically met otherwise.

“They are in it so that they can gain a potential relationship with someone else who is new,” said Holler. “That relationship does not have to be romantic or sexual, but perhaps they can meet someone who could be a short-term friend or a long-term friend. It is also something that could potentially help individuals to socialize with each other.”

This is the perfect occasion for OU students looking to expand their horizons and get out of their comfort zones. Students have the possibility of meeting their “person” or just a new friend.

Open slots to participate are limited to the first 25 men and women who sign up. Email [email protected] to become involved.