“I love meeting new people. So, I wanted to meet people and make some friends and go from there. Obviously, having a girlfriend out of it was an absolute cherry on top of the cake. “
This week, I spoke with a pair who matched at Saskatoon Speed Dating. Anthony* and Sophie* have been in a supportive, long-term relationship since connecting at their Do Sask event in January 2019. I asked them if they would share their experience and they graciously agreed. I chatted with each of them individually and encouraged honest responses.
Read on if you’re curious to learn how this couple developed
from an initial 4-minute speed dating conversation.
What did you think about speed dating before you came?
Anthony: “I didn’t really have any feelings about it at all. I’d seen speed dating in a few movies and things. I didn’t know that Saskatoon had such a thing.
When I heard about it, I thought, “What the heck!” I would give it a try. I was in the mountains on a snowboard trip scrolling on Facebook. Something popped up and it was Do Sask, so I read into it. I saw speed dating and read about it and went from there.”
What did you want out of speed dating?
Sophie: “To be honest, going into it I didn’t have any
expectations. One of my friends worked at the Crazy Cactus. She and I were both
part of a group of friends who were mostly coupled up since high school or a
few years after. When she heard Do Sask Speed Dating was scheduled at the Crazy
Cactus, she began a campaign to get me to join her. I wasn’t gung-ho in the
very beginning. But I thought why not to see what would happen. I didn’t expect
that it would be the way I met my future partner.”
Anthony: “I was going in to have a new experience and try
something new. I didn’t necessarily want a relationship out of it, but I wanted
to try something out of my comfort zone. I love meeting new people. So, I
wanted to make some friends and go from there. Obviously, having a girlfriend
out of it was an absolute cherry on top of the cake.”
Tell me about what happened the night of speed dating.
A: “The night of I was running late. I rolled up a minute or
two to 7 pm. I figured I was going to be a couple minutes late. I just remember
thinking to myself “here we go”. There were some butterflies. I
remember seeing all the people there. Once I registered, I knew I had a drink
ticket and went to grab one. I started chatting with some of the guys there and
my butterflies went away.”
S: “I told my friend I really needed a drink. I had no idea what I was walking into. There were a lot more people there than I thought there would be.
I liked the icebreaker game which introduced me to everyone who was there that night. We played people bingo and got to know other people. It was kind of nice to have a little conversation with everyone before the dating started.“
A: “We had an introductory bingo game. There was a bingo card
and we were asked to find people that matched the description and write their
name on the squares. There were no nerves, it was just excitement at that
Once the game started, I remember thinking, “Okay, you’re
supposed to mingle”. A few of the girls had huddled up together asking
questions and some of the guys were asking questions to each other. My initial
thought was, “I’m here to go on dates, so I’m going to talk to the
I remember seeing Sophie walk in at the beginning of the
night. With the game on, I went right over to her. She was happy and had this
beautiful smile. I remembered her immediately. Once the dates started, I was
looking forward to having that 4-minute date with her.
S: “As soon as you said go for the ice breaker game, Anthony was
the first person who came up and talked to me. I kind of liked being approached
first. He was nice to talk to. He said it was nice meeting you and I’ll talk to
A: “During our date, we were talking about football. She was
very open and didn’t seem shy. She plays fantasy football and I like football.
My go-to question for that night was, “here’s a plane ticket you can go
anywhere you want, where are you going?” And I had a lot of good
conversations from that. Sophie was very easy to talk to. The 4 minutes flew
by. We chatted through the intermission.”
S: “When it came time for Anthony’s 4-minute date to end, he asked, “Do you want to keep talking?” Intermission had started, so we decided to chat right through the short break. We talked about fantasy football. And we’re both big travellers, so we discussed all the places we’ve been and wanted to go. That probably took up most of the conversation.”
Describe your first date after speed dating.
S: “On our first date, we met at D’Lish by Tish Cafe and got
a drink. We took it to go and walked along the river. We walked to Rotary Park,
by River Landing, and up the Broadway Bridge. It was the end of January, so the
night turned cold. We went to the Yard and Flagon to warm up a bit. Anthony
walked me back to my car at D’Lish before we said goodnight.”
A: “We met up at a coffee shop about a week later, grabbed a
cup of joe, and went for a stroll by the river. Tried to get to know each
other. There was a wind – it was winter – so we just kept moving. I walked her
back to her car gave her a kiss goodnight.”
How has your life been better since attending?
S: “I’ve never really had a serious relationship and it’s
really nice having someone to share a life with. Anthony adds to my life.”
A: “I’ve had a girlfriend since then, so it’s been a change
for the better. It was a pretty good bonus. I’m happy and the months have flown
by since meeting her. It’s a great relationship. We support each other. It’s
very easy to get along.”
Do you feel like four minutes in person is enough to decide?
A: “Yeah, it is enough to make a decision about someone.
Pretty quickly you get a vibe if you want to chat with that person any further.
Whether it’s friendly or more. You’ll know if want to talk with them again.”
How do you know if speed dating was successful?
A: “It was a win for me because I gained a girlfriend out of
it. For me it was going to be a success because I went. I didn’t back out! I
booked it back from the mountains. And the next day I thought I was going to
cancel. The act of trying something different that not everyone would do made
it a success. It put me out of my comfort zone. Not everyone would do this.
It’s different way to go about meeting people.”
S: “I’d never been to speed dating before. I’d even mark it
as successful if I hadn’t found someone because I’d have made some new
How do you feel about online dating or apps?
S: “I was visiting a friend in Calgary. She took my phone
and made a Tinder account. I didn’t want to activate it in Saskatoon because I
found it very superficial. But I did go on some dates from the app. I saw one
guy for a couple months and it didn’t work out with him long-term.”
A: “Nothing against the dating apps. They have their good and bad. I think they’re fine. I’ve had dates from those too. They’re just another page in the dating book.
Nowadays there’s Tinder, bumble, POF, and speed dating is just another way. For me, you meet people face-to-face and have a good chat. You get to know a lot about a person by chatting. ”
What is the most frustrating thing about dating before
meeting your speed dating match?
S: “The most frustrating thing is meeting new people. I have
a great group of friends, but there aren’t too many new people coming into the
Lots of my friends have been dating since around high school
or shortly afterwards. They met through mutual friends in high school. A couple
years after high school they would come around. That’s how most of the
A: “For me, dating was just getting to meet new people and
hopefully something goes well from there. Nothing seemed to work out for a bit
there. But that’s just me and the other person weren’t meant to be. I probably
wouldn’t have met Sophie if I didn’t go to speed dating.
I have a certain group of friends from high school. There
was a bit of a disconnect. They were with someone since high school. I could
never relate to that. I have other friends through hockey. I always seem to
meet new people here and there.”
Would you recommend Do Sask speed dating to others?
A: Yeah, absolutely. I would recommend speed dating to
others. If someone asked me, I would tell ’em it’s a lot of fun and it turned
out better than I would have expected.
Do you have a speed dating match success story? Share yours now.
*Names have been changed to protect the
couple’s privacy. Testimonials have been lightly edited for clarity.
Speed dating match testimonials
are honest and genuine. However, they don’t guarantee similar match