FORT JACKSON, SC -- Seven minutes. That's all the time speed daters at a recent speed dating event at Magruder's Club and Pub had to decide whether they were interested in the men and women sitting across the table from them.

I must admit when the night began, I was skeptical about deciding if I was attracted to someone based on a short, timed conversation. How much can you really find out about someone in such a limited amount of time'

But, I decided to try my luck anyway because on average I decide in less than seven minutes if I'm going to exchange numbers with someone or not.

There were not many rules to the game. However, Alicia Intindola, an NCO club assistant manager who coordinated the event, was adamant that daters should not discuss any way to contact each other than through the speed dating event. She added that participants would be contacted the next day by a representative from Magruder's, and only after two daters expressed interest in each other would their e-mail information be exchanged.

I took my seat at my assigned table - table nine - and waited for the first bell to ring. Women were told to stay at their assigned tables while the men rotated after each bell.

Ding-ding-ding. Here we go.

Date one sat down. We exchanged names, and then began to discuss the normal first date questions. How old are you' Do you have children' How long have you been in Columbia' What do you like to do in your spare time' Date one and I shared many common interests, seemingly had chemistry and my intuition told me that we would probably have a good time if we went out on a date. Match.

During dates two, three and four we discussed many of the same questions. Date five was different. In only seven minutes, we were able to discuss some deeper topics. Religion. How would having children affect my career' Was I looking for a committed relationship or not' Immediately I realized this was someone I would like to get to know better. Match.

At the end of the night, I walked away feeling pleasantly surprised about the evening. I was able to get to know about a variety of the opposite sex without enduring a number of long dates, awkward silences or trying to get acquainted in a loud, crowded nightclub.

Would I go to another Magruder's speed dating event again' I would have to say yes. It was a fun evening, and besides, how often do you get to meet five singles in one night'

Editor's note: Magruder's Club and Pub's speed dating event is just one of several events hosted by the club and many of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation's many other venues. For more information, visit the website at www.Fortjacksonmwr. com or stay-up-to date with the offerings by "liking" Family and MWR by logging into Facebook and searching "Fort Jackson FMWR."

Page last updated Thu July 22nd, 2010 at 09:00