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I vowed to go in with an open mind, and if I didn't come out of it with a date, I'd at least have a good story.

My girlfriends and I show up to Xino in Santa Monica, dressed up, and ready to make snap judgments about the eligibility of strange men.

In our cases that’s fine, but I did start to think about how inclusive and welcoming an environment it could be. That was one of the first things we realized during the pre-event process: These events cast a wide net – even our age range was between 24 and 38 – and there is no telling what kind of group you’ll wind up at your event.

My straight, white, cis, male social profile is the most common there is, so I found many potential matches at the event, but those looking for a “less common” social profile might find some of these events frustrating in their scope of potential partners.

After mingling at the bar for a bit, we all sat down at a long table, where there was an empty chair next to each woman.

The men sat down next to us and we'd chat for four minutes each, and then the guys would get up and move one seat down.

It’s billed as a “low key, sophisticated approach to dating in Chicago.” The booking process was super easy — we bought our tickets, received a confirmation email and waited.

With us, you can combine elements of trying out the local hot spot with friends while you meet others just like you.

Bear in mind, if you have any people skills whatsoever, four minutes goes by , so theoretically, there's not enough time for it to get awkward if you don't hit it off. It was fun, there were appetizers, and the hostesses were lovely (and all foreign model/actress types).

So, to be perfectly honest, I don't think I met my soul mate at speed-dating (I can feel the disappointment in all of your eyes), but I did come out of it with new friends and a renewed appreciation for people with superb conversational skills. In case you are interested in trying out this lark, here's the link: That’s great that you are curious about trying speed dating.

Today I am, because I make the rules and I can change them if I want to. Uh, because I went speed dating this week, and chances are, you're probably curious about what that is/whether it was fun and if you should try it, and I've got your back. (Note: I've taken measures to protect the some of the innocent, stupid, and/or ridiculous people I met last night.

Also, this story involves complete strangers, and therefore, is unlikely to come back to haunt me.

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