Sci-Fi Speed Dating, bringing nerds together in a quest for love

You have exactly three minutes to determine if the stranger in front of you is the love of your life. Go!

Participants of Sci-Fi Speed Dating at Comic Con, look for love in three minutes. Photos by Quincey Jackson.

The room with over 60 men and women instantly filled with a stream of chatter. Speed dating might sound like an awkward way to meet that special someone, but it still remains popular at conventions. And if you’re looking to find someone who shares your love for comic books, anime, video games or whatever nerd fetish you have, Sci-Fi Speed Dating at Denver Comic Con could be the answer.

“This is the best speed dating situation you could be in. When you’re around nerds you’re around good people,” said first time speed dater Tanner Rollyson.

Rollyson’s friends signed him up and he decided he’d give it a try. The three minutes sped by and Rollyson said it can be difficult to make conversation.

“It’s more about energy with me,” Rollyson said. “I saw a few girls there in the group that showed real energy.”

Sci-Fi Speed Dating owner Ryan Glitch began bringing people together almost eight years ago.

“I suggested the idea to Star Wars Celebration,” Glitch said. “We went back and forth in emails and they said, ‘Here, you run it for us.’”

Since then Glitch’s Sci-Fi Speed Dating has kept him busy full-time. Dressed as a Jedi Knight he hosted the event with a comedic air that playfully poked fun at himself and every stereotype. The routine helped loosen the tension before the dating began.

Chloe drug her friend with her to try it out. Optimistic she might find someone who shared her love of the comic “Hellblazer”.

“We’re both single,” said Chloe, “maybe we can find people who understand.”

Chloe said she meets a lot of guys on OkCupid and Tinder. She’ll tell them she’s a huge Hellblazer fan, and although most have seen the movie “Constantine”, none of them have actually read the comic book.

“Maybe I can find someone who reads Hellblazer and we can merge our collection,” said Chloe.

The event draws more men than women. Men pay $30 to participate, women are free.

Owner of Sci-Fi Speed Dating at Comic Con, Ryan Glitch, cracks jokes while guiding the dating.

Coordinator Sarah Paul said sometimes it’s harder to convince women to try it.

“We try to keep it as even as possible,” Paul said. “Otherwise it’s just a bunch of dudes sitting there waiting to talk to the next girl.”

Paul met her husband, owner Ryan Glitch, in 2013. She had tried the speed dating and found the host the most desirable guy there.

“He’s very funny and I like to laugh,” she said. “We just got married this year on May fourth… be with you,” Paul laughed.

The dating itself is quick and efficient. Glitch keeps the guys moving. Being able to hear your date quickly became a challenge. Many couples leaned in closer to each other. A decision is quickly made. If they felt something click, they jotted down the number pinned on their date’s shirt. If not, they dismissed them and focused on the next one.  

When it’s done they head for a table filled with papers, each one with a different number on them. They find the papers with the numbers of their preferred, and write down their name and phone number on them. From there it’s up to that person if they want to reach out.

“I would say 90 percent of the people leave out of here surprised they got phone numbers,” Glitch said. “I think 10 percent of people are bummed they didn’t get a ton of numbers.”

Glitch said getting five or six numbers is ideal. It’s easier to sort through than 20 or 30 numbers. And do people actually use the numbers?

“There are 214 known married couples, there are 47 couples currently engaged and I think we’re at 33 babies,” Glitch said. “Yea the babies are coming hard and fast now.” 

Author: Maria Muller

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