If you’ve been to one of over thirty Comic Cons that happen annually in the United States, you might have found yourself fawning over a buxom Wonder Woman or a lithe Link from across the convention hall.
This year, New York Comic Con cut out the middle man (or Captain America) and hosted eight different speed dating events, including two rounds for gay geeks. Each round, the cosplayers sat knee-to-knee, facing their partners, and were given three minutes to determine whether the costumed superhero or heroine was relationship material.
There’s something about sitting across from a masked or disguised stranger that increases both the anxiety and intrigue of speed dating. For some, the fact that they were sourcing from a niche pool made the prospect of finding someone much more likely. As one speed dater told Mashable, “It’s easier to talk to someone here because they know where I’m coming from.” They might even know who he was dressed as (and might have even fantasied about that fictional character in the past).
These Sci-Fi Speed Dating events are headed by 27-year-old Ryan Glitch, who has been playing matchmaker for comic enthusiasts for the past three years. His creds are pretty solid, too. In an interview with The Cut, Glitch cited five marriages, two babies, nineteen engagements, and over a hundred serious relationships spawning from his dating games.
The events have so much success, in fact, that the reality Sci-Fi Speed Dating show Geek Love had a brief run on TLC.
As Slate pointed out, NYCC speed dating is special in that it services groups that might otherwise be overlooked. Since the conventions are at a notorious gender imbalance, women come first, they get to cut the events lines, and survey the crowd of men before the dates kick off.
It seems that Comic Con Speed Dating has tapped into meeting a unique demand: finding love in a group where you feel an inherent connection, speak a common sci-fi savvy language, and where a Magic: The Gathering player can happily out themselves to a date dressed as Doctor Who.