Speed dating comes to Forest Lake

Meet Your Match provides a romantic setting for speed dating. (Photo submitted)
Meet Your Match provides a romantic setting for speed dating. (Photo submitted)

Mary Bailey
Community Editor

Within a few minutes of meeting someone, you probably know whether you’re interested or not.

Sometimes less than that!

So why bother with on-line dating, with all its horror stories, or a long, drawn-out first date.

“In 10 minutes, you know,” says Jessie Ruckle.

Ruckle is bringing speed dating to central Minnesota through her company, Meet Your Match.

“People really need to meet face to face,” Ruckle said in a phone conversation.

“Some people look for what’s inside; some say their date must be super handsome,” she said. “This way, they get to pick and choose.”

For the many singles who really want somebody new in their life, Ruckle says she provides a better way for them to meet: in person.

If you watch TV, you probably know what speed dating is.

Men and women come to an event where they are paired up for a set time, just a few minutes, and then move on to meet someone else. By the end of the evening, each man has sat with each woman for just enough time to decide if they want to continue getting to know each other, or not.

But there’s more to it than that. Ruckle says she strives to make the whole evening entertaining.

There are jokes and stories about dating. She provides a cold supper, such as sandwiches, chips, and a light beverage.

The daters get breaks between the sessions, and drawings offer prizes such as wine and gift certificates.

The night of entertainment begins around 6:30 p.m., when the speed daters have a half hour to mingle and to fill out the required waiver.

It ends about three hours later.

In between, there’s time for six or seven rounds of 10-minute sessions.

And in cases where a speed dating couple decides “this just isn’t it” long before the 10-minute mark, trivia cards help pass the time.

Each Meet Your Match evening costs $19.95 per person.

With Benny Betterley, her fiancee and business partner, Ruckle has scheduled speed dating events in several local cities.

On Sunday, they were at Stars and Strikes in Wyoming. Bunkies Bowling in Chisago City is set for this Friday, March 15.

And on Wednesday, March 20, Ruckle will host speed dating at Friar Tuck’s in Forest Lake.

Ruckle said she worked in IT for 13 years, until her cardiologist strongly advised that she change her lifestyle.

She and Betterly both live in North Branch, where he owns St. Croix Valley Machine.

“It’s gonna work,” Ruckle says of her new business venture. “I can’t wait for a couple months to go by, when I will have all these good stories to tell.”

She has already received phone calls asking when she will be bringing speed dating to other Minnesota towns. “Our goal is to be in Princeton and Milaca within two months,” she said.

If you’re interested, call 763-244-9257 or visit meetyourmatchin10.com. The website includes the waiver that must be signed for legal reasons.