Valentine's Day

Haters Gonna Hate—and Maybe Find Love, Too

Speed hating is the unexpected twist on dating that America deserves.

By Amber Tong February 8, 2017

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Image: Shutterstock

Love is an incredible human tendency, but hate is an equally strong force. And since we can’t help it, perhaps it’s time to make something productive out of our complaining. Enter speed hating.

No, that's not a typo. Rose Matchmaking is hoping to help Houstonians bond over things they hate this Saturday, just in time for Valentine’s Day, with a mixer, dance and Houston's first-ever speed hating session at The Black Swan nightclub inside the Omni Houston Hotel.

This is how it works: 20 single men and women will sit across from one another and spend 3 minutes complaining to each other. The lady takes the first minute of venting, followed by the man’s own minute, which will (ideally) culminate in a final minute of mutual frustration.

The science behind it all is that people tend to bond over common viewpoints and ways of looking at situations. These situations need not be positive: a shared frustration can bond people just as quickly as a shared interest. Event Coordinator Renee Edd expects topics to range from traffic and weather to pet and dietary preferences “and sports. Texans-Cowboys will probably come up. Just silly disagreements that really get you going, get you fired up,” she says.

There are some boundaries though, most notably no politics.  Edd is careful to make sure rants about pet peeves don’t turn into full-fledged fights.

But participants are free to discuss politics during the mix and mingle dance party that will take place after the 45-minute speed hating. If they feel a special connection with someone, they can also tell the organizers, who would set them up in case of a match.

Three matchmakers (AKA dating coaches) will be present to chat with attendees and answer questions about their love lives. These professionals might also point out that besides triggering bonding, the rants help people identify partners that they might grow to hate, as “silly disagreements” can turn into serious obstacles in relationships.

“Stuff like that, even though it seems minute, can totally derail the success of a relationship,” Edd says. “Someone will get frustrated at your dietary restrictions, some will get frustrated that you have to go home every half-hour and walk the dog. Stuff like that happens all the time.”

Behind all the glamor, Edd says, is an effort to destigmatize singles events, where people are assumed to be desperate.

“I really just want to take the singles industry into a place where you don’t have to be ashamed to be single and you don’t have to assume that everybody there is just pathetic and can’t get a date, because that’s absolutely not true about anyone who attends our events,” Edd says.

Are you ready to hate your way into love?

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