Plus the deepest connections I have had with my partners have been in our moments without words. I set Shhh up about a year ago and it has been buzzing ever since.” But does it work? One year in, Adam has his first Shhh Dating engagement, which isn’t bad going, all things considered, and although he does tell everyone in the room to manage their expectations if they’re hoping to find true love at the end of the night (cue: several hilariously deflated faces) he later admits to me that he’s seen some pretty strange things: “I have seen people communicate and fall in love through animal noises, people spontaneously tangoing.One couple got out of their seats and left together after 30 seconds of staring into each others' eyes.” Crikey – what have I let myself in for? If we’re not vocalising out every thought to whoever happens to be in front of us, we’re tweeting, texting or Whats App-ing it to someone. In any working day rarely a moment goes by when I don’t have something to say for myself (I’m sure you pity my work colleagues immensely now).It’s how I explain myself, it’s how I make a first impression on people, and it’s how I express who I am and who I want to be.Adam starts off by getting us to walk around the room catching the eye of different people. It was ridiculous in the extreme, but when everyone else is willing to throw themselves into it and look stupid, you quickly realise that the only person who’s going to look actually ridiculous is the miserable cow in the corner, refusing to join in.After we’d done that for a few minutes, we had to jump in the air upon catching someone’s eye. Next, we play a few different, equally as excruciating games, designed to get us bonding with each other.Basically, I find it really hard to keep my mouth shut.So, because comfort zones are for wimps and sensible people, I decided to go to Shhh Dating – a speed dating event where participants are invited to remain entirely silent for the duration of the two hour event (you have a break in the middle, where you’re allowed to talk if you really have to, but it’s sort of frowned upon).
“I know I’m not a looker”, he admits over a quick pint before the event, “so my chat is all I’ve got.
As the name suggests, it’s just like normal speed dating but with a twist: you can’t say a word to your partners.
Everyone here has paid £20 to find out if you really can forge a connection without words.
Silent speed dating seems to have worked its magic.
Later that evening, after a couple of pints and a couple of friendly chats, my friend Freddie and I go for a drink with Alex and Jess, a pair we'd met during the role-playing game. If I’ve learned one thing from the experience, it’s that sometimes silence really is the best option.