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Ready, set, date: The clock is ticking - Odessa American: Lifestyle

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Ready, set, date: The clock is ticking

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Posted: Sunday, July 22, 2007 12:00 am

True love is supposed to be hard to find, but an Odessa man believes he can help people find it — or at least a second date — in just eight minutes.

Jeremy Ray, who also goes by the moniker “Mr. Spring,” has plans to begin a local speed-dating service modeled after the national “Eight-Minute Dating” program.

“Speed-dating, in a nutshell, is that first impression in eight minutes, that will hopefully lead to a second date,” Ray said.

Ray said he got the idea when he heard of its success in the larger metropolitan areas.

“The simple honesty is I want to start this because it’s not here already,” he said. “There are more than 100,000 people here, which yields so many single people in search of the perfect date.”

Ray said he felt those eight minutes open numerous opportunities for people to find that perfect date.

“The success rate of this is so high because when people go they know everyone else who is going is going to be single,” he said. “You don’t get that when you go out to a club or a café.”

Ray said he’d been looking for an atmosphere that would be relaxing for all those participating in the event, and his final choice, Odessa’s Italian restaurant Mi Piaci, was the ideal location.

“We have been here (America) for almost 12 years now from Italy,” Rush Audrolji, owner and manager of Mi Piaci said. “We hope this (speed dating) will attract more people.”

Ray said the ultimate goal of speed-dating is to just help people find someone they might have a connection with enough to consider another date, but he hopes that is not all it will accomplish.

“Depending on what you’re looking for, they just might find their match,” he said.

This is new not just to the community, but to Ray as well, he said. However, he’s still convinced one can learn all that is necessary to find interest in just eight minutes.

As far as his own participation in speed dating, Ray only said: “Eight minutes is up, it was nice to meet you, but I need to move on to someone else now.”

Odessa, TX

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