n a brisk, spring evening not long ago, two dozen men and women gathered in the back room of a Manhattan bar to engage in peculiar ritual known as “speed dating.” They were all young professionals in their twenties, a smattering of Wall Street types and medical students and school teachers, as well as four women who came, in a group, from the nearby headquarters of Anne Klein Jewelry.The women were all in red or black sweaters, and jeans or dark pants.One speed-dating company in New York City, for example, holds a gathering almost every day.

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The men, with one or two exceptions, were all wearing the Manhattan working uniform of a dark blue shirt and black slacks.

At the beginning they mingled awkwardly, clutching their drinks, and then the coordinator of the evening, a tall, striking woman named Kailynn, called the group to order.

As you might imagine, I did not find the love of my life.

I made some beginner’s mistakes; however, I am not alone in having struggled with speed dating.

His work has been published in leading economics journals, including the American Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy, and Quarterly Journal of Economics and has been covered widely in the popular press, from Maureen Dowd’s column in the New York Times to al Jazeera to the Shanghai Daily.

He also writes a monthly column for the online magazine Slate, where he’s tackled issues including teacher evaluation in public schools, women and leadership, and the economics of civil war.

It is a slang term that stems from sexual fetishism.

A fetish is something that is desired so heavily that it becomes an abnormal obsession.

Start-up companies now meet with investors, pregnant couples interact with doulas, and homeless dogs court potential owners, all using the speed-dating format.