Step aside, Tinder. The next instant love connection has arrived.
Thomas Knox, 28, caught the attention of New Yorkers with his quest called Date While You Wait. Knox set up a table, two chairs, an array of lovely flowers and a giant sign advertising his quick dates. People could chat with him about whatever interested them or even play Connect Four and other board games.
The idea started out simple.
“To be honest I was talking to friends and they were complaining about the terrible commute,” said Knox. “All I wanted to do was something fun to take the negative out of it.”
Knox set up two dating stations in two weeks. In that time the hashtag #datewhileyouwait was used over 130 times. The story of Knox’s table spread quickly across the Internet.
Surprisingly, Knox didn’t want romance.
“People always ask me are you single? Are you looking for love?” said Knox. “It has nothing to do with that -- I have no problem speaking with women. I just want people to know it’s okay to connect with each other.”
With over 8 million people living in New York City, it’s hard to spend time with your fellow man. Knox said he had no expectations with Date While You Wait. If he connected with only one person, he would have been satisfied.
”Guys, girls, black, white -- it doesn’t matter,” said Knox. “I’ve had powerful conversations.”
One of these conversations came across the globe. A Russian man sat down to speak with Knox. He had come to New York to visit his friend after 10 years of not seeing him.
“He says ‘the conversation with his friend was so awkward,’” said Knox. “’But sitting and talking to you makes me want to try again.’”
To keep up the spirit of spontaneity, Knox does not reveal when or where he will set up his next dating session. One hour before setting up, he posts the information to his Facebook page.
Knox would like to continue dating the colorful people of New York throughout the summer and even in the winter, if they’ll have him.
“New Yorkers aren’t the easiest to please,” said Knox, laughing. “But it’s been a great ride.”