Speed dating is used throughout the world as a way to meet new people. If you lead a busy life, as most adults do, it is nearly impossible to meet several new people. A speed date lasts only a few minutes. This gives you enough time to determine if there is chemistry.
Speed dating is usually held as an event and introduces you to several new people in an hour or two. Learning more about how to best approach a speed date gives you an advantage so that you can make the most of your time.
Be Confident When Speed Dating
Some people get embarrassed about speed dating. Remember that everyone is there for the same reason, so there is no reason to feel shy or embarrassed. Thousands of couples have met as a result on traditional or online speed dating.
If your confidence is lacking, it is best to avoid alcohol before the event. Instead, psych yourself up by reminding yourself that you are worthy and have a lot to offer potential partners. Alcohol can reduce your inhibitions but too much can make you not act like yourself.
Dress in a way that makes you feel confident. Talk to a trusted friend about any anxieties. Just make sure that you are ready to be honest and true with all of your dates.
Prepare Your Questions
When someone sits down, it is time to start talking. Remember that you only have a few minutes for each of your dates with speed dating. What is important to you? Develop questions that answer this question. This will help you to start each date off right.
It is okay to ask the same questions to all of your dates. This will actually make it easier to compare all of the people that you have a date with. Ideally, you do not want to write the questions down because you do not want the date the feel like a job interview. Just memorize a few that are the most important.
There are some good questions you can use if you cannot think of any of your own.
- What is your proudest accomplishment?
- What dish would you cook your friends?
- What is your most prized possession?
- What is your favorite Sunday morning activity?
- Which historical figure would you like to meet?
- What is your favorite season?
- If you could be any animal, which one and why?
- If you could live anywhere, where would you move?
- What is your favorite book?
- What is your favorite thing about your best friend?
Pick the Right Outfit For Speed Dating
Speed dating moves fast, so first impressions are half of the equation. You want to dress like yourself but step it up a notch. For example, if you normally wear pants, wear pants. However, make sure that they fit you well and are more on the business casual side.
In most cases, women wear nice pants or a skirt with a blouse, or a dress. Men usually wear a button-down shirt with slacks.
Check to see if the speed dating event has a dress code because some of them do. This can actually make it easier for you because it essentially gives you a blueprint for how to dress.
Make sure that your hair is neat. Women, you can wear some natural makeup. What is important is that you look like yourself. Remember that if you connect with someone, when you have your next date, you do not want to look very different than you did at the speed dating event.
If the event is in-person, be mindful of your fragrance choices. Cologne and perfume are fine, but do not wear too much because some people are sensitive to scents.
Get There Early
Whether your speed dating event is online or in-person, it is important to get there a little early. This lets you learn the landscape before you sit down and get ready for your first date. People tend to be more comfortable when they are not rushing.
You can also use this time to socialize with some other people. This lets you loosen up so that you are ready to have some conversations with all of your dates.
When you walk in, be confident and poised. This starts that good impression that is so important when it comes to speed dating. If you are doing an online event, take advantage of any community chatroom that may be available to use before the event.
Keep It Light
The point of speed dating is to click with at least one person. You do not have to tell your deepest secrets for this to work. In fact, that tactic could backfire on you.
Keep the topics you discuss simple and fun. Be flirty and make sure that your date is comfortable. If you dive in with hard questions, your date is likely to clam up and not provide honest answers.
Use questions that let you get to know the person at their surface. Ask things that let you determine if you have some things in common. For example, if you love sports, ask about the sports your dates enjoy. This is light and a little flirty rivalry can develop if you like two teams that are competitive.
Make sure that when you are answering your date’s questions that you are short and to the point. This will help you prevent from revealing too much information about yourself at this initial meeting.
Ensure the Conversation is 50/50
Speed dating only gives you a few minutes with each person. Because of this, it is imperative that one of you do not dominate the conversation. You want to practice a lot of give and take during your dates.
Once you ask a question and get an answer, let your date ask a question. If you both go back and forth, this provides plenty of time for each of you to talk. This will also ensure that you show yourself as an equal partner during this quick date.
If your partner appears shy and is not asking a lot of questions, there is a good way to counteract this. Ask them a question and get an answer. If they do not ask you a question, answer the question that you asked for yourself. This lets you provide them with information without appearing too pushy or dominant.
You can also ask them what they would like to know about you. This encourages them to ask you anything and makes them feel confident because they will know that they are not being too pushy.
Just remember to keep the conversation neutral and 50/50. This will create a good balance with all of your dates.
You want to remember the people you feel that you clicked with and why. Once each of your dates ends, jot down their name and a few quick things that were memorable about them. This will make it easier to remember which people you want to connect with after the event.
The events usually provide you with a pencil and a piece of paper for this purpose. However, you can also bring your own. It is best to stick to pencil and paper. Using your phone can make you appear uninterested in the event as your next date arrives at the table or you need to move.
Reset In Between Your Dates
In between each date, take 30 seconds to reset your thoughts. If your last date did not go well, you do not want this to have an impact on the next person that you talk to.
Just tell yourself that it is time to clear your mind. Write down a few notes. As you are going to the next table, put a smile on your face and extend a friendly greeting. You do not want one bad experience to impact the rest of the dates you have at the event.
Introduce Yourself Right
When your next date approaches you, or your approach them, smile and say “hello.” Introduce yourself using your first name and give them a second to say what their name is.
This is important because it is part of making a good first impression on your date. Do not open with a joke or a fact about yourself. Your name is more than enough. When you only use your name, you are ensuring equal footing for both of you on your date. This makes it easier for the conversation to flow.
Always Be Honest
The entire point of speed dating is to find new people that you may have a connection with. Throughout all of your dates, make sure to answer all of the person’s questions honestly. Remember that if you make a connection, you will meet again and anything that you were dishonest about will come to light.
During your speed dating sessions, you do not have to go into detail. Also, leaving out personal information, such as where you live, is perfectly okay. However, if someone asks questions about where you have traveled, for example, there is no reason to hold back or be dishonest.
Stick Around After the Event
Once the event is over, it is usually okay to hang around and talk to the other people who attended the event. Talk to others to see who they are interested in. Share some notes and this can help you to determine which people you want to meet again.
This is the ideal time to enjoy a cocktail. However, do not drink too much. You are still giving people an impression of yourself at this time, so you want to remain in the right frame of mind until you leave the event.
If there was someone who piqued your interest, do not be afraid to approach them. This is an ideal time to talk more and get to know each other better. If someone was unsure about you during the few minutes of your date, this is the time to show them that you are someone that they want to connect with.
During this time, you want to still be yourself. This conversation can help the two of you to strengthen the connection that you started building when you were sitting at the table. Ask the questions you still have and continue being honest when you are answering questions.
Connect with Your Matches
When you finish a speed dating event, you will get to make note of the people that interested you. If your matches also said that they want to connect further with you, the event coordinator will let you know that you have a match. You usually receive this information within 24 hours.
From here, you can send them a message so that you can talk to them more or just go straight to planning a second date. You should exchange numbers at this time so that it is easier to talk to each other.
Keep Safety in Mind
Whenever you are meeting people that you are not familiar with, it is imperative that you take the steps to remain safe. The event will usually have people available that you can reach out to if someone made you feel uncomfortable.
If you feel unsafe during a date, immediately end it and let the coordinator know. When you are leaving the event, be vigilant about your surroundings. If someone contacts you that you did not consider a match, immediately end the contact and let the speed dating event coordinator or website know.
Do Not Take Yourself Seriously
When you are speed dating, every person at the event is there to have some fun and hopefully meet someone new. If you take yourself too seriously, you risk appearing too rigid to people who otherwise might be a good connection for you.
Do not be afraid to tell a joke, even if it is a bad one. Laugh when something is funny, and poke fun at yourself if you say or do something awkward. When you go into the event in a lighthearted manner, it will be a lot easier to connect with people.
Websites for Speed Dating
There are several viable speed dating sites, including:
- LightningSpeedDating: This website has events with a maximum of 20 women and 20 men.
- SpeedDatingCupid: This website works similar to speed dating in-person, but it uses a digital interface.
- RoundHop: This is a free website that introduces you to 10 people within an hour.
- SpeedDate: This website lets you meet 15 people within an hour. You answer three questions to better target your dates.
- OnlineAndSpeedDating: This website shows events for online and in-person speeding dating events.
- FriendFin: There are no fees to use this website. Sync to your Facebook profile so that your dates can learn more about you.
- HalalSpeedDating: This website focuses on people of the Muslim faith.
- Mingle2: This website has millions of members and multiple options.
Here are my top 3 online speed dating sites.
It is a good idea to sign up with several of these websites and take them all for a test drive. They all have different formats and people, so you want to take the time to narrow it down to the website that best serves your speed dating needs.
When you go to speed dating events on these websites, take some notes about the format and the people you are meeting. This will help to show you which of the websites best suit your preferences so that you know which ones to try again in the future.
How Speed Dating Online is Different Than Traditional Speed Dating
You have more flexibility with speed dating online. There are different formats that websites use, from text chats to video chatting. You get to choose which you are more comfortable with and pick the websites that offer it.
These websites let you make a profile. You can usually match with your potential dates first so save you some time. This makes it possible to meet people that you have at least something in common with. In-person speed dating does not have this type of feature.
Speed dating online lets you meet more people in a shorter period of time. On average, you meet 10 to 15 people within an hour. This gives you more potential matches that you can choose to connect with further.
There is no awkwardness with speeding dating online because if you are not interested in someone, you can easily choose to not interact with them any further. In-person, they may approach you after the event and this can make it more difficult to tell them that you are not interested.
Speed dating is an ideal way to meet a lot of new people in a short timeframe. This method is a good choice for busy adults who want to find a partner but do not have time to go on multiple individual dates. Whether you choose speed dating online or traditional speed dating, just make sure that you are prepared so that your speed date sessions go as smoothly as possible.
Speed Dating Events
If you want to speed date at traditional events, you can use a site like Eventbrite. Just go to the Eventbrite homepage and search for “speed dating events” and then choose your city. Then click search.
If there are events in your area you can learn more about them and how to sign up.