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Speed dating is a formalized matchmaking process with the purpose of encouraging eligible singles to meet large numbers of new potential partners within a very short period of time. Speed dating originated in 1998 when a Rabbi, Yaacov Deyo felt eligible Jewish singles needed an avenue to meet and marry. After Yaacov hosted the first event in Los Angeles, speed dating spread throughout the United States and is now practiced all over the world.
Speed dating as the name implies involves dating in a short time. In a few hours you can meet someone who might in the end, be your Mr. Right.
How does speed dating work?
- 1 How does speed dating work?
- 2 Does speed dating work?
- 3 Where can I find speed dating companies?
- 4 Do’s of speed dating
- 5 and Don’ts of speed dating
- 6 What you should wear to a speed dating event
- 7 Certain things to expect at a speed dating event
- 8 How to succeed at speed dating
Depending on the organizers, participants usually fifteen singles or more, in a speed dating event are registered and rotated to meet each other over a series of short dates between five to 10 minutes. It is usually held at a restaurant or a bar. At the end of the number of specified minutes, the bell is rung to notify the males (the ladies don’t move) to move onto other ladies. Each participant at the end of each conversation, indicate if they would like to see their matches again on their scorecards. At the end of the event, they also submit their contact information alongside their score card who contains the list of people they would want to have their contact. Contact information is then given to the matches whose choices tally, i.e. where mutual interest is spotted. From that point on, the ball is left in your court to start dating. Most speed dating events costs between $20 to $80.
Speed dating is for you if:
- You want to meet someone but you don’t know where to go or how to go about it.
- You prefer meeting face to face to online dating especially with it’s feature of anonymity.
- You need a platform to find a partner with ease and speedily.
- You have tried online dating but didn’t get a date that was eager to meet you offline
- You want to reduce the chances of people rejecting you.
- You are too busy for online dating but you are interested in dating.
Rules of speed dating include:
- Contacts aren’t shared during the event for the purpose of reducing the rate of face to face rejection
- The time limit ensures that the participants are not stuck with boring partners and get a chance to still have fun with other participants
- Participants are expected to switch matches at the sound of the buzzer/bell
Does speed dating work?
Yes, there is evidence that speed dating works as seen in the many long standing relationships of couples that met at speed dating events. Instead of wasting time on dating, speed dating allows you to meet with multiple people within a short period, when you can tell if you are interested in a date romantically or not.
Where can I find speed dating companies?
It is quite easy to find organizers of speed dating events. Simply use Google or your preferred search engine to search for speed dating events in your area. Remember to set your search to tally with your location. E.g. If you are in Boston, search for speed dating events in Boston. You can also be specific about what kind of event you want. There are LGBT speed dating events available as well as comic themed events for geeks, religion themed, age ranges and other categories. Just search and be sure of the one you’re going for.
Do’s of speed dating
It is important that you give everyone a fair shot with you. For instance, in the case that you happen to really like the first person you meet, you don’t have to rule out the other persons you are subsequently matched with. It presents you with more chances to meet that special someone.
Be open minded
Don’t assume your partner is going to be exactly what you expect. Open your mind to the possibility of anything happening and don’t get disappointed when things don’t go your way. Also, ask open ended questions that can spur conversations such as ‘what’s your greatest experience in a relationship’? Avoid as much as possible, questions with ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers to avoid boring conversations.
Think great of yourself
While you might feel anxious about the outcome, it is important that you always go to a speed dating event believing in yourself. The air of positivity around you has a way of making you look more attractive.
Connect, and trust your guts
As a matter of rule, there’s only a few minutes to connect with your matched date, trust your guts to tell you who you have a connection with. If you get bad vibes, you know which part of the score sheet you’re ticking at the end of the conversation. Look forward to the next date. Remember, when in doubt, don’t. But in the case the you feel deeply attracted and the connection is mutual, don’t forget to make sure there’s a second chance to meet.
Outline deal breakers
Before the event, you can outline your deal breakers (turn-offs in men that disqualify them from being THE man for you) mentally, or in a sheet of paper. Do you dislike guys with tattoos? Can you tolerate a smoker? Does he look shabbily dressed? Can you live with being the partner of a hockey player? Does he sound like a mama’s boy? Doing this helps you decide what to tick on the score sheet you were given, and whether they’re getting future considerations or not.
It’s quite easy to pick up different characters and downplay it at events like these especially as you will be meeting new people who don’t know you. But what happens when you end up with a date who has all the qualities you want? Lying about yourself would be no good foundation for a great relationship so, NO! just be yourself. It pays, and there’s surely someone out there who would like you for you.
Watch out for mannerisms and body languages. It gives you an insight into how your partner is faring. Is he making eye contact or is he stuttering? What you observe help you understand your partner and provides you with ways to ensure a smooth conversation.
Don’t go to a speed dating event worrying about what people think of you or what you look like or how you sound. Instead use all that time to try and have fun. Concentrate on getting the best out of the whole conversation and actually enjoy doing so.
and Don’ts of speed dating
The following are things to avoid when in a speed dating event.
Don’t get wasted
A speed dating event is not the time and place to drink to stupor. One drink at the beginning of the event and one drink during the date is enough drink for the night. This is so that you are in your right senses and you don’t end up regretting whatever you say.
Don’t have a bad breath
Make sure you have a good breath on you. You can be an interesting person to talk with, but the moment the person in front of you catches a whiff of bad odor from you, it could be a total turn off.
Don’t ignore the bell
When the bell is rung, you are expected to switch partners. So,. No matter how much you enjoyed chatting with someone, you have to move to the next person when you hear the bell.
Don’t talk bad about other dates
Seriously, this is something you should avoid doing. Even if you don’t find the person appealing, he should not be your topic of discussion with another date during the event. This is highly inappropriate behavior and not something you put on display when speed dating.
Avoid information overload
Do not reveal a lot of information about yourself while speed dating. Its not the time to start talking about your job or where you live. However, at the end of the event, you can submit your contact information to be passed on to men whom you are interested in for a more appropriate date where you can reveal those details about yourself.
Don’t dominate, engage instead
In the case that your partner is shy, you can put him at ease by stepping forward first, but other than that, you should not dominate the conversation. It shouldn’t all be about you and how great you are (yes, we know you’re a great person but hear from him too). Engage him in the conversation. Avoid asking questions with yes or no answers, instead ask questions that will allow the conversation flow smoothly into different topics. For example, a question like:
“what would you say was your best childhood experience?” Is a great one!
Don’t ask for numbers
Participants in a speed dating event are not expected to ask for numbers or email from anyone during the date. It is one of the rules and if you would succeed at speed dating, the rules should be adhered to.
Don’t talk about your failed relationships
The details about all the bad things that have happened to you in your past relationships are not needed at this point in time. Delving into topics that would make the air around you feel sad might be a turn off to your partner. Also, they are for more intimate encounters and they may not be interested in talking about that in their first meeting with you. Focus on talking about what interests your partner to show that you are interested in learning about them.
Arm yourself with these tips and be sure to get the best out of that speed dating event.
What you should wear to a speed dating event
Couple eating Asian takeout
There’s usually no second chance for you to create a great first impression. Remember that. So you have to be on your best appearance. If you can, call before hand to check if there’s a dress code. If not, tailor your dressing to the venue that is to be used. If its at a little restaurant, dressing casual but smart should do the trick. If its at a more sophisticated venue, then a more formal dressing is what you should go with.
Your confidence in yourself compliments your dressing so its advisable that you exert positive and self assuring body mannerisms. For instance, rather than behave in ways that give the impression that you are insecure about yourself, you would want to do the opposite. Walk head and shoulder high, sit straight, make eye contact and smile brightly to give off that confident look.
At the end of each conversation, make sure its obvious that you have had a good time (especially if you did) and be yourself.
Certain things to expect at a speed dating event
Before going for a speed event, it is imperative that you set realistic expectations for yourself. Not everyone will like you, and not everyone you are attracted to will reciprocate. You will be meeting people with interests different from the ones you have. You may not end up with your Mr. right but hey, you would be sure to make new friends. Failure to set these realistic expectations will mean you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.
Expect to have fun
The purpose of speed dating events asides a chance at finding the love of your life, is to have fun. You will meet new people hence, there is the tendency for you to learn interesting things, from the people you talk to.
There is a possibility that you will meet shy guys at the event. Some guys, most especially the shy ones, find it quite difficult to talk to a lady they are meeting for the first time. However you can make him feel at ease by starting a conversation, smiling at him and engaging him while making ample eye contact with him. Bottom line, be kind to your dates.
Expect to meet a jerk
There’s always a bad egg any and everywhere so don’t expect all the guys you meet to be good, nice guys. Some guys will act like jerks maybe by staring at your boobs or by talking about themselves the whole time. Feel free to excuse yourself if you start feeling uncomfortable with your date. You could also holler your host if need be.
At the end of the event you might not find any man attractive and vice verse but that’s okay. At least you had fun and made some girlfriends (girl, that’s bound to happen if you chat with some of the single women you meet there)
Having realistic expectations like these will ensure you don’t get disappointed and that you have mighty fun. It gives you the air of confidence and positivity and that only makes you more attractive.
How to succeed at speed dating
Always center on the basics when choosing who to share your contacts with. Did you guys click when you talked? Was he interested in getting to know you? The little things he says or does during the date matters greatly as a result of the limited time on your hands. Also, you could prepare a few questions you would ask before hand and be smart about it. Instead of asking the normal boring “what do you do?” you could ask hypothetical questions that will give you a feel of your dates personality. One of such hypothetical questions is:
If given a chance to attend a concert by your favorite artist at your favorite location, who would you love to see and where will it be?
This way one question gives you an insight to what kind of songs he likes and what places he would prefer to go. Also, it gives the conversation less chances to be awkward and makes your partner feel relaxed.
Other hypothetical questions you could ask include the following:
- If you could buy anything, what would it be?
- If you had the chance to take the place of a celebrity, who would you replace?
- If you could take a vacation to any place in the world, where would you go?
- What kind of meal would you prepare if you were to go for a cooking competition?
- If you could save your friend’s life by singing a song from the beginning to the end, with the correct lyrics, what song would you pick?
- If you had one mon left to live and a very large amount of money, who would you do with your money?
- If you had to save one out of three persons(your mom, your kid and your wife) from a burning house, who would you save?
- If you could chose two famous people (dead or alive) to be your parents, who would you pick?
- If your house was on fire, which of your properties would you save first
- If you had the chance to get one of the following superpowers- to be invincible, to be immortal, to be able to see through people, to be able to fly. Which would you pick and why?
Advantages of speed dating
Speed dating is not expensive
Instead of going on multiple dates that will cost so much money at the end of the day, one speed dating event, where it is possible for you to get your dream man, costs about $20-$80. I mean, how cheap can dating get? You will meet about 8-15 other single people within few hours.
Speed dating saves time
This can not be over emphasized really, you can go on dates with people for weeks or months and they still end up rejecting the offer to be in a relationship with you. After all the time and money spent? This is why you should try speed dating, one event lasts for only a few hours. Also, you don’t have to spend more than a few minutes with a date that you don’t like.
No room for embarrassments
I see ladies go on dates and discover the guy is a deal breaker and tries hard or even makes a fake phone call just to escape. This often never happens at speed dating events. Even when you find a participant unpleasant, you don’t have to cook up excuses to leave the date. Remember, it is only for a few minutes and someone else will take his seat. Someone better I hope. You just have to relax, smile and enjoy yourself regardless.
Speed dating works
Speed dating events are organized all over the world and has successfully helped some persons find true love. For instance, Ryan Glitch who introduced sci-fi speed-dating and hosts it at Comic-Cons for Star Wars fans, as at 2017 says he has recorded 47 couples who are engaged presently, 214 known married couples and 33 babies resulting from his sci-fi speed dating events.
Disadvantages of speed dating
While speed dating may be all great, some participants may just be using it as a tool to while away time. Let me tell you a story to buttress my point.
I had this friend, Simona. She had a boyfriend whom she loved and had been dating for over a year. Jason loved her too but loved his career more as was obvious in his decision to move to Canada. She pleaded with him to stay but he was bent on leaving. His excuse was simply that “he had to do it for himself”. Simona was heart broken. For days, she cried and stayed indoors. But one day she signed up for a speed dating event. Where the idea came from, she didn’t know. She wasn’t interested in dating again, she still loved Jason but she just knew she had to do something to distract herself. She was becoming a shadow of the person she was.
It was at a bar, the event. About eighteen singles were present, including herself. She had everything she was going to do mapped out. She put up different personas for the different guys she talked with that night. She never once talked about who she really was. At the end of the event, she had misled the guys that were attracted to her. Their attraction was based on lies. According to her, she was just passing time. As a result, I am made to believe that first impressions might be wrong impressions. A few minutes is not really enough to know that someone is right for you. On the flip side, a few minutes of bad first impression is not also enough to know that someone is NOT the one. They might be nervous, and that affects the way they approached you, and then you pass them up because there is no time to really see them. This is a clear case of a diamond-in-the-rough.
Other disadvantages include:
There are usually more females than males in most speed dating events. Some organizers even match two females to one male in something somewhat like a mini date. In my opinion, being in a room full of people wanting the same things that you do might make things a bit complicated and make you less confident in yourself.
At the end of the day, you can only be lucky to find someone. There is no guarantee that you would find true love at a speed dating event. If you look forward to getting date, and at the end you don’t, it sure would feel like you have wasted your money and precious hours of your life.
At the end of speed dating events, contacts are shared right? Sure. What most people don’t know is that there is no guarantee or compulsion on the parts of matched partners to meet. You might get their contact information but never hear from them again because from then onward, the organizers cease to be involved.
A conversation with a date lasts only a few minutes. Say, 8 minutes at most. For me, it’s not enough time to get to know if someone is good for you, or not. There was a story I heard of a guy who had to use the bathroom during the event. Half the time he was supposed to be conversing with this particular date of his(for that period), he was in the bathroom. When he eventually came out, there was not much to say before the buzzer went off. I would not be wrong to assume that they didn’t tick each other good.
Mix ups might come up
There’s a chance for you to mix up names and the different things you learned about them during the event. This is simply because you talked with a lot of people that night and you might not be able to keep track of who told what story and who loves dogs. Is it Matt or Michael? This is would definitely create an awkward situation when you guys finally meet.
Asides the downsides which I have mentioned above, speed dating is still a great way to meet potential and single dates.
The following are success stories from couples who met during speed dating events:
Mitchell and Ross
Last year January, Lynn introduced me to speed dating as it had been a while since I went on a date with a guy. It was organized by a findlove group here in America. It was at a bar but there were lots of singles at the event and that was where I met Ross, my now fiancé. We are so grateful to Lynn, and the organizers of the event, we feel so fortunate. Most times I wonder if we would still have met if I had not gone for that event. It has been amazing with him and we would be getting married later this year. I always encourage other singles to try speed dating.
Pete, Sondra plus Emma
We have been married for two years now and we have a baby, Emma. Pete is an amazing guy and to think I met him at a speed dating event back in September, 2015. I had just gone randomly as I used to go before. I had made friends from speed dating but never made so much connection as I made with Pete. Luckily for us, we both wanted to see each other again, and that was how we started dating. When I got pregnant, he asked me to marry him and I did. So, I am using this medium to say thank you to the organizers now I cant really remember who they were but they have helped us greatly.
Hi, I am frank. I just wanted to share my own speed dating story. I attended one with two of my friends say July, 2015 at the sin bar here in Dublin. It was a great night out and I met Racheal my wife. She was very beautiful and I remember wondering why she had to be at the speed dating event. I mean, she would have guys crawling up her door or something. We talked for a few minutes and when the buzzer went off, we had to move. I was so excited when I found later that she had ticked me. We met the next week and since then, we have been inseparable. We moved in together and we got married eight months after that. We would be celebrating our 1-year anniversary by November. RACH AND FRANK are saying a big thank you!!
Life is all about taking chances so if you feel like you need to be at a speed dating event. Be there. And don’t feel guilty or bad about it. There are some disadvantages but if you can be smart about your decisions and set realistic expectations, you might just be one of the lucky ones! You would find the love of your life sooner than you expect. Follow the tips in this article and you’re ready for speed dating.
If you found this article interesting and informative, please don’t hesitate to share with your friends and loved ones!
A hopeless romantic that struggled for many years to find her Mr “Right” and made all the mistakes you could think of while dating. Known for always choosing the wrong guys or messing up relationships, Sonya was finally able to change her approach and mindset when it came to dating which helped her eventually find the man of her dreams and become happily married. You can read more about me here…