Tips For A Successful Speed Dating Experience
Updated December 04, 2019
Reviewer Rashonda Douthit , LCSW
Most people desire to have a partner to share their life with. However, it is not always easy to find the right person for you. Thankfully, technology has made it somewhat easier to connect with people, by using websites such as Match or eHarmony.
While some people find success with these dating websites, others prefer to meet their potential partners in person. If you fall into the latter category but have yet to meet that special person, you may consider speed dating.
What Is Speed Dating?
Speed dating events are gatherings for singles looking to meet other singles who are interested in starting a relationship. In the traditional format, attendees wear a name tag with their name or nickname, receive a scorecard to keep track of their dates and proceed to have quick conversations with other attendees. People then mark down on their scorecard who they are interested in meeting again. If two people mutually express interest in one another, the organizers of the event will connect them following the event.
A Brief History Of Speed Dating
Speed dating is so widespread in our society today; it may surprise you that it is a relatively new phenomenon. Speed dating did not come about until 1998 when Rabbi Yaacov Deyo brought a group of friends together to brainstorm how to bring together single members of the Jewish community with "maximum efficiency."
The first-speed dating event took place a few weeks later at a coffee shop in Los Angeles. Deyo and his colleagues then trademarked their event as "Speed Dating," and planned on filing a patent for the concept. However, they quickly realized speed dating had already expanded beyond their initial vision. Deyo decided it would be good karma to let the rest of the world copy his speed dating idea, and that hopefully many happy marriages and families would happen as a result. The rest is history.
Of course, not all speed dating events are targeted towards Jewish people. Today, there are speed dating events for almost any specialized group you can think of. Some people even attend speed dating events geared for non-romantic connections as a way to meet new friends when moving to a new city or simply looking to add some new people to their life. Almost anyone can find a speed dating event that fits their specific preferences and needs.
Who Should Try Speed Dating?
There is not just one type of person who can find success from speed dating. Many people decide to try speed dating if waiting to meet their special someone by chance has not yet panned out. Others do so because they are simply too busy to meet someone and spend time going on repetitive first dates, so they knockout multiple "first dates" in one night. Some people decide to try it after being frustrated with dating apps in which people seem not to be serious about finding a partner.
Whatever the reason, speed dating is a great way to meet other single people looking for someone to date. Many organizers even guarantee that if you do not find anyone you are interested in, you can attend another event for free.
Because there are so many options for speed dating events, almost anyone can find an event that suits their needs. However, simply attending the event does not guarantee that you will find a match. Below are a few tips to boost your speed dating success.
Tips For A Successful Speed Dating Experience
Do Your Research
In most cities, there are almost endless options for speed dating events. But that does not mean you should attend just any event. Do your research before signing up for speed dating to find an event that is best suited for you. Most events will have detailed information regarding the age and demographic they are catering to. You can also find specialized events for people of a certain profession, religion, or another category if you would prefer to date someone with specific qualities.
If you cannot find this information online, do not be afraid to reach out to the event organizers and ask questions. Organizers of these events want you to have a successful experience; the reason they organize speed dating events is to help connect people. They want to help potential attendees make sure it is the right event for them, so you should never be afraid to ask for more details.
Dress To Impress
When speed dating, it is important to dress to impress… yourself. You definitely should put little extra thought into what you wear and how you look, but not to please other people. It is important that YOU feel great when you walk into the room. Confidence is contagious and attracts other people to you. Plus, if you feel good about yourself, you are more likely to be outgoing and relaxed during your conversation with potential partners. It is worth taking a little extra time to get yourself ready for the event to feel great about yourself. The extra time is more than worth it to ensure you walk into the room feeling confident and excited to meet your potential matches.
Don't Be Late!
Speaking of time, give yourself some wiggle room to make sure you get to the event on time. To be safe, leave 20-30 minutes earlier than you think you need to, just in case of traffic, you get lost, or any other unexpected issues.
Most people are at least a little nervous when attending these events, so you do not want to add to the nerves by having to worry about being late. It is already nerve-wracking enough without having to stress about being late! When it comes to getting to the event on time, it is better to be safe than sorry. While you may not want to "waste" time by leaving early, the entire experience will be much less stressful if you give yourself that window.
Treat Each Conversation As A Date
You will meet many people at a speed dating event, and you will undoubtedly feel a stronger connection to some than others. Still, make an effort to treat each conversation as its separate date, and let go of any thoughts about the previous conversation you just had. It can be difficult when the person you just met is in the same room as you, but try to give each potential match equal attention.
The point of speed dating is to meet as many people as possible in a short amount of time. If you allow yourself to get hung up on someone you spoke to earlier in the night, you miss out on potential connections with people you meet at a later point in the event. Dedicating your full attention to each conversation, and treating them all as their mini-date, opens you up to more possibilities for potential partners.
If you are nervous about speed dating, you are not alone. The thought of meeting so many people in such a short amount of time would cause at least a little bit of anxiety for even the most experienced dater. But, if your nerves are part of a larger fear related to dating or relationships, consider speaking to an online therapist before signing up for a speed dating event.
A therapist can help you understand why you have fears about dating, and help you overcome these fears. If you are very nervous about dating, working with a therapist can also give you a boost of confidence in yourself because you will ultimately feel like you understand your thoughts and emotions better than you did before seeking therapy. Taking the time to discuss your fears or nerves about dating with a therapist can lead to more success in future romantic endeavors.
Another fun way to mentally prepare for a speed dating event is to look up speed dating success stories online. Countless people have found their life partner through these types of events, and reading about them will put you in a great state of mind to go into the event excited to meet your potential matches. This is a fun way to give yourself a little extra boost of excitement before walking into the event, and remind you of the positive things that could come out of attending.
Speed dating can be nerve-wracking, especially when you consider that you may be meeting the person you spend the rest of your life with. But, regardless of the outcome, try to keep a positive attitude about speed dating and, most importantly, enjoy yourself! Even if you do not find a match, speed dating is a fun opportunity to be social and meet new people. You may end up forming friendships with people even if there is no spark. If no lasting relationships come out of the event, you still had the opportunity to meet new people, and hopefully, have some interesting conversations.
Being stressed, reserved, or self-conscious will only hinder your speed dating efforts. The best way to go about speed dating is to be yourself, no matter how cliche that sounds simple. You want your potential partners to meet the real you, and that will not come out if you are too preoccupied with nerves.
At the very least, if you do not meet any matches, you can view speed dating as a learning experience. Meeting so many people in a short amount of time is an intense experience, and attending these events will make you a pro-conversation starter. Even if speed dating does not work out for you, the experience means you will be confident and prepared with great conversation starters when the right person does come around.