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How To Speed Date

Commonly Asked Questions About Speed Dating

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Interesting in attending a speed dating event but unsure what to expect? Then read on for tips and suggestions on what to do, what to wear and how to act during a speed date.

What Is Speed Dating?

Speed dating was first created in the 90's for people who wanted to meet a lot of singles in a short period of time. Most speed dating events take place in a bar or coffee shop, range in cost from $20-80, and offer the opportunity to meet anywhere from 10 to 25 or more people in one given night for a round-robin-style speed dates.

How Speedy Is A Speed Date?

The length of time spent with each of the people you meet at a speed dating event is determined by the organizers. Some companies have the length of time baked into their business name (such as Eight Minute Dates), whereas others use the number of people (such as 25 Dates). Most speed dating companies range from three to ten minutes per date, with the entire evening's dates lasting approximately two or three hours. Some speed dating companies also offer mixers before and after the speed dating event.

What Should I Talk About During a Speed Date?

Several studies, including one called Mate Preferences in Action (Kurzban, 2005), have discovered that most people who attend speed dating events have decided whether or not they are interested in the person sitting across the table from them within three seconds of sitting down. So in reality it doesn't really matter what you talk about, because the non-verbal communication between two people is what matters. But if you want to up your chances of getting a date after the event, the same study showed that people who spoke about travel-related topics got more dates from speed dating events than the people who spoke about movies.

Is Contact Information Exchanged On A Speed Date?

No. Most speed dating companies will give you a sheet of paper with spaces for each person's first name and a tickbox next to it. After each individual speed date, write down the person's name who you just met. If you'd like to go on a longer, private date with them outside of the speed dating event, tick the checkbox. If you aren't interested in getting to know them better, do nothing. And the end of the night you'll be asked to hand in this paper. If someone else showed interest that you were also interested in, the speed dating company will then provide the two of you with some form of contact information (usually email) to initiate another date.

What Should I Wear To A Speed Dating Event?

Take a closer look at the location of the speed dating event before committing to an outfit. If the location is casual and laid-back, wear something that would be appropriate on a first date to that space. But if the location is upscale, trendy or high-end, make sure to cater your clothing appropriately.

As well, think about what message you want to present on a first date - with ten or more people. Most people will want to groom themselves attractively with something special to focus on, without appearing trashy or inappropriate. So try to wear something unusual that stands out so that your dates will remember you as the "one with the nice necklace" rather than the "one with too much skin exposed".

How Should I Act At A Speed Dating Event?

Above all, be yourself. Which can understandably be difficult in a high stress situation such as a first date, multiplied by however many people you're meeting in one evening. But being yourself is crucial to speed dating success, especially if you are looking for a long term, committed relationship. Would you want to meet a bunch of people who were putting on a face just to get another date? Of course not. So by being as comfortable as you can, you'll be secure in knowing that everyone else you are meeting is seeing the real you, and if they want to meet you again outside of the speed dating event, it is because they are genuinely interested.

How Can I Find Speed Dating Companies?

To find a speed dating company in your area, go to your favorite search engine and type in "Speed Dating" along with your town or area name. You'll most likely find a company or two (or more if you live in a high population area). There are also several speed dating companies that run events all around the country, such as: You could also try online speed dating, but it differs dramatically from regular speed dating, thus requiring a how-to all of its own.

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