Speed dating. Two words that spark a ton of questions:
- How much does it cost?
- What kind of people go to these events?
- What kind of girl does speed dating?
- What kind of guy does speed dating?
- How desperate do I seem if I go to an event?
- What if I hate it?
- What if nobody picks me?
I've always wanted to do it. I've never tried it. I'm a breakup recovery expert, so really, what business do I have trying to help people date? I did, however, get the chance to host an event in Boston the other night (for a friend who was ill) and I wanted to share my observations with you. Hopefully some of these observations will help you decide whether or not speed dating is for you.
Speed dating can cost anywhere from $10 to $50, depending on whether cocktails and appetizers are included. Generally if you do not meet a match, you will receive a coupon for a free event in the future - so you're not wasting your money simply by trying it out.
How It Works:
- Show up at the event (a little early if possible) dressed business-casual.
- Find the registration table, sign in, grab your dating card, put on your name-tag & head to the bar for a drink.
- At the designated time (usually 15 minutes after event start-time) sit at your designated table.
- Get your card out. With each date, you will write down the name of the person you spoke to and a simple Yes or No.
- Generally women remain seated at the table, and the men rotate every 3, 5, or 10 minutes.
- Chat nicely with each person you meet & try to make the best impression you can!
- When the event is over, hand your card to the event manager and head home.
- Usually within 48 hours, you will receive an email with your MUTUAL matches. This means that both of you indicated an interest.
- It is then up to you to email your mutual interests to set up your date.
The People Who Show:
- The most amazing, smart, professional, beautiful women are at speed dating events. I met a lawyer, an accountant, a ballroom dance teacher (and more!) at the event I hosted. These women were all gorgeous, all had something to say, and all were totally in shape and dressed to the 9's. I was highly impressed.
- The guys were all nice, but there weren't enough of them! According to my roster, a lot of men signed up for the event, but just never showed. Not sure if it's because there's a stigma attached to speed dating, or they had to work late, or what the deal was…but there were not enough men-to-women at the event I hosted, so I ended up dragging people over from the bar.
(Lack of) Desperation:
I didn't think that any of the people who showed at the event appeared desperate. It seemed to me that everyone had a life, but perhaps were too busy working, or perhaps too shy to approach someone in public (okay, I'm mostly talking about the guys here - the girls were mostly outgoing), or just hate the bar scene.
The Ones Who (Thankfully) Got Away:
While most of the people were really awesome & there for the right reasons…there were 2 women with an "I'm too good for this" attitude. They made everyone in the room uncomfortable - including me. They ended up leaving before the event started anyway…and honestly, I was grateful for it…and so was everyone else.
- If you're going to speed date, go in with a positive attitude.
- If the attendees aren't the "type" of people you would normally date, then use the situation to practice your listening skills, or your interview skills, or just social skills in general.
- Ask questions.
- Listen (this is the most important!).
- Shake hands (don't hug - it's awkward).
- When time is up, thank the person for their time & smile at the next person approaching (don't ask them whether or not they will choose you).
- Keep in mind that if you don't get any matches, you generally get a coupon to try it again for free another time.
- Also keep in mind that if you don't get any matches - it doesn't mean that nobody was interested in you. You are only told your MUTUAL matches. So try to stay positive.
And my final observation: If you're a guy and you're looking for a relationship - TRY SPEED DATING! Again, the women I met were amazing and I think it's a gold mine for men who are actively looking for a relationship.
I'm not actually trying to promote a speed-dating service - I just filled in for a friend - so I don't have any specific links to give. But if you want to try it, check out Meetup.com for an event near you!
Have you ever tried speed dating? If so, how was it?