What to Expect at a Speed Dating Event
So you are scheduled for a speed dating event. Here's some advice on how to get the most out of the night. I like to refer to this as speed dating etiquette. Because I host and plan the events I have first hand knowledge on what works and what doesn't. Here is what I've found:
- Arrive 10-15 mins early to give yourself time for registration, food, drinks and to scope out the event.
- I suggest using an alias when giving your name at a speed dating event. To protect your privacy. Be sure to include your alias and real name on the registration forms. Let the host know to use your alias. When you are ready, you can tell your matches your real name.
- Invite a friend of the opposite sex. Many of my guest do this and have a lot of fun. This way at some point during the event, you can re-group, relax, and share progress. Sometimes they end up being a mutual match!
- Make it a Ladies or Guys night out! Most of the times host offer groups discounts. It will definitely make for a conversation worth having. And by inviting all same sex friends, you never "waste dates" with someone you already know.
- Speed dating events are meant to be fun and social. If you are not a social person you may feel uncomfortable...and thus look uncomfortable. You should at least be comfy with meeting several people you don't know and starting a conversation with them. Most events will have some kind of conversation starters or speed dating questions available.
- Assume you'll be the one getting the conversation going-- ask engaging questions. Try to stay away from asking questions that can be simply answered with "yes" or "no". Questions like: "What makes you tick and why?" or "If you were stranded on an island what 3 things would you be caught likely be caught with" something that can spiral into a conversation about other things.
- Be a great listener and be genuine. Don't tell lies, people tend to remember the first conversation you have for a very long time. Take notes if you need to (after they leave) to help you with your decision making.
- Make sure your appearance is going to be one of the first things your dates notice. I usually tell guest to dress smart casual, unless otherwise noted.
- Try not to eat any onions, garlic, or any other foods that could make your breath not so fresh, if you know what I mean. Poor hygiene all together is a total turnoff. Come fresh, clean and cut, for best results. Having mints, breath sweetener, or gum is not a bad idea. Just don't do it in front of a date, it could be a turn off.
- Usually more women than men show up. So guys, come on out-- If there aren't enough men attending, beautiful single ladies are sometimes turned away or the event may be cancelled/ rescheduled. Many of the women are single by choice and ready to meet someone who's not afraid of someone unique and outgoing.
- Be genuine and don't try to be something or someone you are not. Bragging is not to cool-- most people who brag don't end up getting a match. Stay away from conversations that revolve around income, religion, and politics. I've seen things get ugly. If someone brings up one of those topics, change the subject for anticipation to discuss it at a later time.
- It's speed dating, but take your time and really use the most of your few minutes to get your dates vibe. And remember, first impressions are everything! Make it a good one, and don't ignore red flags!
- Have fun, be optimistic, and daring. Got get em'!
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