Speed Dating: Should I Try It?

Speed Dating
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Many people have tried online dating, but most are still resistant to try speed dating. Something about spending only five minutes trying get to know your date before moving on to the next makes some people anxious, and I can't blame them. That's so much pressure - how can you possibly get to know someone in that small amount of time?

Since I spent six years as a speed dating host, I saw a lot of great people get completely overwhelmed and frustrated by the experience. But the problem was not with speed dating itself, or with the people who attended. The problem was that people approached it the wrong way, with unrealistic expectations.

While it seems like an easy concept - meet 15-20 people in one night in a series of mini-dates, see if you click, and if so, go out on a real date - it's not that simple. In real life, there aren't many places we go where we see someone across the room and instantly connect. Many people come to speed dating expecting this type of love at first sight. And they leave disappointed because they met a roomful of decent men or women, but none that make them swoon.

Instead of looking at speed dating as a chemistry test, I advise you to keep an open mind. Just because there's no love at first sight doesn't mean you shouldn't date someone who piques your interest or who you had a fun time talking with. Quite the opposite. Go out and give it a chance. Then you can make a more informed decision about whether or not you want to spend more time together. If you don't click romantically, then you've added a new friend to your network. I met several friends this way and was invited to a lot of parties, where I did eventually meet men that I dated. Speed dating is a great way to expand your social network.

For some people, speed dating means forced conversation, which isn't the best way to flirt and attract someone to you. Some of my clients would list off their attributes like they were in a job interview and had three minutes to sell themselves. This is not an effective way to engage. Women like to feel connected, so ask questions and engage her in conversation rather than just talking to her and you'll have more success.

It's also good to recognize that the same old questions get boring when asked over and over again. Many speed daters approach each other like they are at a cocktail party where they don't know anyone, asking the polite questions of "where are you from" or "what do you do?"

Instead of taking the traditional route, start to think outside the box. If you want to keep from falling asleep or crying from boredom after a couple of dates with the same stale questions, you have to think differently and mix things up. Ask one date about his most embarrassing experience. Ask another about what he likes to do on the weekend. And ask another what his favorite subject was in school. These are just examples - feel free to be creative.

Bottom line: keep an open mind, have fun, be creative, and don't take yourself or the speed dating process too seriously. It's a way to meet people outside of your immediate network, so try to enjoy yourself.

For more information on a two different speed dating services, you can read our Hurry Date review and our Speed Date review.