The Secrets Of Speed Dating

Speed Dating
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You know how speed dating works. An equal number of men and women attend an event. Each person spends a set period of time chatting to a prospective date, before half the guests rotate and everyone is introduced to a new potential partner. At the end of the night, each person indicates who they are interested in seeing again, and if there's a match, the organizers arrange an exchange of details.

But there's plenty you probably don't know about speed dating. Like the story of its origin: did you know that speed dating was invented by a Rabbi? Rabbi Yaacov Deyo, a Los Angeles resident and director Aish HaTorah (a Jewish Orthodox organization with a network of branches around the world), originally founded speed dating as a way to help Jewish singles meet and marry. In fact, SpeedDating, written as a single word, is a registered trademark of Aish HaTorah.

The first speed dating event took place at Peet's Café in Beverly Hills in late 1998, but it didn't take long for the idea to spread beyond Southern California. Within a year or so, the speed dating idea had gone viral and imitations had popped up around the country. It was a revolutionary way for busy singles to meet each other without the stigma associated with other kinds of dating agencies.

Although online dating is on the forefront of everyone's minds these days, it doesn't mean speed dating isn't worth a try. Science has a few interesting facts to keep in mind if you're looking to take the leap into speed dating:

  1. First impressions really do count, and they happen fast. More than one study has concluded that most people make their choices within the first 30 seconds of meeting someone new.
  2. Deeper issues, like religion, previous marriages, and smoking habits, were found to play a much smaller role than expected.
  3. If you're looking to woo someone quickly, talk about your adventures abroad. Studies have found that dialogue concerning travel results in more matches than dialogue about films.
  4. Don' judge a book by its cover, if you can help it. As is the case with online dating, what people say they want in an ideal mate when asked about it frequently does not match up with their subconscious preferences in practice.
  5. Meeting in person has one serious leg-up on meeting online: your sense of smell. Scientific research has found that olfaction plays a major role in attraction, and that people wearing pheromones receive more matches. Try getting that through a computer screen.
  6. Studies of speed dating events have generally shown more selectivity among women than among men, but more recent studies suggest that selectivity is based on which gender is seated and which is rotating. It may be that whoever is seated is more selective, regardless of sex.