Speed dating can be a fun and exciting way to meet new people, but it can also be a little intimidating. If you’re considering trying speed dating, here are some tips to help you make the most of the experience:
- Be open-minded: Speed dating is all about meeting new people and getting to know them quickly. This can be a great opportunity to try something new and step outside your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid to talk to people you might not normally talk to, and keep an open mind about whom you might connect with. For example, you might normally only date people within a certain age range, but at a speed dating event, you might find that you click with someone outside that range.
- Dress to impress: First impressions are important, so make sure you put your best foot forward by dressing appropriately. Choose something that makes you feel confident and comfortable, but also shows off your personality. For example, if you’re a fan of vintage clothing, consider wearing a stylish retro outfit to the event.
- Practice active listening: One of the keys to successful speed dating is being an active listener. This means fully engaging with the person you’re talking to and paying attention to what they have to say. Avoid interrupting or monopolising the conversation, and make an effort to ask follow-up questions and show genuine interest in their answers. For example, if your date mentions that they enjoy hiking, you could ask them about their favourite trails or ask for recommendations for your next hiking trip.
- Prepare some questions: It’s natural to feel a little nervous when speed dating, and one way to help calm your nerves is to have a few questions prepared in advance. Consider asking about their hobbies, interests, or job to get the conversation started. For example, you might ask, “What do you like to do in your free time?” or “What do you do for work?”
- Be yourself: It can be tempting to try to impress your date by being someone you’re not, but this is often a recipe for disaster. Instead, just be yourself and let your true personality shine through. This will make you more relatable and attractive to your date, and it will also help you feel more comfortable and confident. For example, if you’re normally a little shy, don’t try to be someone who is outgoing and extroverted. Instead, embrace your natural personality and let your date get to know the real you.
- Pay attention to body language: Nonverbal cues can be a powerful way to communicate, and they can also be a helpful tool for assessing your date’s level of interest. Pay attention to their body language, eye contact, and overall demeanour to get a sense of how they’re feeling about the conversation. For example, if your date is leaning in and making strong eye contact, this could be a sign that they’re interested in what you have to say.
- Avoid controversial topics: Speed dating is meant to be a fun and lighthearted experience, so it’s best to avoid discussing sensitive or controversial subjects. Stick to topics that are neutral and easy to talk about, such as travel, movies, or your favourite hobbies. For example, it’s probably best to avoid discussing politics or religion during a speed dating session.
- Don’t be afraid to take a break: If you’re feeling overwhelmed or just need a moment to gather your thoughts, it’s perfectly fine to take a brief break from the conversation. Excuse yourself to go to the bathroom or get a drink, and use the time to regroup and refocus. For example, if you’re feeling a little anxious or tongue-tied, it’s okay to take a moment to compose yourself before diving back into the conversation.
- Be positive: A positive attitude can go a long way in making a good impression on your date. Focus on the things you have in common and the things you appreciate about your date, and try to keep the conversation light and upbeat. For example, if your date mentions that they love to travel, you could say something like, “I love travelling too! Where is your favourite place you’ve visited?”
- Follow up: If you hit it off with someone during your speed dating session, don’t be afraid to follow up and suggest a more traditional date. Even if things didn’t work out, it’s always polite to send a quick message thanking your date for their time and wishing them well. For example, if you had a great time talking to someone at the speed dating event, you could send them a message saying something like, “It was great meeting you at the speed dating event last night. I’d love to grab a coffee or go on a proper date sometime if you’re interested.”
Overall, the key to successful speed dating is to be open-minded, stay positive, and remember to have fun. By following these tips and keeping an open mind, you’re sure to have a great time and maybe even meet that special someone.
- Finkel, E. J., Eastwick, P. W., Karney, B. R., Reis, H. T., & Sprecher, S. (2012). Online dating: A critical analysis from the perspective of psychological science. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 13(1), 3-66.
This study provides a comprehensive overview of the psychological science behind online dating, including a discussion of the strengths and limitations of the various approaches used by dating websites.
- Finkel, E. J., Eastwick, P. W., Karney, B. R., Reis, H. T., & Sprecher, S. (2012). Speed-dating as an invaluable tool for studying romantic attraction: A methodological primer. Personal Relationships, 19(1), 3-22.
This article discusses the use of speed-dating as a tool for studying romantic attraction and the various factors that can influence the likelihood of a connection between two people.
- Eastwick, P. W., & Finkel, E. J. (2008). Sex differences in mate preferences revisited: Do people know what they initially desire in a romantic partner? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 94(2), 245-264.
This study examines the role of gender in mate preferences, including the ways in which men and women differ in what they are looking for in a romantic partner.
- Preißler, S., Back, M. D., & Egloff, B. (2015). Speed-dating: A powerful tool for predicting romantic attraction. European Journal of Personality, 29(3), 259-268.
This study investigates the predictive power of speed-dating events in terms of romantic attraction, including the influence of physical attractiveness, social anxiety, and goal orientation.