Guide to Speed Dating: Everything You Need to Know

Speed Dating Event - Dates

Hi there, speed-dating newbs! If you’re curious about what speed dating is and if you are contemplating checking out how it works and going to an event, stick with us. Speed dating is a fun and fast way to meet lots of people without spending a lot of time and energy doing so. Want to know more? Keep reading along, and we’ll go over everything you need to know as a first-timer in our Speed Dating 101 crash course!

Speed dating is a pre-planned, organized affair where singles meet and interact for a set period of time, usually between 3 to 10 minutes, with the goal of seeing if any single daters make a connection. After the time is up, a bell or buzzer dings, and participants rotate, meaning people meet several potential compatible partners in a single sitting (or seatings).

The ‘Why’ Behind Speed Dating

You might be scratching your head thinking, why would anyone want to go on lots of tiny dates in one night? Well, lots of reasons, actually!

Quick and Easy Graph

Quick and Easy: Think about meeting heaps of people all in one go, without heaps of different dates. Pretty convenient, right?

Fun Graph

It’s Fun: With only a few minutes per date, there’s no time for awkwardness and no weird “see ya’s” if things aren’t looking promising compatibility-wise.

Interaction Graph

Real-Life Interaction: You can take a break (at least for a few hours) from dating apps and talk to people sitting right in front of you!

Safe Graph

A Safe Place to Mingle: All the organizing is done for you in a safe, public place, making it super easy and safe to meet new people.

Meeting People Graph

Make New Acquaintances: Even if love doesn’t materialize, you might make some new friends in the process.

Adventure Graph

An Adventure in Dating: It’s most definitely a change from the usual night out and a fun change of pace!

So that’s why people do it—to shake things up with a mix of fun, meeting singles IRL, and maybe, just maybe, connecting with someone you’d like to see again.

What to Expect

  • Timed Interactions: Be ready for quick conversations. Each ‘date’ will be short and sweet, so ensure your questions are engaging and revealing.
  • Rotation: After your mini-date time expires, you’ll move to the next person, jumping off a new interaction.
  • Note-taking: Keep track of your impressions. You’ll meet several people, so quick notes will help you remember what you thought about the people you meet.
  • Post-Event Connections: If mutual interest is expressed, event organizers facilitate the exchange of contact information—usually via email.

Prepping for Speed Dating

When preparing for an event there are some important speed dating etiquette tips you should know.

  • Wardrobe Choices: Dress for success! At dating, that is, this isn’t a work function or a job interview. Wear something that makes you feel good and confident about yourself!
  • Practice Your Introduction: You don’t have to prepare a whole speech or anything close to one, just a few words, so you have a self-intro ready to go when someone sits down across from you. Remember, first impressions count!
  • Prepare Questions: Think of a few open-ended questions that let your date share things about themselves that will also let you see a bit about their character.
  • Mindset: Stay open and non-judgmental. You’ll probably be meeting diverse people, so be receptive and respectful.
Woman Writing on a Journal

Navigating the Event

  • Punctuality: Arrive on time to make sure you understand the lay of the land and process so you can be chill by the time the speed dating kicks off.
  • Body Language: Maintain open and inviting body language—a genuine smile and active listening go a long way.
  • Honesty: Be genuine in your interactions. Authenticity always creates better connections, full stop.

Post-Speed Dating

  • Follow-up: Reach out to matches in a timely manner, keeping the momentum by asking if they’d like to go on a second date—a longer one.
  • Reflect: Consider what went well and areas to possibly improve upon for any future speed dating events.
  • Be Kind: If you’re not interested in pursuing a connection further, express this in a polite way to hopefully avoid any hurt feelings.

Tips for Success

  • Be Yourself: Genuine interactions pave the way for meaningful connections.
  • Avoid Taboo Topics: Steer clear of heavy topics like politics or religion unless they’re dealbreakers to your compatibility.
  • Quality Over Quantity: Prioritize making a few real connections over trying to impress everyone you meet.
  • Manage Expectations: Approach the event with a fun and open mindset rather than expecting to find “the one.” But it’s always possible, so don’t go in with a negative attitude, either!

Concluding Thoughts

That’s all, folks! The fast and fun world of speed dating is such a great way to put yourself out there and meet new people. We know it sounds like a lot, but there is no need to get all stressed out—just be yourself, keep things light, and have a great time!

Maybe your speedy date chat leads to another date, or maybe you just enjoy a fun evening out. Either way, you’re winning! So, ready to give it a whirl? It’s like musical chairs but with potential romance!

Molly Davis
Molly Davis

Molly is an East Coast writer who lives on West Coast time. She’s been in the journalism field for over 20 years — newspapers are her first love but she’s finding digital media to be just as fun and challenging as print! When she’s not giving therapist-quality dating advice, she’s curled up watching movies, reading, or volunteering at local dog shelters.