Tuesday, 27 November 2012
At most speed dating events, a group of about the same number of men and women all meet at the same venue. At the beginning of the event, one set of participants (either the males or the females) sits at a table, and a member of the other set sits at each table. Each table therefore consists of one man and one woman talking for a set period of time. After the period of time has ended, the other set of participants rotates to the next table until each person has conversed with each member of the opposite sex present.
Meanwhile, after each conversation takes place, participants use a special scorecard to mark whether or not they would be interested in further pursuing each participant with whom they have spoken. The scorecard consists of either the names or the assigned numbers of each opposite-sex participant. Next to each name/assigned number is a box which is to be checked either “yes” for “I am interested in this person” or “no” for “I am not interested in this person” after the conversation with each person has ended.
At the end of the event, the hosts will collect everybody’s scorecard. If the hosts find that two people checked “yes” for one another, the host later emails both people and gives them the contact information of the other person so that they may further contact one another, if they desire.
Speed dating events are held daily all around the country, so there is a large chance that such an event will be held close to where you live very soon. Are you interested in trying out speed dating for yourself? Here are some tips to consider before you attend a speed dating event:
1) Relax! Yes, you are at an event in which you will meet and talk to a lot of strangers, but don’t be nervous. Remember: everybody else is in the same boat as you are. There is no pressure for you to find your future husband or wife in that room, and do not think that your success in finding somebody to date at this event is indicative of how desirable you are as a person.
2) Dress in an outfit that makes you feel confident, but also try to make your outfit reflect your personal style. Much of speed dating is dependent upon first impressions, since you are only conversing with each person for a very limited amount of time. Not only do you want to make a good first impression, but you also want to give people an idea of who you are. Don’t wear a fancy dress if you hate wearing dresses. Don’t wear tight, revealing clothing if you normally enjoy wearing baggy sweaters. Don’t put on a Dracula costume unless you regularly dress up as Dracula and chase children down the street. Put your best foot forward by wearing something that makes you feel confident and shows off your own style.
3) Don’t lie about who you are. Again, you want to make sure that your potential dates will see you for who you are. If you want to eventually have a long-lasting relationship, starting that relationship off with a lie is never a good idea. If you eventually end up in a relationship with a person you meet from speed dating, that person will eventually find out that you have been lying.
4) Engage in a conversation with each person. You may feel that coming to a speed dating event with a set list of questions is a good idea. Each person looks for slightly different qualities in a partner, and you want to know if each person at the speed dating event possesses those qualities. Good! The only problem is that you are only talking to each person for about ten minutes, maximum, so know that you will not have time to ask all the questions you want to ask.
Instead of coming to the event with a set list of questions that you plan to ask every person, try to engage in a conversation with each person. Ask a question or two, but use your partner’s answers to these questions to start a conversation. Did your partner say that he or she enjoys spending time in California? Maybe you like to travel there frequently, too! Talk about California. Does your partner like dogs? You have a dog, and you love dogs! Talk about dogs.
Remember that each person at a speed dating event will have multiple conversations with multiple people, and you may be asked the same candid questions over and over again (“Where are you from?”, “What do you do for fun?”, “Where did you go to college?”) Having an engaging conversation with somebody breaks up the monotony of answering the same candid questions over and over again and will hopefully help you to stand out to each person present.
5) If you are matched with somebody and are interested in seeing that person again, contact that personally gradually. Great! You have a match! Now what? You do not want to feel awkward, but you do want to talk to that person again. Do not bombard the person’s phone with messages; rather, exchange a couple of emails with that person and then set up a date and see where things go. Who knows? You may have a long-term relationship in the works!
If you are interested in giving speed dating a try, check out this website to find upcoming speed dating events in your area. If you are interested in speed dating events specifically for the LGBT community, click here.
What do you think about the speed dating “process”? Have you ever tried speed dating? What did you like and/or not like about it?