what is speed dating

Demystifying Romance: What Is Speed Dating?

“Speed dating, your love at lightning speed.” – Unknown

Everything today needs to be fast, including dating. Instead of meeting one person at a time and figuring out if they’re right for you, you can meet several individuals at once and decide which person you want to keep dating. Speed dating is a novel and interesting approach to finding a partner you’d like to spend time with. But is it right for you?

Join us as we discuss what speed dating is, how it works, and its pros and cons.

What Is Speed Dating?

Speed Dating

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According to Wikipedia, speed dating is “a formalized matchmaking process with the purpose of encouraging eligible singles to meet a large number of new potential partners in a very short period of time.”

It involves well-planned events that are intended to help interested single people meet and interact with one another in the hopes that by the end of the day, they have promising friendships that can potentially lead to a relationship.

In speed dating, participants are allotted a short amount of time to interact with several prospective candidates. Short conversations help them determine if they would like to get to know someone better.

Speed dating has become a solution for busy people who want to be in relationships but find it difficult to meet the right person.

The central concept behind speed dating is to bring in as many single people as possible in a single setting so they can mingle and meet someone they like. The format is simple: you spend time chatting with each of the potential candidates, and from there, you will know if it’s a hit or miss.

How Does Speed Dating Work?

How Does Speed Dating Work

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Speed dating is usually organized and held at event spaces, restaurants, and function halls. It often includes food and drinks to promote a casual and chill environment where everyone can relax and have a good time.

Today, there are also speed dating events held online, but the traditional face-to-face approach is definitely one that you should try.

These events are sponsored and hosted by organizations or individuals. They can also be part of marketing campaigns. Before the event, participants need to pre-register and purchase tickets so the organizers can control the number of participants and plan the event.

The number of participants in a speed dating event varies. Before the actual event, those who registered are grouped by age, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, income, profession, and interests. Usually, a questionnaire is also provided before the event so the organizers can collate the data of each participant.

During the day of the speed dating, you will be provided with a scorecard and a nametag. The host will also offer an overview of how speed dating works, how long each round will last, the number of speed daters, and other guidelines for the event.

The total number of participants will be divided into two groups. One group will remain seated throughout the event while the other group will rotate seats after every round. Once the event starts, you will be paired with different partners or dates. These rounds can last anywhere from 2 minutes to 10 minutes based on the number of participants.

You’ll likely interact with a minimum of five partners during a speed dating event. With every new partner, you can chat and get to know them. There will also be a timer that will go off to signal that it is time to move on to the next partner. In between changing partners, you’ll have a few minutes to mark your scorecard and write down notes and reminders.

After the rounds are completed, a social activity can follow, usually with some cocktails. You can spend this time to further mingle with other participants. When the activity ends, you have to submit your finalized scorecard or fill out a new form so the organizers can collate the participants that you would like to see again.

Once this is completed, the organizers will advise you if any of the people you indicated in your scorecard are also interested in you so that contact information can be exchanged. Then, it will be up to you to catch up or make plans in the future.

The Rules of Speed Dating

Rules of Speed Dating

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Individuals new to speed dating may feel cautious and even a little worried about meeting not one but several random strangers in a single night, much less in two or three hours.

Speed dating organizers prioritize safety and security during these events, which is why all events are properly hosted and have public settings. Participants who misbehave are usually asked to leave.

The rules of a speed dating event vary depending on the organizer. As a participant, here are some of the rules and guidelines that you need to be aware of:

#1. Be open to the experience and keep an open mind.

It’s natural to have some reservations and doubts, but try to set these aside. It is also best to leave your assumptions and judgments behind before the event. If you aren’t 100% open to speed dating, then you won’t likely enjoy its full benefits.

#2. Stick to conversation topics that are general and safe.

Since you’ll be talking to new people for a few minutes, it’s best to stay away from controversial topics like religion, race, and politics. Focus on topics like interests and hobbies.

#3. Communicate effectively.

Communicating doesn’t mean having a one-sided conversation. Try to maintain a balance between listening and speaking as you interact with the participants.

#4. Be yourself.

Like regular dating, it’s best to be true to yourself. You don’t need to fabricate lies or work super hard to impress another person. Your strong points and flaws make you unique and interesting.

#5. Prioritize character over looks.

Sure, the first thing you’ll consider is the physical appearance of a person, but don’t prioritize it to the point that you miss seeing and appreciating the personality of the person you are talking with.

The Good and Bad of Speed Dating

Good and Bad

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Every process has its pros and cons, and speed dating is no exception. It works to your advantage if you learn as much about this dating methodology before participating. This will help you manage your expectations and minimize the adjustments you have to make on the spot.

Benefits of Speed Dating

a. It gives you an immediate idea of your chemistry.

Face-to-face dating will let you know if you share chemistry with someone. Instant attraction is something you can feel in minutes. This is contrary to online dating where you can chat with that person for months only to discover that there is no attraction when you finally decide to meet.

b. It gives you the chance to meet several potential partners in one go.

Maximize your Friday night and meet several prospective partners whom you find interesting. Meeting someone you find worthy of your time is hard enough. You’ll have to schedule time to go out and explore the relationship. With speed dating, you have one event to go to and the names and contact information of the people you want to get to know further are immediately provided to you.

c. It saves you effort, time, and money.

Consider it as several dates with multiple people but with only one venue in a single night. There’s no need to shell out cash on multiple dates because you only have to finance once and you’re all set. This also saves you from getting ready multiple times and making many adjustments to your schedule. Most importantly, it reduces multiple bouts of awkwardness and uncertainties.

The Drawbacks of Speed Dating

a. You feel pressured because of time.

As the name suggests, everything is done quicker than usual, so the feelings of being pressured and rushed are real. You may not have enough time to determine if you like the person or not while gauging your chemistry and compatibility.

b. Speed dating is not for those with social anxiety.

Meeting a new person is never easy, so imagine meeting several people in two hours. That’s going to make your anxiety shoot to the roof. This can be nerve-wracking and unpleasant for some people.

c. It can lead to further disappointment in your love life.

Although you have a higher chance of meeting potential partners when you participate in a speed dating event, you may also meet people who you don’t want to pursue, which can be disappointing and frustrating.

A Few Parting Words

Speed dating can seem exciting and promising. After all, who wouldn’t want to meet potential partners that they can be romantically involved with? But if you’re new to it, it’s best to maintain realistic expectations and a healthy attitude. Think about it as an opportunity to possibly meet new friends. If you get lucky and meet someone you really click with, well, that’s just a wonderful and unexpected bonus.

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