Read on for our top tips to make sure you’re all set for speed dating and get the very best out of the experience
How to prepare for a speed dating event
Like a scout, you should always be prepared! It makes life easier, less stressful and usually results in increased levels of success in any field of life and that includes dating. It’ll also make a huge difference in alleviating any nerves around attending an event. Preparing is easy and doesn’t take very long at all. It may even save you time.
Trying speed dating near me
Perhaps you’re just at the stage of thinking about speed dating. If this is the case, your first step to prepare is to find an event happening near you. If you’re new to an area or live far from a major city or town, you may not be familiar with some of the venues. Google maps is a fantastic way to quickly and easily check travel options, including journey time and public transport services (don’t forget to click on the dates and times you’ll be going to get an accurate picture).
A part of preparation is knowing what to expect. Rest assured that everything is taken care of by the team in terms of practicalities. You’ll be met by the host who’ll run proceedings. Women take a seat and usually stay in that position. Men sit opposite but move one seat along every time the bell rings (this can be between two minutes and eight minutes). It’s up to you – and the person opposite – what you do in that time frame though.
The history of Speed Dating
The busyness of life makes it hard to find time to date, and tricky to identify who (and where) the singles are. Speed dating was invented in the 1990s by Rabbi Yaacov Deyo who wanted to help matchmake Jewish couples.
Preparing for your first speed dating night
So if the host takes care of most things, what do you need to think about before – and on – the night? Here’s a tick list you may want to cover.
- Your outfit. Work out to wear in advance. There’s nothing worse than realising two hours before that you don’t have a suitable outfit – or that it’s in the wash.
- Questions. Have some chat ready.
- Answers. People often plan their questions but forget to think about how they might respond when asked common ones.
- Travel plans. Work out how you’re going to get there and back, and allow extra time for traffic jams, delays and getting lost, especially if travelling at peak times. Arriving late may mean you’re excluded, or miss your minutes with a perfect match.
- Grooming. Always make sure you’re clean, washed and tidy, ideally with a splash of good quality fragrance.
- Money. You’ll have already paid, but if you want to order drinks from the bar, don’t forget your purse or wallet.
- Interruptions. Put your phone or smartwatch on silent with no vibration. Your time with each person is short, so you don’t want to be distracted and disturbed. Do take your phone along though, you might want to make your own notes, or call a taxi afterwards.
- Appointments. If you want to get your hair or nails done, be sure to book these as soon as you have your place. It can be easy to forget and not get around to doing it for ages. If you leave it till the last minute you may find you can’t get in.
How to win at speed dating
Relationship guru Sally Landau met her husband while speed dating. Here are some tips from her on finding success.
Prep for speed dating to help approach anxiety
Don’t worry if you’re feeling anxious. This is really common, so you’re not alone, in fact most people there will be feeling the same. By following our tips you’ll feel more prepared and less worried about the event, confident in the knowledge that you know what to expect and have an idea what to say.
Find speed dating questions
How do you start a conversation with a complete stranger? It can be awkward knowing what to talk about and how to break the ice, which is where your prep comes in. Once you’ve introduced yourselves, ask some questions. These say as much about you as their response does about them.
Take turns asking questions – you may only get time for one each, but have several up your sleeve just in case, especially if you don’t want to ask each date the same thing. Keep it to open questions, that is anything that doesn’t result in a yes or no response. This will enable the conversation to flow, using the question as a starting point.
Stuck for ideas? We’ve got it covered. Here’s some inspiration for great topics and questions to ask.
Once you’ve prepared all that’s left is to enjoy it. If you’re still feeling anxious, you could try some meditation or mindfulness exercises, then relax and see what happens! After all, this could be the night you meet your significant other.
- How do you stand out in speed dating?
Ask great questions and maintain positive, open body language with friendly, relaxed eye contact and a genuinely warm smile. Dress well with a splash of colour and a statement piece. And be yourself.
- What do you wear to a speed dating event?
We recommend a smart casual style outfit. Something you look and feel good in, that’s comfortable and works for a long period of sitting down. Read more about what to wear when speed dating in this article.