Perhaps you’re thinking about trying something new in your search for a significant other. Meeting via video is the hot new way to date, but there is some online speed dating dos and don’ts to follow, to ensure you get the most out of the event.
If you’re new to live digital dating, read our guide on what – and what not – to do for a successful outcome.
Online speed dating dos and don’ts
Online speed dating has been designed to create a stress-free, seamless experience for daters living busy, hectic lives. There’s little you have to think about beyond getting your tech setup. But as with any online process, online speed dating has to follow some (simple) rules.
The online speed dating experience
Like face to face speed dating, and even though it’s online, you need to book in advance. This is so that the organisers can keep an equal balance of men and women. Because of this, virtual dating nights often sell out tickets for one gender or the other, or both.
They host runs the night and give you the opportunity to spend several minutes chatting to each man or woman via a private chat room. After a few minutes, you swap into a different ‘room’. It’s all very slick and straightforward.
Online speed dating rules – getting started
You’ve had a look at availability – but what else do you need to check before you make it to your first online speed dating event?
Do book in advance
Book a slot that fits your geographical area and age range. Yes, it’s done remotely, but it’s still important to connect with locals if you want to find a match you can meet up with regularly in future.
Do plug in before you start
Video conferencing uses a fair bit of power, so ensure you’re device is charged and plugged in. You don’t want to miss your perfect match because you had a low battery!
Do set up your frame
Check your device camera is pointed at you, in a way that is flattering and clear. Turn on enough lights, and get rid of any junk and mess in the background. You should also test your mic and camera works before starting, and turn up your volume.
Here are some tips for video conferencing.
Don’t be late
The host won’t be able to wait for you. And although everyone’s joining from home or a remote location, it doesn’t mean they have time to waste waiting. And with no travel to consider, there are no excuses for being tardy!
Do follow the host’s instructions
If you’ve been speed dating before you might think you know the drill. But in an online format, practicalities are slightly different (you won’t need to move along a space on your sofa at the ring of a bell!). Follow what the host says and you won’t miss a beat.
Do silence notifications
Make sure you’re not interrupted by emails and messenger notifications. Mute them, so you’re not distracted by screen pop-ups and pings.
Don’t ask people if you’re a match
Don’t push anyone for their contact details, or to reveal whether they’re going to mark you down as a match. The system is there for a reason and deviating it can and will make people uncomfortable. Just because you’re in a private chat room for each date, doesn’t mean you can abandon the rules.
Do say if you’re made to feel uncomfortable by an attendee
If you have security concerns, then this type of dating is perfect for you. You’re safe at home with no worries about catching the late bus or getting a cab. No one gets your contact details unless you want them passed on – and it’s not a conversation you have to have with the person or people in question. You pass your information to the company or organisation hosting and if you have any issues, report them to the host.
Don’t drink too much
Enjoy a drink, but don’t overdo it. Just because you’re not in a bar doesn’t mean you can’t partake, but being drunk or tipsy is a definite no-no. You won’t come across at your best. It might feel like it’s taking the edge off the nerves (and a drink or two is fine for this), but don’t use alcohol as a crutch for relaxation. Instead, try some meditation or mindfulness and positive thinking.
Don’t be offensive
It’s ok to be flirty if it feels right and there seems to be some instant chemistry, but don’t go over the top – never, ever do anything that could possibly be construed as offensive. Always aim to put the other person at ease
Do ask some interesting questions
Remember, you don’t have long with each person, so you have to really harness that time. And the best way to break the ice is to ask something to get the conversation ball rolling. It shouldn’t be so tricky that it takes ages to come up with an answer, but neither should it be something that every other person has asked them that night.
Do think of possible answers as well as your questions
And don’t forget to think about how you might answer. A rookie mistake would be to line-up sparkling questions, but then go quiet when having to respond. Here are some super ones ideal for that first meeting.
How to win at online speed dating
If you can make them laugh, all the better. Unlike online dating, you won’t have already established a connection, so you need to do this on the night, through your camera.
What are the rules of online speed dating?
At the end of the night, you fill in a form letting the hosts know who you’d like to see again. If you the match with someone, they will pass your details on – and vice versa. But if there isn’t anyone who takes your fancy, no one gets your details -even if they wanted to date you again.
- Can you go speed dating alone?
Speed dating has been the start of many long term relationships and successful marriages – and most of those people attended alone. By all means book with friends for moral support, but you’ll probably make more of an effort to mix if you’re by yourself. If online, it’s far less distracting if you do it by yourself, rather than in the same room as someone else.
- How long is online speed dating?
This will depend on the number of participants and the length of each date (usually around four minutes each). But in general, you can expect an online event to last two to three hours, around the same duration as it would be in a venue for the same amount of participants.
- Is online speed dating better than online dating?
It depends on your preferences, as it’s a different medium and a different way of meeting people. You’ll get straight down to face to face (on-screen) chatting with a mix of singles, instead of swiping and messaging to see if you click.