For some, dating just doesn’t come easy. They get reduced to a stuttering emotional mess in the presence of pretty women and just can’t seem to say or do the right thing. But the good news is that dating can be learned. The bad news is that learning dating skills takes time. This is why I love speedDating so much.
SpeedDating got its start in the late 1990s. A rabbi came up with the idea as a way to help Jewish singles meet and get married. The term “SpeedDating” is trademarked by a Jewish organization. The term “speed dating” is used in reference to any speed dating event.
Speed dating events usually have you meeting about 10 people in one night. One group of singles (usually the women) stay seated. The men then take turns sitting with the women in what resembles musical chairs. Speed dates usually last 3 to 8 minutes long. At the end of the night, the speed daters write down who they are interested in seeing again on a card. If two speed daters have shown an interest in each other, then they are given each others contact information.
Speed dating has gotten so popular that you can now find all sorts of special speed dating events, such as speed dating for tall people, religious speed dating, and even speed dating for younger women and older men.
A lot of people have dismissed speed dating as ridiculous or a way for desperate older singles to meet people. But speed dating is not what the Hollywood movie directors would have you think. It actually represents the quintessential essence of dating and can teach you a lot about dating.
Here are 6 important things you can learn from speed dating.
1. There are More Fish in the Sea than You Realized – and Many of them Are Interested in You
Speed dating is most popular with people in their 30s. By this point, many people have failed at finding Mr. or Mrs. Right and they are tired of looking at the traditional venues such as bars or clubs (which are terrible places to meet women anyway). People in their 30s are usually a bit stuck in their routines and don’t come in contact with new people very often. This can make it seem like there are absolutely no good single men or women left on the planet. Speed dating will erase this erroneous notion from your brain.
As soon as you go speed dating, you will immediately realize that there are a lot of great singles out there. Sure, some might be desperate losers, but most are just busy people like you who don’t have time to hang out in bars making chit chat and getting phone numbers. And, to the big surprise of many newbie speed daters, many of these singles are interested in you. If you have been depressed about your bad run of dating and feeling doomed to be single forever, a round of speed dating will put things back into perspective!
2. The Art of Conversation
One of the things I love best about speedDating is that it gives you a chance to work on your conversation skills. If you are chronically single, then chances are your bantering skills need a lot of work! What better way to improve them than having mini dates with 10 singles in one night?
The biggest mistake that most people make when talking to members of the opposite sex is being boring. I talked about this before in our post about what to say to a girl the first time you meet. A guy will ask a standard dull question like “What do you do for a living?” then follow this with another question like “Where did you go to school?” “How long have you lived here?” etc. etc.
Instead of a conversation, you end up an interview. And no one likes to be interviewed!
The first time you try speed dating, it is probably going to feel a bit like an interrogation. If anything, this will make you realize just how pointless those “polite” interview questions are. The next time you go speed dating, you will come prepared with broad questions that actually make people think and expose some of their personality. Trust me, you will have more luck by asking a girl at speed dating “what historical era would you like to live in?” than asking her about her job! Not sure what to ask? Here are some good speed dating question ideas.
3. You Will Get What You Expect
Hilory Wagner brings up an interesting point when she talks about her experience organizing speed dating events: “Keep an open mind. Whether you speed date or slow date, you will likely get what you expect. If you show up expecting a freak show, you will meet a sideshow act. If you approach your encounters mindfully, you may find a rare common interest or a shared passion.”
For example, if you go to a speed dating event expecting all the men to be losers, you would probably shape your interview questions (intentionally or not) along the lines of, “Why are you single?” or “What is your job?” Then, when they answer truthfully that their last girlfriend cheated on them, or that they are temporarily unemployed after getting laid off, you would say, “Ah ha! I knew it!”
By contrast, if you go to a speed dating event optimistically expecting to, at the very least, meet some interesting people, you would shape your speed dating questions along the lines of, “What’s the hardest thing you ever did in your life?” That answer to that question will give the interviewee a chance to show off his/her good attributes, like the willpower to climb a mountain or the compassion to take care of a sick parent.
This is true of all types of dating. Ever notice how guys who claim that “all women are crazy!” always manage to find the crazy girl in a bar, or the women who say that “men are dogs!” find the sleaziest guy? Just something to keep in mind!
4. Presentation Matters
One of the great things about speed dating is that most people take the time to get dressed up for the event. Men might not be in ties and formal wear, but they will put on a jacket and some nice shoes.
Which makes you wonder why men don’t put forth this same amount of effort when they go to the bar. Or even when they go out on a date!
Men: Appearance may not be that important to women, but presentation is! Take the time to groom yourself properly and put on a presentable outfit and your chances of picking up women will be dramatically improved.
5. Desperation Reeks
One of the most important things you will learn from speed dating will come from watching the hoards of desperate men hoping to get a date. Take a moment and watch how eager they are. The way they lean in too far in towards the women. The way they stupidly nod in agreement to everything the women say. It is downright disgusting. Do you want to be one of these men?
By contrast, the people who have the most success with speedDating are the ones who have fun. They are laughing, joking around, and even playfully teasing their speed dating partners. In dating, your only goal should be to have fun and meet some interesting new people. If you focus on this, the other cards will fall into place.
6. Evaluate What You Did Right and Wrong
After you get your speed dating matches, evaluate your performance. What worked with the matches you got? Were those the women you were joking around with? Why do you think you didn’t get a match with the foxy blond you really liked? Could it have been the fact that you overdid it with the complements?
In normal dating situations, such as meeting people in a bar, it is hard to evaluate your performance because there are too many variables to consider. Like a girl might just give you her phone number to be polite, or a man might only be looking for a casual hookup and doesn’t really care about dating. People who go to speed dating generally have the same intentions – to find someone for a long term relationship – so you get a unique opportunity to assess your skills and improve them.
Speed dating definitely isn't for everyone. But, if you don't have time to go out and meet women in new places, then speed dating might be just what you need. So, don't dismiss it until you've tried it.