Speed dating is becoming increasingly popular, as Americans find themselves busy with multiple jobs and hobbies. Most of us simply don’t have time to “cruise” for singles, or perhaps we find that our old approach to finding dating partners simply isn’t working.
A speed date is an extremely short sit down meeting between people interested in finding a dating partner. The events are coordinated ahead of time — people sign up and agree to meet at a specific place, usually a quiet bar or restaurant, and then meet a predetermined number of people for a set amount of time. The standard is something like this — each person meets between 10 and 20 potential dates for a period of time between 7 and 10 minutes. The speed dating time is kept very strictly by the “manager” of the speed dating event, and afterwards, people are “matched” based on their responses to one another. Its also possible to exhange contact information directly with someone if you manage to hit it off in such a short time.
The Key To Speed Dating
The key to speed dating is being honest and asking the right questions of your partner. What are some good speed dating questions?
The types of questions you ask depends on the type of person you are and the type of person you’re looking for.
There are a few unique questions that I’ve had success with, and work no who you are or who you’re looking for. Start out with some of these more generic questions before turning the conversation to your specific personality type.
- “You’re cooking dinner for a friend and you burned the main course. What do you do?” This is a coy way of determining if your speed date is down to earth or a wound-up manic type of person.
- “If you could travel to your own past and correct a mistake you’ve made, would you do it?” This question avoids asking about the specific mistake and instead will give you a general idea of the person’s attitude toward life.
- “Who was your hero as a child?” This question can tell you more about a person than it might seem — you may find out that someone is a religious fanatic, or that they have a political leaning that you don’t share. You may also find that this question leads to other interesting questions, or can really break the ice if someone is nervous.
- “What is the last book that you read?”
- “What newspapers or online news sites do you follow?”
- “Who is your favorite philosopher?”
These kinds of questions will let your potential date know that you are interested in smart partners, and could filter out many potential bad dates well in advance.
If you’re the adventurous type, ask questions along these lines:
- “If you had a roundtrip ticket to any exotic location in the world, where would you go?”
- “What is an extreme sport you’ve always wanted to try?”
- “If you could be lost in the desert, the rainforest, or at sea, which would you choose?”
If the person you’re speed dating has no answer or seems disinterested, they may not be willing to kayak with you on the weekend, or visit a wartorn country that’s perfect for off the map snowboarding. You can decide then and there that they’re too boring for you.
Say, for instance, that you’re looking for long term love, not a flash in the pan romance. Get to the point by posing questions that relate to lasting relationships.
- “What are your feelings on marriage?”
- “Do you tend to be monogamous?”
- “How many girlfriends/boyfriends have you had in the last two years?”
The answers to these questions, and the reactions to them, will let you know if the person across the table from you is in it for the long haul, or just looking for a one night stand.
Whatever your interest is, come up with questions that will lead your speed dating partners toward their opinion on that interest, and you simply can’t go wrong.
Preparing For A Speed Date
Besides asking the right kind of questions, preparing for a speed date will help you in enjoying yourself on a speed dating expedition while simultaneously learning enough about someone to decide if you want to pursue a date with them.
1. Prepare A List of Questions Beforehand
If you’re worried you’ll “forget to ask the right thing” or that you’ll run out of time before you get the answers you’re looking for, there is nothing wrong with bringing a short list of questions, or even shorthand reminders of questions, to help you on the way. Preparing a list may even make you more appealing to certain kinds of people, who will appreciate your ability to plan ahead. No one wants to sit across from someone bumbling their way through “memorized” questions, and if you run out of things to say in your allotted time, you’re likely to come off looking pathetic or out of it.
2. Try For Originality
Remember that your speed dating partners are meeting many people in one night. The more original your questions are, while still being specific and appropriate, the more you will stand out among the crowd. Everyone will think to ask things like “What is your ideal first date?” or “Where do you see yourself in ten years?” If you can come up with unique questions that still serve the purpose of information gathering, your 10 minute date could be the most fun your partner has all night.
3. Relax And Have Fun
Speed dating, as with all dating, is supposed to be an enjoyable experience. If you’re too uptight, you will be unattractive to most people. You may find yourself sweating, white knuckling the table, or forgetting to get all the info you want from your various speed dates. Remember that it isn’t the end of the world if you don’t find Mr. or Mrs. Right — in fact, you may walk away from a speed dating session with nothing but some potential friend contacts. Too often, people go into speed dating in a serious state of mind. If, however, you appear as though you’re having fun, you’ll make a great lasting impression with your dates.