Speed Dating Strategies

It doesn’t take long to decide if you’re romantically interested in someone – according to some sources, it’s only a matter of seconds. So it’s no surprise that traditional dating is being pushed aside for speed dating, a matchmaking process wherein a large group of people are rotated to meet each other for only a few minutes at a time.

A traditional date is like a movie, filled with highs and lows that eventually add up to interest or disinterest. But a speed date is more like a movie trailer: a fast montage of moments that leave a general impression. Here are a few of our favorite speed dating strategies to help you make the best impression and make the most of your time.

Do: Be Yourself
Don’t: Be a Millionaire / Swimsuit Model / Rocket Scientist — unless you really are one

Since speed dates offer such a slim opportunity to sell yourself, you may feel tempted to exaggerate who you really are. But what seems like an innocent fib during a three-minute chat can end up being a major deceit if you start dating the other person.

Even if you’re not interested in pursuing anything, you should still be honest, if for no other reason than the fact that deception usually causes more problems than it solves. Besides, every single speed date is a chance to practice your dating skills – so telling tall tales is just wasting an opportunity to improve your love life.

Do: Prepare
Don’t: Script

Three minutes doesn’t sound like a lot of time, but if you’re stuck with someone who has the conversational skills of a tree stump, it can feel like forever. It’s okay to plan questions in advance so you won’t be left in a lurch. Ask the standards (Where do you live? What do you do? What are your interests?) or lighten things up with some quirkier questions (Do you believe in aliens? What color is your toothbrush? What kind of pets do you like?).

Of course, you don’t want to sound like a bad actress reading from a script or a robot shooting questions out into space. Use a question as a starting point and then let the conversation flow naturally. Even in a three-minute chat, there’s time for two-way conversation. When your date is answering you, don’t just nod and try to think of the next question to ask. Pay attention to his answer and respond to what he’s saying.

Do: Smile! Laugh! Flirt!
Don’t: Swear like a $#@%ing Sailor

It’s easy to forget, but dating is supposed to be fun! You get to meet a new person, share the most interesting parts of yourself and hopefully find some common ground. The freewheeling nature of speed dating can make it even more fun – there’s not much invested and not much to lose. So go ahead, let everyone know you’re having a good time. Smile when you meet him. Laugh at his jokes. And if you’re really having a ball, go ahead and send him a flirtatious wink.

But don’t let it all hang out. Many people – both men and women – are turned off when someone they’ve just met swears up a storm. It’s impossible to gauge what your speed date will think of your George Carlin routine – so keep it clean and classy.

Do: Make Non-verbal Contact
Don’t: Invade Personal Space

During a short chat, there’s only so much time for words. That’s why non-verbal cues are more important than ever. Avoid body language that sends a message that you are closed or uninterested, like crossing your arms, furrowing your brow or tapping your foot. Instead, position your body so that you appear confident and open. Show your interest by nodding, smiling and making eye contact.

But keep in mind, you’ve still got to maintain a healthy amount of personal space. What one woman perceives as a casual touch could feel like a pushy violation to someone else. Since everyone has different ideas about personal boundaries, it’s best to keep your hands to yourself until you get to know someone.

Do: Discuss
Don’t: Debate

Everyone knows the old rule for polite conversation: don’t talk about sex, politics or religion. But when it comes to speed dating, those topics aren’t off-limits. If religion is an important part of your life and your relationships, by all means, bring it up. If you have strong political leanings and you want to know where your date stands, ask.

Just be sure to focus on your and your own life – not broad debates on controversial subjects. You may want to avoid (or at least postpone to a later date) classic conversation killers like war, abortion, and gun control.

Do: Be Yourself

We said this one already but it’s worth repeating. The most important part of dating – speedily or otherwise – is getting to know someone and letting them know you. If you can learn to be comfortable with the process and confident in yourself, it will be a lot less nerve-racking and a lot more fun.

Choose an outfit, makeup and hairstyle that are flattering yet approachable. Smile at every person you meet. Make eye contact while you’re talking. Most of all, show that you’re a real person. Talk about your family or where you’re from. Share one of your passions or dreams.

It may only be three minutes, but if you meet the right person, it could be the best three minutes of your life.

Your dating life not speedy enough? A Love Psychic can help.

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