Speed Dating Tips
The following are tips for first-time speed daters, or for returning participants who may need refereshers:
- Obviously, the time constrictions of speed dating means your have a limited amount of time to make an impression, so you want to present yourself in the best possible light. This doesn't necessarily mean you should go out of your comfort zone to appear a certain way, but that you should wear the best of your personal style.
- A pre-game drink or two helps relax the nerves. Have a glass of wine or a beer before embarking, but be careful not to consume so much alcohol that you lose your ability to communicate.
- Bring a friend. Having a close friend over before hand, or even to accompany you to the event will lessen the tension of feeling like you're embarking on the venture alone.
- Smile. No one wants to sit across the table from a person who looks like they don't want to be there, and a warm smile can go a long way towards breaking the ice and making the other person feel comfortable
- Make eye contact. Let the person know that you're interested in what they're saying. Also, realize that some people find it difficult to make eye contact, so try not to get too offended if someone spends the entire date staring at the floor.
- Remember that you are under no obligation to share any personal information during the course of the date. In fact, it is recommened that you respectfully decline anyone who inquires about your home address, place of work, phone number, etc. Move at your own pace.
- A speed date is not an interrogation. You may feel compelled to ask tough questions and get all the answers upfront,but the last thing you want to do is make your date feel cornered. Instead, try sticking to general questions, and then digging deeper when you see your date is comfortable going farther in.
- Respect others' space. Relying on body language as an invitation is a gamble, so if you are a close talker or like to playfully touch someone's arm if they said something funny, remember that not everyone is the same.
- Don't hog the timer. Allow your date equal opportunity to express themselves and avoid going into long monologues about your job and how interesting you are. Go with the flow-a one sentence answer, and a redirect like "and what about you?" does the trick.
- A little cologne/perfume goes a long way in a tight space. You want to give your date a pleasant scent from your direction, not cause their eyes to water.
- A positive outlook is contagious, but so is a negative one. Stick to the good parts about you, and avoid downers like expounding on failed reltationships, or phrases like "there are just no good women/men in this city."
- Sometimes there you will walk away with a handful of matches, and others you may walk away with none. Don't let a bad experience deter you from trying again.
- Be yourself. You may be able to stretch the truth about how much you make and what you're into to get that match, but you'll have some explaining to do later. Also, you want your match to be into who you actually are, and they won't know unless you show them.