Tips for First-Timers: How to Stand Out at Speed Dating Events
Let’s get something out of the way immediately — you need to go into speed dating with an open mind. There’s really no room for embarrassment, shyness, or awkwardness. Everybody is there for the same reason you are, so why waste time feeling embarrassed?
When it comes to dating, things have changed these past few decades. Gone are the times of meet-cutes and whimsical stories about a whirlwind romance. However, that doesn’t mean the romance is gone altogether. It just means we have to adjust to these fast, modern times.
One of the ways to do that is to change our perception of dating. Speed dating is a great way to meet new people. What’s more, you’ll meet lots of them, all at the same time.
They say first impressions matter, and speed dating proves that statement right. Because you have so little time to leave a good impression, you have to try your best. You have to ask the right speed dating questions and generally stand out from the crowd. But how to really stand out in speed dating?
It’s All About Those First Impressions
As we mentioned before, first impressions are incredibly important, especially at a speed dating event. When you think about it, making an excellent first impression at a speed dating event is no different than doing it in any other situation. Did you know that people only need around ten seconds to decide if they like you?
That sounds bogus, but you can indeed take in someone’s appearance, posture, body language, facial expressions, and more in under ten seconds!
So, you have very little time to appear appealing (or not) to your date. Use it well! Shower and put on some perfume, dress to the nines, and keep track of your body language.
Now, everybody has their go-to date outfit. It’s something that you feel comfortable and attractive in. However, consider that your date outfit might be outdated (pun intended). Well, maybe outdated isn’t the right word, but typical, safe, and boring could be.
Dress to Impress
People usually stick to classics when it comes to dating outfits. That means that your speed dating event will be full of women in short yet tasteful dresses and men in slacks and dark shirts.
There’s nothing wrong with that, but consider whether you want to blend in or stand out. Try to switch things up with your dating outfit and catch someone’s (or everyone’s) eye immediately.
Still, don’t go too crazy! You don’t want to be the weirdo in a Hawaiian shirt or a mumu dress.
And Asking the Right Questions
When it comes to openings, speed dating is the same as online dating — you need to break the ice hard and with a bang. That means that typical questions such as “So, what do you do for a living?” or “Hey, how’s it going?” will get you nowhere.
Instead, you need to ask the right speed dating questions. Now, the right questions don’t have to be complicated. They can be anything from the typical questions with a new twist or something out of the left-field that the other person isn’t expecting.
For example, if you want to know what kind of person is sitting in front of you, don’t ask them what they think of themselves. Instead, ask them how their best friends would describe them. Alternatively, ask them which color would fit their personality the best.
Similarly, instead of asking people if they like traveling, let them give you an elevator pitch of their dream trip. That can tell you a lot about a person.
When your turn to answer the questions comes, keep things just as interesting. Borning one-word answers have no place at speed dating events.
Best Speed Dating Tips That Will Help You Shine
If you’re still wondering how to impress in speed dating, here are a few fantastic tips.
Being Early is Being on Time (And Leaving Later Is Just Good Sense)
Being late will ruin the good impression right from the get-go (no matter what you do or say afterward). So be there early and mingle before the event even starts.
Also, don’t leave right after. Stay and touch base with your matches or other people you’ve liked. Exchange contact information with them and maybe catch a few more minutes to hang out.
Punctuality has a big effect on date. In fact, read this to know how it can ruin love.
Don’t Unload All That Heavy Baggage Just Yet
Speed dating is all about keeping it light and breezy. Don’t talk about how your ex screwed you over or how you haven’t dated in so long due to emotional trauma.
In other words, keep your baggage to yourself. Don’t falsely advertise, of course, but there’s really no need to unload on the poor soul who has done nothing wrong but sit in front of you.
Pay Attention to Body Language
Don’t slouch in your seat or keep your arms crossed. It gives off the impression that you’re uninterested, closed off, and generally a difficult person to talk to.
Always Follow Up
Listen, you didn’t come all that way, sat through a handful of decent (or even awkward) conversations only to let things fall into oblivion. Don’t stop now — follow up on your matches.
Even if you think nothing will come of it, call the people you matched with. Go on a few dates and break the dating ice that way. After all, you never know — one of those people might be your future partner. If nothing else, maybe you can make a new friend.
It’s OK to Say No
Just because someone likes you and wrote down your name doesn’t mean you have to match with them. You have the absolute right to say no to any (or even all) offers.
In the End — Don’t Forget to Have Fun
The main thing to keep in mind when you attend these events is that they aren’t supposed to be too serious. Don’t take them as a “make or break” situation. They are an opportunity to meet a lot of people and have a few conversations that might lead to something or might not.
Either way, don’t take things too seriously and try to have fun. That’s how dating works, after all. If you aren’t having fun, then you probably shouldn’t do it.