Speed dating first started in the late 1990’s as a way for singles to meet many potential partners at the same time, but without the pressure and prolonged awkwardness which a first date sometimes brings. 

Singapore has even put its name on the map of speed dating by setting a world record in 2013 when the
Social Development Network organised an event for the biggest number of people speed dating in one place. A total of 485 singles attended the event; now that’s a lot of dates at one time!

What is Speed Dating?

The idea behind this form of dating, is quite simply “speed”. The dates are structured to allow you to meet as many people as possible, in person, within a specific session. You are given just enough time to form an impression of your potential date and to assess whether or not you would like to meet them again to spend more time to get to know each other better.

How does it Work?

Most speed dating events tend to follow the same rules. Participants who sign up are invited to single venue. 

The Meet Up

Tables are usually set up where the women of the group will sit. Once a bell or other cue is presented, the men in the group sit at different tables for a 5 to 8 minute conversation with each lady participant. When the bell rings again, the men move tables for their next “speed date”. By the end of the session, each man and each woman in the group would have had the chance to meet up and speak with each other.

The Check Up

In addition to the conversations, each participant is also given a scorecard. As your dates change over, you will need to fill up the score card with the name of your date, how you rate them along a series of factors as well as whether or not you would like to meet each other again.

The Follow Up

After the event is over, the organisers will match up all the scorecards and will put couples who mutually identified each other as dates they would like to meet again, are put in contact with each other. In some instances, participants may receive a summary of how they scored during the event and some participants feel that this is a good way for them to understand how they can improve their dating skills. 

Why does it Work?

Speed dating has become popular for a few reasons. 

You get to meet Face-to-Face

First of all, it allows you to meet your potential dates face-to-face. So you get the chance to assess a whole lot of intangible qualities as well as that all-important question of “chemistry”.

There is Less Pressure

Next, there is very little pressure involved in the speed date. You don’t need to spend a lot of time together, there are many couples in the group going through this together with you, and you do not have to reveal whether or not you are interested in a next “meet-up” with your potential date as your organisers will help you with the next step.

You won’t get “Stuck” with Someone You don’t Like

If you don’t like your potential date, you won’t have to spend a lot of time with them! Once the bell rings in about 5 minutes, you know that you get to move on to someone new. 

You get to Meet Lots and Lots of People!

Finally, you will meet many people at the same time. So, you have lots of choices and lots of exciting opportunities. 

9 Tips for a Successful Speed Date

Here are a few tips that can help you to have a successful speed dating experience and a whole lot of fun in the process too!

1. Select Your Event

There are many groups which organise speed dates, and some of them have a focus on a particular need or requirement. There have been speed dating events for all sorts of segments – from seniors to people with the same religious or lifestyle preferences. So, check first to see if there is a particular demographic before you decide whether or not you want to sign up.

2. Be Prepared to Meet All Kinds of People

Go with an open mind. You will meet all sorts of people and they may have very different views, values and even lifestyles from you. You are likely to meet people that you might never have met within your social circle, but then, that’s part of the point of attending an event like this. So relax, and learn to find out more about each of your speed dates.

3. It’s a Numbers Game

Dating is sometimes a numbers game. So the more people you meet, the more likely you are to find your life partner. If you don’t find the “perfect someone” at your first event, give yourself a chance and be open to meeting more people until you do.  

4. Dress Up

When you have only 5 minutes to make an impression, everything counts! That includes your personal appearance too. So even if you choose to dress casually because that’s what makes you most comfortable, take the time to groom yourself. A date who has obviously made an effort for the occasion is telling the other person that they matter and that your 5 minutes together are important.  

5. Agree to Disagree

You will meet people whom you just can’t agree with. But, it’s a speed date, so in 5 minutes you’ll probably get to move on. If this happens, just agree to disagree and leave the discussion as that. 

6. Make Time to Ask and Answer Questions

A lot of the time, post-scorecard feedback may identify a dates over-dominance or under-participation in the conversation as an area for improvement. So prepare some interesting questions to ask each date, and make sure that you allocate just as much time asking them for their views as you do answering questions which they come up with.

7. Start Each Date Fresh

It is hard to not carry the feelings you have from speed date to speed date but it’s important if you want to be able to give each person you meet a fair chance. So, take a deep breath between each conversation, clear your mind and start each date fresh.

8. Note Your Matches

When you meet so many people, it might be hard for you to remember later on which qualities belonged to which date. So make sure that you note down your thoughts on your scorecard, and if you find a match, make a clear note of it.

9. Relax and have Fun

Finally, in some ways, it’s like attending a very big party. So relax, have fun and enjoy the process of meeting so many new people all at once.