Photo: Mario A. Leitón - Wikimedia Commons. Where is your fairy tale?
So you've finally accept that your Prince Charming is not going to approach you on the street to give you the happily ever after you've always wished for. Or maybe you're just one of those busy women who have no time for a love life. No worries. That's where speed dating comes in.
Speed dating, along with online dating has become very popular in recent years as an efficient method for modern single people to find love with their fast-paced lifestyle. While there are no set-in-stone rules for these events, the general idea is simple. The event organiser will arrange for an equal number of men and women who already registered with them to show up in a session; brief them on what is going to happen, and give each person a piece of paper. When given the go ahead by the host, all the gentlemen will move from table to table to make quick conversations with the ladies sitting there. You, young lady, will then have only a few minutes to decide whether the guy chatting with you might be the one before rotating to the next guy and starting a new conversation. At the end of the night, you hand your paper with all the yes and no results back to the host. The guys will also do the same with theirs. And voila, all that's left is to wait for the result. They will contact you and let you know of your possible matches (if you have any).
Photo: Marcus Cyron - Wikimedia Commons. A speed dating event
So now that you understand the basics, what should you do?
1. Appreciate the value of good service:
First things first, find a reputable organiser. Now you might laugh when reading this, but it is probably one of the most important things you need to pay attention to. Think about it, your Mr Right might be there somewhere, but you will never find him if you're looking in the wrong places. And trust me that when it comes to those event organisers, you get what you pay for. A good organiser will do a careful job sorting their participants, saving you the awkwardness of being forced into a conversation with someone totally out of your age group. They also offer better services and attract people seriously looking for a partner. You can look online. Ask around and get recommendations from your friends. Whatever you do, don't forget to do your homework before taking the plunge.
2. Preparations:"He who is well prepared has half won the battle."
OK, so you find a good speed dating organiser and register for the event. What comes next is the preparation. While this is not a traditional date, it is no excuse to appear at the event looking like a mess. I don't mean you have to dress up to the nines, just smart casual would do. Think of the impression you want to make of yourself. Since speed dating is pretty much a race of time. How you dress yourself can show other people a part of your life, your personality, and your fashion taste. Just make sure to be true to yourself, and don't try to pretend to be someone else.
Don't forget to think of some interesting questions. I know that some speed dating services offer their customers a set of example questions to use over the evening. However, you will find that preparing a few questions in advance might be very useful when you are in the race. Start with the basics and focus on the questions that might give you some insights into the guy as a person. It also helps if you can make a list of your preferences. What are you looking for in a partner? Are there any deal breakers that might make the guy a no-go?
3. Treat the date like a job interview:
Next comes the really tricky part. How do you get to know a guy in mere minutes and manage to impress him at the same time? Remember that speed dating is very different from your traditional dating. That means you don't have all night to star into each other's eyes and share your life stories. With speed dating, first impressions are everything. In a sense, it is very much like an interview. And you should treat it like one if you wish to succeed in getting a date after the event. Last time I was at a speed dating event, I realised that I had a difficult time recalling the guys afterwards. And I can bet my money on them not remember me either. So if you happen to see a hot guy at the event, don't waste time. Launch a hard and fast attack so to speak. Impress him with your confident smiles and your humour. Make a connection. Hopefully, that will score you a second date with the man.
Image: Stuart Miles - FreeDigitalPhotos.net . And love is found
4. Remember to enjoy yourself:
No matter what happens, don't forget that the main purpose is for you to have fun. Speed dating events are organised so that you have a chance to meet with a bunch of strangers. There might be some jerks among them. He might be the creep who keeps staring at your boobs and undressing you with his eyes, or the one with such a big head he can't stop talking about himself. Last time I was in an event, a guy even got the nerve to ask if I was into one night stands. Needless to say, he was lucky I didn't reward him with a wine glass on his head.
5. Expect rejection:
I guess this is the part where speed dating and any other dating ventures all have in common. You might believe that you left your man with a very good impression during the date. After all, he seemed to enjoy himself just as much as you did. However, that doesn't mean this guy is into a second date with you. So if you don't receive any matches after the events, don't worry. It doesn't mean there is anything wrong with you. The chance is, you two are simply not a match. However, if this is so important to you, make sure you have at least half of the guys marked with a yes. That will increase your chance of getting a match afterwards. And if not, your name and contact numbers will still be passed on to them, so they might be able to call you if they change their mind later.
One thing to remember: Have realistic expectations so you don't set yourself up for disappointment. After all, if you haven't found the love of your life this time, at least you still had some fun.