|Speed dating is today’s ingenious answer to today’s fast-paced life. Hey, if we have come to an age where you can talk to somebody in ‘real-time’ across the globe through the Internet then surely ‘dating’ several people in one night was not far behind right?
Speed dating is now a worldwide phenomenon; the answer to every hectic single’s fervent wish. You see, with speed dating, there need not be a predicament between dedication to work and investing time in finding a lifetime partner. Everybody participating in a speed dating event knows that time is of the essence and that one has to balance that sensitive scale between putting his or her best foot forward and coming across as honest and earnest. Yes folks, all that in 3, 5 or 7 minutes (depending on your state).
Once you decide to get involved in speed dating events, don’t go wistfully saying “I’ll just go for the heck of it”. If you are busy enough that you wish to go speed dating, then prepare enough to make the most of it! If you go to speed dating events without effort or preparation, you may be defeating the purpose of the exercise, which is to show the best YOU, and to find your perfect match in the process. The add-on benefit is having a time-saving technique through this creative mechanism. If you are not yet familiar with speed dating, let me run you through its origin and mechanics.
Speed dating is a technique originating from the Jewish, which aimed to help pair up their singles in marriage. In a speed dating event, you will be asked by the dating service provider to go to a pre-arranged venue. You proceed to your first date in a table where you are allowed to talk for a fixed amount of minutes. After this time, you are given the signal to go to another table where you will have the chance to talk to another partner or ‘date’, again for the same number of minutes. All things happen in a flash so those minutes are golden!
So how do you prepare? Satisfy the senses.
Nobody denies that real beauty is not just all about clothes and figures. But a little dressing never hurt anybody either. Dress attractively during speed dates, but not too attractively to the point that you are already a distraction. Once you have made yourself up for the event, do a quick test by checking if your get-up and your accessories are too distracting. Remember, make him/her look at your face. Eye contact is one of the surest ways to convey both sincerity (in what you say) and interest (in him/her).
For men, items that convey security and authority are good. You may want to wear a decent suit or watch, or bring along your mobile or other electronic gadgets (but do put these in silent mode!). Wear colors that project status such as black, gray, navy blue or brown. These colors may not be too advisable for women. To project approachability, wear more toned down earth colors, or those which are light or pastel shades. As a woman, you need not establish financial security or your capacity of being a good provider. You just need to create an impression of approachability at first. Believe me, you may threaten or even scare away your date by your manner of dressing.
Talk and listen.
Here, we talk about appropriate topics during speed dating events. There are two simple rules: (1) highlight your strengths and (2) downplay your weaknesses. Bear in mind that you only have a couple of minutes to create a positive impression on your date. You will not carry this out successfully by narrating how miserable your past was, how tragically your parents divorced before when you were two years old, how you were cheated by your past girlfriends or how you are desperately trying to find a better paying job. Talk about positive things, brilliant ideas, and sensible issues.
Listen to your date! Don’t forget that you are BOTH looking for the same thing tonight – a potential partner. So don’t be so full of yourself that you don’t give your date enough minutes to talk. Don’t forget that you too need to decide whether you want to see this person again, so do pay attention to what your date has to say.
To promote a positive atmosphere, start off by establishing commonalities. Start with common hobbies or pastimes and delve just a bit deeper by asking about values and goals. Your date will understand as you do only have a couple of minutes!
Cue in to your date.
Sometimes, nothing speaks louder than the little things one does during a date, yes, those non-verbal cues that you send to or receive from your date. According to Patti Wood, a nationally respected body language expert, you want to project that you are a “safe” and approachable target. Women then should not take up a lot of space because this connotes power and authority. The contrary is applicable for men. Wear bulky and conservative clothing to project power and status.
Some don’ts: don’t chew gum, ice or fingernails (this may be a sign of anxiety or frustration), fold your arms (which may signify being unapproachable). Do nod and lean forward when your partner is talking. These signify interest and enthusiasm in what your partner is saying. And of course, smile. It’s a universal, positive cue.
One last fact that may motivate you to make your first impression a good one. In speed dating, you only have four seconds to make an impact on the other person as someone he or she may want to date again (and you think 7 minutes was too short). Go on, never get tired of the search and the chase. Who knows? The person on the next table might just be The One.