When you're single and looking, the best approach to dating is to try multiple methods of meeting people. Speed dating is a great option, especially if the event is themed to match singles with a common interest. I especially love that the whole thing is quick — get in, get out, get on with life.
As with any dating venture, I think it is important to set reasonable expectations. Yes, you're hoping to meet the love of your life (or perhaps your next fling), but if that is your only measure of success for the evening, you'll be setting yourself up for disappointment. Here are five tips for setting realistic expectations to make speed dating an enjoyable experience.
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1. Expect interesting conversation. Your main goal for the event should be to enjoy talking to new people. In my experience, most people have something interesting to talk about. Ask a simple, broad–topic question like, "How has your summer been going?" and you’ll find that people will easily fall into talking about their "thing," whatever that thing is.
2. Expect there to be one jerk in the bunch. There will probably be one guy who will spend the entire three minutes staring at your boobs, psychoanalyzing you by the one question you asked, or talking about how great he is. If you can get through those three minutes with a smile, that's great. If not, feel free to get up and hit the ladies room, get a drink or chat up the host. There is no rule that says you must sit there and entertain the jerk.
3. Expect some of your dates to be socially awkward, and try to make them feel comfortable. It is not easy for some guys to start conversations with women they don't know. For shy guys, speed dating is a guaranteed way to meet women, and it forces them to come out of their shells. If you recognize that your three minute date is a little nervous, make him feel comfortable by smiling, making eye contact and reserving judgment. You might not be falling in love, but you should still show kindness to your dates. They have feelings, too!
4. Expect to make some new girlfriends. Before the event starts, chat up some of the other single women. Introduce yourself and ask if they have tried speed dating before. Not only will you make new friends, you'll warm up for the evening by socializing.
5. After the event, expect rejection. As with any dating endeavor, it is important to remember that your view of any potential compatibility is only your view. You may think you have found exactly what you're looking for, only to find out that you're nothing of what he's looking for. It doesn't mean there is anything wrong with you; it just means you two are not a match. Be happy to have discovered this early on, so you can spend your time finding someone better suited for you.
With realistic expectations, you can be sure you’ll enjoy the speed dating event. And your positivity will only make you all the more attractive!
More dating advice from YourTango:
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@RebeccaAMarquis is the author of How to Be a Good Boyfriend: 34 ways to keep her from getting annoying, jealous or crazy and offers dating humor and advice on her new Facebook page: facebook.com/RebeccaAMarquis.