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Healthy Women's World

The Pros and Cons of Speed Dating

  • Copyright 2007 Heartmind Connection, LLC

  • So you've decided it's time to get out there and meet new people to date. You look at your options beyond online dating and stumble upon a speed dating event in your area that looks interesting. What do you need to consider before you decide to take advantage of this opportunity? Is this really the right venue for you to meet someone?

    Let me give you a bit of a set up: Most speed dating organizations organize the event by age groups, interests, even religions. You arrive at a bar, restaurant or community center with about 2 dozen other singles - half women and half men. You sign in and are given a number and a card for taking notes about the people you meet.

    Pairs are assigned and you find the person for which you will begin with. Different organizations have different time limits. The time to spend together can range from 2 minutes to 10 minutes. After the first round, you move onto subsequent rounds with a new partner. If you are interested in someone, you put their number on the card.

    By the end, if both people like each other and put each other's numbers down on the card submitted to the organizers, then they receive each other's contact information so they can meet outside the event. However, if one person puts down an individual and that person doesn't reciprocate, then no contact information is given out.

    Below are some Pros and Cons to consider so you will be aware of what you may be facing in this kind of dating prospect venue.

    Cons of Speed Dating:

    1. How you decide to meet someone is based on superficial stuff - it's only natural to judge someone on looks and first impressions. You may be turned off right away and then not make any effort reach deeper to get to know someone's inner soul.

    2. If you know that you have no interest in someone, you still have to spend the rest of the time talking to him or her. This can be torturous - especially if your partner has no conversational skills. Minutes can seem like hours!

    3. You have to subject yourself to rejection. What if you like someone and they don't like you back? Speed dating is not for the thin-skinned person. Your inner critic will have a field day if no one picks you.

    4. There may be a cute guy across the room (okay, we can't help being superficial!) and you are never paired up with him because of time constraints. You may never get a chance to meet him. It seems like the stars are conspiring against you and there was a major opportunity lost.

    5. No connections were made; you feel like the evening was a waste of time and wish that you stayed home that night watching Gray's Anatomy!

    Yes, speed dating can be a disappointment ... but the good news is that there have been successful meetings at these events. I know a married couple who met this way. I also have had clients meet nice people to date. Here is the positive side of speed dating.

    Pros of Speed Dating:

    1. You get to meet at least a half dozen people who are inclined to give you their undivided attention for the time allotted.

    2. If you sit back and relax, you can get a sense of someone, their demeanor and their essence - whether it's positive or negative. This is when it's helpful to know how to read body language.

    3. You know the majority of people are serious about meeting someone to date. Why else would someone subject themselves to this?

    4. You can see if you can carry a conversation with someone. You'll find out if there are interests in common. You may not meet the love of your life, but you could find a person who could be a life long friend.

    5. You may actually meet someone you like that you would consider dating. Now you're ahead of where you were when you walked in the door!

    To make the most out of your speed dating experience, arrive armed with a few tricks in your back pocket. As a conversation starter, have some generic questions to ask such as about a person's hobbies, hometown or the type of music they like. Tell a funny story about yourself. Have a glass of water or a soft drink to take a sip from during a pregnant pause. Try to make eye contact and SMILE! When it's time to "rate your date", give a thumbs up to anyone you're on the fence with - speed dating may make a person come across as intimidated or reserved, so consider giving them a second chance if they like you and you think there may be something worth exploring.

    Go into speed dating with the spirit of adventure, and leave your expectations at the door. You may just be pleasantly surprised! If you don't have a successful experience, you can cross this off your list, go back to online dating or look into the many other ways you can meet people to date. If you want suggestions, just Google singles events in your area.

    Amy Schoen, CPCC, is a certified professional life coach who specializes in helping singles to discover what they need and want in relationships and how to find their desired romantic partner. For down to earth tips and helpful hints on dating and relationships, you can subscribe to her popular monthly ezine or her tele-gatherings at:
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