Speed Dating Success Tips

Men's Dating

5 Speed Dating Success Tips for First-Timers (Expert Article)

Doc Love

Written by: Doc Love

Doc Love

Doc Love coached men for over 30 years after interviewing thousands of women in his lifetime asking them why they chose one man versus another. What Doc learned directly from women he then taught to men. Doc was a prolific writer and created a lot of timeless dating content for his team to continue sharing his message. Singles can also get additional coaching via his still active blog and podcast at www.doclove.com/blog and www.datingwomenpodcast.com. For more tips visit his official site www.doclove.com.

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Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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So you are ready to take the plunge into the wild world of speed dating, eh? Speed dating has been a popular way to meet people since its formation in Los Angeles in 1998. Bars and restaurants often host these unique events to bring in singles for a fun evening of conversation and connection.

If you’re interested in speed dating, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve put together 5 tips to help speed daters maximize chances with the ladies at their next event.

But First: What Is Speed Dating?

Speed dating is great because it features 15-30 ladies who are mainly single and looking for romance. In some rare cases, “hooked up” women come to support friends or to do something different, but most are single.

Tell me the last time you went to a bar or restaurant and were guaranteed 15-30 conversations with women who were actually open to finding a guy? You’ll have anywhere from three to eight minutes to sit with each lady, and usually it’s the guy that moves from table to table. The organizers will give some sort of signal like a horn or a bell to signal guys to move to the next table to interact with the lady seated there.

Screenshot of Speed Date Philadelphia
Speed Date Philadelphia is a company that specializes in speed dating events.

After your three to eight minutes are over you write down whether you want to match with her; she’ll do the same. If you both match, the speed date organizers will facilitate the exchange of contact information. Then it’s up to you. You’ll fill out some brief legal forms saying you won’t sue the organizers if things go wrong in the real world as once they give the contact information, and then it’s a normal dating situation.  

OK, here’s what you should really pay attention to out of everything I just wrote there: You have less than 10 minutes to make her want to see you again, and you have a bunch of other guys competing with you. So here are five ways to stand out:

1. Get There Early

You want to familiarize yourself with the venue and the set up. Being a deer in headlights for your first few ladies is not going to be sexy. What if your dream girl is sitting at one of the first few tables? Yeah, she’s not going to see you at your best self if you are stumbling around.

If you can, learn something unique about the venue, the drinks or food they serve, how things are actually going to work for the evening. Product knowledge = confidence = a better chance with her.

2. Talk to the Organizers

Dovetailing on the first tip: If you can get there early, you can talk to the people putting it on. Ask them how the evening will flow, see if they have any tips, etc. Remember: They want you to succeed. Your success = positive reviews = more new singles showing up to future events.  

Generally speed date organizers are there because they love matchmaking and want to help couples meet. Rarely do you see professionals who have this as their full-time career (but it happens).  Regardless, your success is their success, so have them drop the knowledge on you!

3. Go Easy on the Booze

You’re there early and have time to kill. You’re probably a little (or a lot) nervous. Shot time! Uh, maybe not….have a drink or two to loosen up, but Mr. Slurred/Sloppy on lady 12 is not going to net you contact information post-event. Our advice is to stay relatively sober for the duration of the speed dating event if you want to make the best first impression.

4. Be the Most Interesting Man in the World – By Being Interested in Her

You know how you become the most interesting man in the world? Definitely not by following the example of the dude from the commercials! It’s a funny campaign, but in person the guy has to be a blowhard talking about all his accomplishments.  

After interviewing thousands of women for my System/Dating dictionary, I found this: Women like it when you ask them intelligent questions then respond to the answer after you truly understood what she was saying.

people, leisure, friendship and communication concept - group of happy smiling friends drinking beer and cocktails talking at bar or pub
Asking good questions on a speed date is the easiest way to make a good impression.

Be specific when thinking up questions. Some great questions may include: How does your life change if you win the lottery tomorrow? If you had unlimited time and resources, what would you be doing and why? What are the biggest mistakes men make when it comes to dating women?

Certain thought-provoking questions can give you insight into what type of person she is and what kind of guy she is looking for.  

5. Act Like a Great Salesman

A lot of your competitors at the event have one objective: to get her contact information after the event. Yeah, that’s your goal too, but they’ll put the bull rush on to get it as if they were a defensive lineman trying to get through an offensive tackle. Here’s the deal: Girls just want to have fun, as the old Cyndi Lauper song says

What you are going to do is smile a lot, get her to laugh, ask insightful questions and just show her in three-to-eight minutes that a date with you would be engaging and fun. Instead of the approach of “I like you; do you like me?” that a lot of your competition will use, you need to give her a taste of what a date with you would be like. Leave her wanting more!  

Always Leave Your Mini Dates Wanting More

If you pass the Physical Attraction Test with her, that means she’s thinking “it would be fun to go out with him” and will mark you down as one of her potential matches. Then you will be getting contact information later that evening or in the next few days — depending on how fast the organizers are!

Remember guys, when you have three to eight minutes to stand out to 15 or 30 women, you leave nothing to chance.