Speed Dating – My First Experience

If you’re dating in this day and age, you know that time constraints can have a big impact on your social life. There is a solution called “speed dating.” 

What is speed dating?

Enter the fast-paced world of speed dating, where singles have the opportunity to date up to 10-20 other lovelorn singles in one evening.

How is this possible, you ask? Each date lasts a mere 5 minutes. What makes speed dating different from the typical bar scene is that participants have the same objective — to meet a potential companion.

Rules of the Game

The rules of speed dating are quite simple. A group of singles gather at a cafe or bar venue. Armed with a name tag, a scorecard and their sparkling personality, couples are paired up to begin their first date.  They are allowed to discuss anything.

Following 5 minutes of conversation, a bell is rung, and the men move on to meet their next date. Think of it as a flirt’s version of musical chairs.

Following each date, participants mark on a card whether they would have an interest in meeting their date again. If a mutual interest is noted, speed-dating organizers provide each party with the others phone number or email.

My Speed Dating Experience:

The Speed Dating night I attended was a joint venture between RSVP and The Coffee Club  to break a world record for the most speed daters at one time.  It was a free event (the reason I decided to give it a try), each participant received a free coffee or cold drink for attending.  The age range of attendees was between 19 to 45 years, and everyone had to date…. everyone.

People from all walks of life attended:

  • A Rich retired 45-year-old man who rides 20km each morning and goes to gym, plays around with the stock-market. His separated and has 3 kids. Taken up a painting course recently to fill in his spare time.
  • Two 25-year-old french men.
  • 30-year-old creepy electrician.
  • A lot of IT career men, software developments, system admin etc.
  • Men who were spiritual.
  • Men were not ‘looking’, but if a special girl came along they would be interested.
  • The girls I spoke with seemed really lovely, and we all gossiped about our dates, who we liked, and didn’t like, about the difference in age gaps.

I was originally attracted to two guys from a distance when looking around the room when I arrived.  I checked in, took a name badge and took a seat.  Upon meeting them both during the night they are too young for me (22 & 25 years old), the 22-year-old was working on becoming a helicopter pilot and wished to start his own scenic helicopter business overseas one day (his got a dream), I must have insulted him, he asked me how old I thought he was, I said ’28-30ish’….oops, maybe he should have shaved for the occasion.  The other was 25 years old a chief born in France who I couldn’t really understand and he couldn’t understand English all that well either, he works most weeknight and weekends at one of Brisbane’s Riverside restaurants. I did not put a star next to either of them.

My hot topics:

After the first two dates being in the old bracket (39 & 45), I had a 5 minute break before my next date as there were more females who attended than men, I used this 5 minutes to jot down some ideas of topics to discuss my with my dates, I thought about subjects I would be happy to talk about:

  • Age
  • Suburb they live in
  • Job type and location
  • Sports they play or like
  • Studying anything, further education
  • Pets (are they cat or dog people)

After a few dates I began to quick Bio my life to them:

“I’m 27 years old, work at a Hospital as an Admin Officer, currently studying a Certificate in Program Management through work, I live in Kelvin Grove, I walk to work each day, compete in triathlon. Love triathlon but not ‘obsessed’, I own 4-year-old puppy called Cooper.”

These topic’s really seemed to work for me, and we could then pick a new topic of interest to discuss, all the important personal information was out-of-the-way.

Compliments I received by the dates:

  • That I’m about the only female open and honest about personal information , other girls were not as forthcoming.
  • I’m very pretty.
  • Amazed I compete in triathlon.
  • I don’t look 27, I look more 24-25.

What I enjoyed:

  • The social interaction.
  • Talking about myself, If I’m educated in anything it’s talking about myself, and do it well.
  • I was happy to expand further on details if asked direct questions.
  • The atmosphere.
  • The free Chai Latte.

Dates I put a star next to:

  • 26-year-old studying IT part-time and working full-time, we a great conversation before the event started and the when it was time for our speed date later in the evening.  Very easy to chat to, didn’t feel any topics had boundaries, able to joke around. Would be someone I could be good friends with.
  • Another IT consulting date, seemed really nice, owned a husky he adopted from the pound, walks/runs it ever day. Appeared really nice and again I could have an easy conversation and joke around a bit. He seemed amazed I did triathlon and interested in hearing more about it.  Again someone I felt could be a friend.

Other observations:

  • A great way of making new circles of friends
  • Older men didn’t worry me, it’s actually cute how hard they try to make a great first impression so they could have even a slim chance.
  • It’s true that first impressions count. Within a minute I had made my mind up about each person, and found myself asking more questions, if I was intrigued.
  • It’s important to shake hands before and afterwards and thank people for their time tonight.

Does Speed Dating Work?

Speed dating to me has proven to be fairly enjoyable, while some may be uncomfortable with the notion of making repeated small talk 10+ times in one evening, I enjoyed myself and the speed dating, I believe that the success of this “unconventional” arrangement lies in “conventional”, simple chemistry.

But, the question remains: Is 5 minutes enough time to fairly assess someone? After-all, in this short time, you may have written off someone you might have otherwise found interesting in a traditional dating scenario.

Conversely, you may think you’ve met your dream date. But had you more time…. even one more minute…. you may have discovered that “dreamboat” has a toe-nail clipping collection under his bed.

Regardless, I’m going to try it out again with a proper speed dating company and see what kind of matches come about.


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