Like watching foreign cinema, getting a taste for wine and attempting to appreciate modern art, speed-dating was one of those exotic things I said I’d try once in London. I have yet to watch Jean De Florette and I still don’t quite *get* Damien Hirst but at least I can tick speed-dating off the list.
Here are five things that I’ll be keeping on mind on my next speed-dating trip:
1. People will lie about their age.
No doubt about this one. The event that I went to was 24-40 and if everyone there was under 40 then I’m Sasha Fierce. I’m not particularly bothered about dating people in an older age group (in fact I prefer to), but a line has to be drawn – mine is when a guy has more in common with my dad than me. Or bears more than a passing resemblance to Gordon Brown.
If, like me, you’d rather not date people twice your age, then…
2. Pick your age group wisely
I’ve only been once so I have yet to figure out some magic formulae. All the advice I can offer is: Think About It.
3. Don’t take it too seriously
Going to speed-dating with the expectation of finding your true love is like believing Fresher’s Week to be the best week of your life (but more naive).
You will spend the night scarily vetting everyone as a potential life-partner, which is exhausting and uncomfortable for all involved. Don’t scribble notes (unless in your head) or use planned conversation starters (”What’s your most embarrassing moment”) and then ADMIT they were planned. Having been at the receiving end of all of the previous, I can vouch that those three minutes went incredibly slow.
I had a fantastic night because I sang far too loud to 70s Disco (”Got to be real, got to be reeeeal”) attempted the moonwalk and had some interesting conversations. I did not stress about my lipstick or have a host of cringeworthy conversation starters planned.
4. Prepare to repeat yourself
When speed-dating, the primary aim is to garner as much information as possible. And, whether we like it or not, the most efficient way of doing this is asking: What do you do?
With that in mind, don’t appear at a loss when someone asks you that very question. If your job title is more than one word then try to sum it up in one sentence. This prevents confusion and boredom.
5. Guys: Don’t ever, EVER, ask “Why are you here?”
Not even in complimentary “You’re too attractive/witty/intelligent” to be single type of way. Because if a woman is at a speed-dating event then guess what. SHE’S SINGLE. And asking her that will just confirm every speed-dating stereotyping there is (it’s only for the desperate/ugly/socially inept) and she’ll be outta there.