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Speed Dating

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Speed dating is a relatively new concept to dating. The idea is that you go along to a venue that has 5-30 people of each sex, and you have a limited amount of time to talk to each person of the opposite sex. You have to make a snap decision as to whether you would want to see that person again, and you fill your intentions in on a form that you carry with you. Either at the end of the night or after the event is over, anybody you want to see again and who wants to see you again (a "mutual match") will be given the contact details of the other person, and it is then up to the two of you to arrange something else. Here are my suggestions:

When you go to a speed dating event, try and dress smartly, but don't go overboard. Shirt and tie or a nice smart dress or two-piece should do.

Chances are, you will be very nervous! Many speed dating organisations help you with this by taking your money off you before you attend, so that if you don't attend the session, you have wasted your money! Seriously, although you will be nervous to begin with, you will settle down after the first few "dates." I was probably the worst bag of nerves imaginable before my first time!

Realise that you don't have to "succeed." There are different definitions to success. The more experience you get, the better success rate in terms of getting partners you will have in the future as you find out what works and what doesn't. If you fail to generate any interest, it doesn't matter; just think about how the night went, and try to visualise how you may have come across. You have become more experienced, which in itself is a success.

Try to ask interesting questions. Do you really need to know what they do for a living at this stage? Chances are, if you ask that question, either they are not excited about their work at all, and that will dampen your own enthusiasm, or they will start to rattle off on how good their job is, leaving your eyes glazing over! For example, a girl who I speed dated once asked "Elephants or monkeys?" It was a very unusual question, and that girl has stuck in my mind, whereas the others have tailed off.

Make sure you are aware of your body language and the other person's, and try to flirt! A few minutes is not normally long enough before you can comfortably touch somebody other than with a handshake or kiss on the cheek, but as time is so short, you may want to try that. I will be writing a future article about the power of touch while dating, so look out for it!

One of the most important points I've found is that as you only have a short amount of time with each person, if you get on really well with somebody in those first few minutes, try to talk to them again during breaks, and after the speed dating is over. Maybe your date ticked the "No" box on the form? Remember, you don't have to have ticked yes on the form to exchange telephone numbers; you can both choose to do it on the night!

If you are fairly new at the game and certain people appear to be more successful than you, observe them! Watch and listen to how they interact with the other people. These people are likely just more confident than you are, and this is where speed dating increases your confidence, because you can see what they are doing that works.

If you're not particularly good at small talk, a little alcohol may help to loosen your tongue, but don't go overboard! Some dutch courage is a good thing, but you won't come across as very attractive if you start slurring your speech!

Also, if somebody tells you they've been before and had 15 matches out of 20, you don't have to believe them! It's very easy for people to lie or exaggerate. Don't let people telling you this story put you down!

Finally, you need to be aware that the lying thing may even go as far as somebody attending the night when they already have a boyfriend or girlfriend, or even husband or wife. Some people go along to have fun; some people may even have more sinister motives. Be wary, and be aware, especially if you're a girl.

I'll just briefly talk about my own experience with speed dating. I had been out of the dating game for some time after a previous relationship. I have been to three nights of speed dating, and in each case there were twenty girls that I got the opportunity to chat to. I got no matches in the first session, one in the second, and one in the third; even though I did go out on dates with them, these people were not right for me. I had lots of fun, though, and most importantly I developed my confidence! Remember, confidence comes from doing.

About the author:

David Thomas is a web publisher with a wide range of interests, including psychology and dating. He publishes articles like this at http://Flirt-Coach.net which you can view for free, and you can add your own comments, giving further advice and turning it into your web site. It's a great place to learn!

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