The biggest mistake that singles often make at a speed dating event is forgetting to have fun. People tend to get stressed out because of the fast pace and get too serious about the whole thing, which can be a big turn off.
Try your best to relax and remember that you are there first and foremost to have fun. It is by relaxing and having a good time that the real you will shine and allow you to make the best impression.
It is natural that you will be a bit nervous beforehand, but once things get rolling you will be so busy meeting new people and having fun that you won’t have time to think about it!
Things you can do beforehand to get ready
The best way to overcome your fear is to know what to expect. Read an article or two about what it’s like, talk to friends that have done it before. Know the kinds of questions that are asked and prepare some answers for them beforehand. There is no reason that you need to be spontaneous at one of these events. Find out what questions people tend to ask and prepare an answer for each common question. Then rehearse your answers a bit!
Know what each question is trying to ask
Give an example from your life for each one, such as how you reacted when you broke up with your last partner. Or how you resolved an argument with a friend or loved one. Most, if not all of the questions are geared to discover an important aspect about your personality. For instance, whether you can resolve anger without resentment, or if you can deal with an emotional situation without breaking down, etc… Know what underlying character trait that each question is asking and be prepared to offer up the goods!
Stress reduction 101
Use other methods to reduce stress beforehand such as listening to relaxing music or meditation. You don’t have to be a guru to meditate! Just sit quietly for a few minutes beforehand and take a one or two deep breaths. Let the breath out slowly. Try to clear you mind of all thoughts and worries. I know that it is hard to do, but see if you can for just a minute or two. You will naturally feel much less stressed afterwards.
Things NOT to do!
Don’t take sedatives. or drink excessively beforehand, as that will guarantee that you will make a lousy first impression with everyone there. Have one drink if you are so inclined, but no more than that! As the event rolls on you might want to grab another.
Drink water or tea instead of an alcoholic drink. Remember that you only have about 90 minutes to meet 10-15 people so you won’t have much time for drinking. If you are going to the bar after every 6 minute date, then you will have plenty of time to drink at the bar afterward.
Get plenty of sleep. If you go out on the town the night before and stay out late, you will not be able to perform at your best. Like the name implies, speed dating is a fast paced event. You will need to have all your wits about you to make a good impression.
Dress for success
Be neat and have a well kept appearance. People naturally look more successful and impressive when they dress well. That does not mean you need to wear an evening gown or a three piece suit! Dress semi-formal or business casual, that way you won’t stand out as either under-dressed or over-dressed for the occasion.
Bring a (trusted) friend with you
This is a great way to reduce the pressure, as you will have a built-in security blanket. However friendships can get a little tense and competitive over romance issues. The best way to avoid this is to bring a friend of the opposite sex. Someone you like but are not romantically involved with.
Try to be yourself, and act like you usually do. Don’t put on an act in order to try to impress people; It probably will come off as phony. And even if you do fool someone, how long will it be before they realize the person they met at the speed dating event was not really you, but someone else?
First and Foremost, Have Fun!
Speed dating is a fast and fun way to meet a great number of people in a short period of time. It allows you to get out of your own social network and make some new friends, acquaintances, and possibly your next romantic interest. When you go to your first speed dating event, make it your primary goal to have fun and meet a lot of new people. That way whatever happens, your evening will be a success!