Speed Dating: Yay or Nay?
Decoding The Pros and Cons of Super Fast Dates
With all of the dating apps and websites out there, you may have forgotten that speed dating is a thing. It may not even seem all that ‘speedy’ considering apps like Tinder require very little time and effort to simply swipe left or right. But before you write off speed dating as a viable option for finding ‘the one’ or ‘one of the ones,’ consider a few of the benefits and pitfalls of it in a little more depth.
Pro: You get to meet in-person
While online or app-based dating can give you time to get to know someone before going outside of your comfort zone, there are a few qualities that are difficult to measure without a face-to-face meeting. Online, a prospective date’s profile tends to show the person in the light that they want to be seen. While speed dating, however, you can quickly tell a liar from a truth-speaker and all your questions will be answered – the mutual goal for you and your prospective date is to find out as much as you can about each other to see whether you make a match or not.
Pro: You can take a friend
Speed dating can seem a little bit intimidating in the beginning, especially if it’s your first go at it. This is when the buddy system comes in handy. You’ll gain the moral support of having a friend accompany you, and you will also have a bit of double time with your prospects, seeing as you and your friend will be able to compare notes about the people you’ve met.
Pro: You’ll get an introduction to ‘real-world’ dating
By this, I mean that you will put yourself out there like you probably haven’t before. Prior to graduation, chances are that you met many of your significant others through the university system. Because speed dating is normally open to the public, you will get a chance to know prospective dates outside of your usual circles.
Pro: Rejection is softer
When you don’t find a mutual match at a speed dating event, the person doesn’t usually reject you face-to-face – and you don’t have to deal with the guilt-inducing action yourself. Instead, the event organizers collect everyone’s lists and connect people afterwards if there was mutual attraction. After coming home, you will receive an email with contact information for all your matches, but only if both of you are interested in meeting again.
Pro: You can practice your conversational skills
Introverts in particular may appreciate this aspect, as making conversation can be pretty nerve-wracking or exhausting—especially when the stakes seem as high as they are in the dating world. Speed dating is the perfect environment to accomplish two things: perfect your small talk and get more comfortable with it through repeat exposure.
Pro: It costs less time and money than a series of full-time first dates
While there is usually a small fee associated with speed dating events, it will only be a fraction of what countless dinners and movies might cost. And when you’re freshly out of university, every penny counts! Plus, you will save hours and hours of full-time first dates that you may have gone on instead.
Con: There’s no vetting process
You won’t be able to research the dating pool online before you head into the event. And while your dates will only be a few minutes long, this aspect can make you a little nervous, especially if this is the first time you haven’t been able to gather some background information beforehand.
Con: An even ratio isn’t a guarantee
Unless the event registration implements a cap on the number of men and women, you might show up to an uneven event and experience a smaller dating pool. However, it’s possible to find yourself in the opposite situation, where the dating pool is bigger and your chances of finding matches may be higher.
Con: A few minutes can feel like forever
You may find yourself in some pretty uncomfortable silences or perhaps even paired with someone that you find supremely annoying. It’s in these cases that a few minutes can drag on and on. Though it is a good opportunity to carry on a ‘no-stakes’ conversation and get a little more comfortable with speed dating in general.
Con: Events tend to be heteronormative
While there are speed dating events out there for the LGBT community, the majority of them will be for the heteronormative crowd. You’ll probably find a bigger pool of prospective dates on websites and apps, but if you get the chance to try out speed dating, definitely give it a shot.
Con: You might encounter regulars
If you attend enough events in the same area, you might find yourself on mini-dates with the same people over and over again. If that happens, expanding the geographical range of the events you attend may yield some new options.
Con: Rural events might be hard to find
People living in metropolitan areas will have more opportunities for speed dating. In rural areas, especially ones that don’t have a large enough population in which meeting new people were really possible, you will have some trouble. Your best bet is to make a city trip and try to pencil in an event.
All things considered, speed dating can be a promising outlet in which to meet someone who you’d like to be with long term. And while some of your dates may not lead to something significant, you still might gain some great friends along the way, which are equally important connections to have as you gain a foothold on post-university life. So by all means, give it a try—you never know who you’ll meet!