Years ago, speed dating was a fad that rose to national attention because the media thought it was a fun concept. The 40-Year-Old Virgin even had a memorable scene based on the idea that speed dating was for the mentally and emotionally unstable. While that scene was hilarious, the truth is that if you’re looking for cute, educated, outgoing women (and who isn’t?), this is one of the best places to meet them. And after going on hundreds of 3- to 8-minute speed dates in the past year, my co-writer Caleb Bacon and I can confidently say that if you are a single guy, you should be speed dating in 2013.
Most guys will be asking girls things about their job and where they went to college. Make sure to ask fun questions, questions you really care about getting the answers to.
Why? Most women speed daters treat the evening like a fun night out with a girlfriend. Whereas most male speed daters are embarrassed to tell their friends they’re even going. That makes for a scene in which women are having fun no matter what, and the guys tend to be awkward and nervous.
The good news for you: this translates to a cakewalk for guys who know how to stand apart from all those other dudes who are hiding behind their Coors Lights. And with a little preparation, you can stand out even more. Plus, the sheer numbers dictate higher chances of a match than going fishing at your local watering hole. So it’s a win-win-win, really.
Now, in case you need a refresher: speed dating is a singles event that usually takes place at a secluded part of a bar or restaurant, where about a dozen guys are paired with a dozen girls for timed mini-dates of about five minutes each. Everyone fills in their favorites, and soon after the event you get to find out which of the girls you liked also liked you. These events happen in most cities across the country, and if you prefer to date within certain age groups, ethnicities or religions—don’t worry. They’ve got you covered there, too.
Now that you know what to expect, here are seven easy ways to become the king of the speed date.
1. Bring a buddy.
Girls are right to go to these events with friends. It takes pressure off meeting new people, and it means that no matter what, you are going to have a fun night out. Speed dating is a little goofy, and that goofiness can be enjoyed with a buddy whether you meet great women or not. Furthermore, when you’re relaxed and already in a social mood (such as when hanging out with friends), you’ll do well with new people. Now, if you are flying solo, that’s OK, too. Just act as if you’re out with friends.
2. Remember that it’s a singles event.
Meeting women can sometimes be hard. But the great thing about speed dating is you can leave a lot of the usual hang-ups and anxieties associated with dating at home. Remember that these girls are single. You don’t have to worry about some girl telling you she has a boyfriend, or that she needs to run to the bathroom (never tobe seen again). Unlike at a random bar, all of these women are there to meet you just as much as you are there to meet them.
3. Be social the whole time.
The event will begin with a pre-event registration. During this time, chat with your buddy, chat with girls, chat with guys, chat with the bartender… chat with everyone. Not only will it get you warmed up for your speed dates, but the other girls will size you up as a confident, fun, outgoing guy. (Trust me, girls notice this.) And for bonus points, befriend the event organizer. Every event has one, and they’re usually quite cool and relaxed. They might tell you which girls seem to be the most fun. A little extra info never hurts.
4. Break the rules and get phone numbers at the event.
Waiting a day or two for your matches online is fine, but, well… you don’t have to! Plenty of girls will be willing to exchange phone numbers at the event. Again, they’re there to meet people, and sometimes they’re ready to go on instant-dates right then and there. Which is why, toward the end of the event, you should see who still wants to hang out. You’d be surprised how many girls aren’t ready to go home by 9:30.
5. Don’t put her through “The Interview.”
It’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling like you are on a job interview during any date, let alone a speed date, where the time constraint makes you feel like you’ve really gotta pack in the info. Most guys will be asking girls things about their job and where they went to college. Make sure to ask fun questions, questions you really care about getting the answers to. If this means coming up with a list of strong questions before the event, then so be it. Be flirty, too. Most other guys won’t be. And don’t be afraid to call out the awkwardness of the situation. For example, it’s OK to ask, “Are you finding all of this as bizarre as I am?”
6. Match as many women as you can.
You only get one chance to fill out your scorecard. Select “Yes” for as many women as possible just in case you change your mind. And if you’re checking online to see who likes you, check back throughout the following week to make sure you don’t overlook anyone. Some girls won’t submit their scores to the website for a few days.
7. Don’t drink too much.
These events usually start at 7 or 8pm and are done by 9:30pm. Not only is it not going to help you to be “The Drunk Guy,” but it looks especially unattractive at that hour. Keep it together, bud, and you may be having an altogether different (i.e. sexier) sort of fun very soon…
Jordan Harbinger is a Wall Street lawyer turned Social Dynamics expert and coach. He is the owner and co-founder of The Art of Charm, a dating and relationships coaching company. If you dig this and want to learn more from Jordan and The Art of Charm team, visit pickuppodcast.com. You can also interact with Jordan on Facebook or Twitter.