The 5 Biggest Speed Dating Blunders You Should Avoid

Speed Dating Blunders can make or break your match potential. Note: no one pictured is guilty of that.

Now that Do Sask has passed the milestone of over a dozen speed dating events in Saskatoon, I’ve gotten to interact with hundreds of singles. Many of them are frustrated with the modern dating scene (and most loathe online dating). As a professional speed dating host, I see the differences between the people who are successful in finding their match and the ones who aren’t. This post is about the five biggest speed dating blunders that all attendees should avoid.

What has really stood out to me during the past year is the behaviour patterns that surface in the individuals who aren’t finding matches. Many of these can be improved with a little effort and self-awareness. My hope is that everyone who has been disgruntled about their matches (or lack thereof) will read this, so that they don’t make the same mistake(s) again.

If you’ve attended a speed dating event in Saskatoon, you already know that it can be a really fun way to meet new people. We have two rules to prevent dates from going down the slippery slope of repetitive, superficial small talk.

So how are some people mucking it up?

Here are five of the biggest speed dating blunders you should totally avoid:

Setting sky-high expectations of the people you meet.

Case in point: this individual who rated speed dating as a garbage event, “1 out of 5 stars . There were no [people] I was interested in.” This is the first (and last) time someone has given speed dating lower than a 3 out of 5 stars.

What could be the reason no one measured up?

Sadly, a holier than thou attitude towards every member of the opposite sex in attendance is a fairly common speed dating blunder. If this rings true with you, it’s likely that more internal work needs to be done before you consider speed dating.

No one is perfect. You shouldn’t expect one person to immediately check all the boxes on your long list of wants. And I don’t screen everyone who buys a ticket to be perfect for you. That’s the beauty of it!

Instant attraction is not a good indicator of match potential. To dismiss the thought of going for a coffee with someone because they couldn’t impact your brain chemistry in 4 minutes or less will deprive you of a whole segment of the (completely dateable) single population.

Long-term compatibility is a whole lot more complex than visceral attraction. Keep your mind open to forming a more meaningful bond with the people you meet. You never know how the sparks would fly if you won’t take the time to find out more about someone than their looks over a coffee or two.

Note: you should listen to your gut if you’re completely repelled by someone. Obv.

Neglecting to show off your best side.

Before every speed dating event, I send a message with a few friendly reminders to attendees. One of the most important things on the list is to show up as your best self. 

There is no dress code at speed dating because I want people to be completely comfortable. However if being comfortable means you haven’t brushed your teeth , or put on deodorant today; forgotten to change after hot yoga; or kept a stained/ripped shirt in your dating wardrobe – that’s a speed dating blunder.

Don’t be surprised if your dates forget to check your name as a ‘yes’.

Putting in a bit of effort not only shows your dates that you care about yourself, but it could make a difference in your match results.

Lacking the ability to live in the moment.

I will never forget the speed dater who constantly asked me every 4 dates when speed dating was over, so they could go to the next event they had planned that night. They even brought a friend who had to wait for them in the pub downstairs. A few days later they emailed me to ask why they hadn’t received any matches.

When you sign up for speed dating you’re indicating that you’ll be present for 2 hours. It’s a speed dating blunder to constantly check your watch, tear through Q & As, and lack the wherewithal to give your full attention to the task at hand: your 4 minute dateFocus on each person to get the most potential out of the night.

Your dates will notice if you seem like you’re in a rush to get on to the next thing. If you’re stuck on how to break this cycle of distraction, check out this article.

Passivity, or aggressiveness.

It should come as no surprise that assertive communicators tend to get the most matches. But I see a lot of speed daters go to extremes of passive or aggressive behaviour because they’re feeling very nervous.

Passivity is best summed up when one of the two daters recedes from the conversation, or doesn’t know how to engage. This occurs when one of the dates makes up their mind that they’re not worthy of the other person’s attention, in other words “giving up too soon”.

This passive behaviour can creep up after the event has ended. For example, when you have your match’s contact details in your inbox and you decide to endlessly text/email instead of making a move to set up your first real (i.e. over 4 minute) date. Spoiler alert: your match wants to be asked out!

The best thing to do with your match’s contact details is to set up a date at a time that works for both of you.

Aggressiveness can rear its ugly head in many ways.

Once at the end of the event when all of the match cards had been handed in, an aggressive attendee called out one of their dates for an innocent comment that was made during the 4 minutes. One of their date matches discretely asked to adjust their match card immediately before leaving.

Another night when everyone was playing an ice breaker game, someone asked some too-personal questions like, “who’s been divorced?” and “who’s an alcoholic?”

People avoid those who are too hostile towards other attendees, even if it is a joke.

It’s totally normal to feel nervous at speed dating, but you’re in control of how you behave. Make sure it’s assertive, or you could lose your matches.

Taking anything you can get.

In contrast to my first point on high expectations, some people will make the mistake of connecting with everyone they meet at speed dating. This is what I call “the shotgun approach”.

Attendees who mark every date as a ‘yes’ or ‘friend’ usually email me overwhelmed with their options. They typically say they made a mistake on their match card and don’t know how to let the other person down without hurting their feelings.

On the other hand, some attendees call to ask me to amend their match card to mark everyone as a ‘yes’. They do this to learn who marked them as a yes, if anyone at all. If this sounds familiar, it’s best to take some time away from speed dating and learn to love yourself a little more. There’s a reason you marked someone a ‘no’.

One of the most valuable lessons speed dating taught me was learning that not everyone is for me.  I talk about this point in nearly every speed dating introduction ‘how-to’.

Remember: dates you mark as a ‘yes’ could likely mark you as a ‘yes’. Be cognizant of that when you’re finalizing your decision after every 4 minute date. 

Learn from the mistakes of others and avoid these speed dating blunders. I hope these tips will help you improve your results the next time you attend a Do Sask speed dating event.

Do you have a speed dating blunder? Join the DO SASK FACEBOOK GROUP to share yours, or stay anonymous and email info@dosask.com.
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Contact Do Sask, or reach out on Facebook to let our community know about your speed dating blunders.

Speed Dating Blunders can make or break your match potential. Note: no one pictured is guilty of that.
The people pictured above have nothing to do with the “speed dating blunders” topic of this post.

Kick Start the New Year: These Habits Help You Keep that Fresh Feeling Every Day

Simple habits to help you kick start the new year

This post is about simple ways to keep that fresh, hopeful feeling alive all year long. These habits will improve your mood and help you kick start the new year everyday of the week. Think of this advice as a reset button you can press when you’re feeling like you need to.

Note: If you love making resolutions, this article probably isn’t right for you.

New Year’s Eve can be one of the most hopeful nights of the year. You have a few drinks, spend time with your favourite people, and watch the ball drop/fireworks (or look it up on YouTube). There’s a super-connectedness with the people and the world around you in those fleeting moments.

So why would you let a resolution put a damper on your spirit?

All of the explosive joy can come crashing down as soon as the clock hits 12:01. Some of us feel anxious about the year ahead while others are too lit to notice the difference. If you’re from the former group, you may lay awake in bed coming up with ways you want to be better in the New Year. (If you’re in the latter group you will likely wake up in the afternoon singing sea shanties… but that’s a topic for another post.)

Self-proclaimed resolutions only set you up for failure. Only 8% of people actually keep theirs. So why are we wasting time making ourselves feel icky about who we are? You deserve to feel good throughout your day-to-day life, no matter what day it is.

Kick start the new year and get a fresh start all year long with these simple life hacks:

Get a new haircut

Back in 2015, I decided to kick start the new year by donating my hair that had grown for over 4 years to charity. It was at a hair college with a student that took over 3 hours to cut it all off. At the time, I was super nervous about letting go of my locks. Surprisingly, I’ve kept my shoulder length since then. Who says I can’t change my mind and snip it again any day of the week?

For under $50 at most salons, ask your hairdresser to give you a new look. Maybe it’s as simple as a nice trim, or perhaps you want to go from long to short. If you’re a dude, you can treat yourself to a professional shave or beard shaping. Whatever you’ve been waiting to try, do it! You may not recognize yourself, but that’s the point! Remember that hair always grows back.

Toss your old undies

Ladies, do the panties in your drawer have a stained crotch, ripped elastic, or fraying hem? Guys, do your boxer-briefs have holes in the crotch and skid marks?

We all have a pair that’s been worn one too many days. And yeah, you may only keep them around for certain days of the month, or laundry day. How do you feel when you put them on again and again and again? Likely, not as saucy and confident as you once did.

It’s time to release them out into the world. (I’m having flashbacks to that season of Orange is the New Black.)

There’s no denying that used up undies definitely aren’t going to make you feel fresh. So toss them now before you forget you’re wearing them on a date that’s going well…

Sort the pile of paper

The mountain of crap – bills, letters, receipts, etc. – that’s been sitting on your desk, kitchen table, or nightstand needs regular attention.

I tend to hoard receipts and handwritten notes. Last year, I spent several days of my Christmas holiday tallying them up on a spreadsheet. This year, I made an effort to regularly sort the pile when it got too large. Now I’m way ahead on organization come tax time. And I got more time to read and bake cookies over the holidays!

I still have a manageable pile on my desk. Baby steps!

Brush & floss your teeth

How good does it feel to have smooth pearly whites before you go to work and when you go to bed? Fang-tastic.

I resisted purchasing an electric toothbrush for most of my life. Since I started using mine around two years ago it’s made an impact come dentist time. Flossing regularly has also made a huge difference. I’d prefer not sitting in the dental hygienist’s chair any longer than I have to!

Make the bed

According to Psychology Today, bed makers are happier than those who don’t make their beds. It turns out that taking 30 seconds to accomplish something small before starting your day tricks your mind into maintaining other good habits.

When I was a kid my grandma taught me how to make hospital corners (she is a trained nurse), so I take pride in trying to make mine like she taught me.

Maybe this isn’t your thing and that’s okay! I’ve had debates with friends about making beds in the past, so I know there’s no convincing people who like messy beds.

Pick up that hobby you’ve forgotten

A hobby takes your mind away from the daily grind and onto something completely outside of your work, relationships, and obligations. It’s all about giving you pleasure in your off time. When I work on my hobbies it takes me to a state of flow. (Learn more about how to find your own flow point here.)

  • That canvas and paintbrush kit? They look like they need some colour.
  • The beautiful yarn? It could make a nice toque.
  • How about the bow and arrow? It’s time to hit the target.

A number of craft projects that I’ve never finished are in a bag in the basement. For example, I’ve got all the panels cut and prepared to make a t-shirt quilt, but no sewing machine. I like that I have a bunch of things in the works to pick up at any time when I need a pick-me-up.

Write something down

As a full-time writer I sift through a tonne of details every day, so tasks like “call doctor” might get forgotten for weeks. My brain has a funny way of retaining information.

What’s worse is when something nags at you inside for a long time. It’s called repetitive ruminating and it’s not good for your health at all. Putting those thoughts into words is a great way to dump them and either: a) fix ’em, or b) forget ’em.

I don’t want to say write a journal, because that can be a daunting chore for most. In my own personal experience it has been freeing to write one or two sentences. Some people use bullet journals which are designed for efficiency and mindfulness. It’s fun to look back on the things that excited me, or tore me up inside.

Get outside and/or off of your butt

If the gym ain’t your thing, don’t feel pressured to go. Do something that gets you up and out of your chair.

I’ve tried lots of things over the years including kettlebells, kickboxing, belly dancing, cycle commuting, acro yoga, dance classes, running, rollerblading, skating, skiing, snow showing, tobogganing… and the list goes on. Don’t let the cold weather stop you – unless it’s frigid enough to make hot water evaporate into thin air.

If you really don’t want to get moving, then remind yourself of those stress-busting endorphins. Once you’re done moving, you’ll feel like a million bucks.

Prayer and/or positive affirmations

When I’m too in my head and up to my eyeballs in overwhelm I need to be reminded to stop and let it go. The best way for me to do that is to pray. Again, prayer might not be for you. But letting go of your worries is freeing.

How do you pray? Some speak out loud, some think, some sing, some memorize, some read, some have conversations.

Benefits of prayer include improving self-control, increasing trust and lowering stress, according to Psychology Today.

Put your phone away

There’s no denying that most people are addicted to their smartphones. And it causes major damage to our personal relationships and health. If you can’t cut it out cold turkey and replace it with a flip phone, you’ll have to come up with ways to wean yourself off of it to detox.

One way is to take an hour before bed each night to do something without your phone. Plug it in to charge in another room and buy yourself an old-fashioned alarm clock to wake up without it.

Making time to disconnect is one of the best daily gifts I give myself. Try it yourself!

Most importantly: do what feels best for you.

Here’s hoping that these ideas help you kick start the New Year every day of 2018! Become a VIP to get more ideas like these and updates about events delivered to your inbox.

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