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. 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 behavior patterns that interrupt match potential. These can be improved with a little effort. My hope is that everyone who doesn’t know what to expect will read this, so that they know what to avoid doing at speed dating.
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. Let’s keep it that way by steering clear of the most common speed dating don’ts.
Here are five of the biggest speed dating blunders you should totally avoid:
Setting sky-high expectations before you arrive.
There’s an entire segment of the (completely dateable) single population that may take you by complete surprise. Instant attraction is not a good indicator of match potential. Choose to get to know someone better if you like what they have to say.
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 could fly if you won’t take the time to find out more.
No one is perfect. And meeting someone who immediately checks all the boxes is a rare thing indeed. Plus, I don’t screen everyone who buys a ticket to be perfect for you. That’s the beauty of it!
Listen to your gut. That 4 minutes is designed to make it an easy choice for you.
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 taken care of your basic hygiene, or kept stained/tattered clothing in your wardrobe – that’s a speed dating blunder.
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.
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 forget to give your full attention to the task at hand: your 4 minute date. Focus on each person at a time to get the most potential out of the night.
For example, I will never forget the speed dater who asked 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 to finish in the pub downstairs.
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 the cycle of distraction, check out this article.
Letting your nerves get the best of your confidence.
Everyone is a little nervous at speed dating. It’s totally normal to feel that way, but you’re in control of how you behave. It should come as no surprise that assertive people tend to get the most matches.
Aggressive behaviour such as calling out your date for an innocent comment, or asking way too-personal questions is a no-no. People avoid those who are too hostile towards others, even if it’s a joke.
On the other hand, when one of the dates makes up their mind that they’re not worthy of the other person’s attention, they “give up too soon”. This can creep up after the event has ended. For instance, when you have your match’s contact details in your inbox and you decide to text/email instead of setting 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.
Giving everyone a shot… and losing yourself in the process.
In contrast to my first point on high expectations, some will want to connect 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’ email me overwhelmed. They say they don’t know where to start and don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.
There’s a reason you have the option to mark 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.
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