The Ins and Outs of Speed Dating
by Laura Rupert
In the past, there were very few options with regard to how individuals could meet people and date. There were the usual set-ups and random encounters that would result in a date, however, these days dating has been taken to a whole new level. Dating services, Internet dating and the relatively new speed dating phenomenon have come into existence. Speed dating is one dating method in particular that has captured the eyes and ears of the dating public. In order to determine whether speed dating is a viable option for an individual, it is important to learn a little bit more about this dating avenue.
What Is Speed Dating?
In an informal setting, speed dating originated with Jewish individuals who were looking to find prospective spouses in areas where there was a large non-Jewish community. This was arranged in a meet and greet fashion where a large number of individuals could mingle and get to know one another. In a formal arena, speed dating is set up by organizers such as dating agencies that rent out a room in a bar or restaurant type setting and arrange for a group of individuals to pay a fee and attend. The individuals will then have approximately 8 minutes to sit at a table with a prospective mate and basically chat. When the time is up, the individuals will rotate to another table and sit with a new prospective date and so on. Once everyone has had a chance to meet all of the other prospective individuals, the participants will fill out a form and list who they would like to see again. After the speed dating session has ended the organizers will review the lists and if there are any matches where both individuals are interested in one another, phone numbers will be handed out so that the participants can take it from there.
Advantages to Speed Dating
There are many advantages with regards to the speed dating process. The first has to deal with access. One of the main hurdles that individuals have to jump over with regard to the dating scene is access to other singles. Frequently singles are too busy with work to go out and find places to meet other single individuals. Additionally, some people don't know the right places to go where meeting a potential mate might be a possibility. For these reasons, the accessibility to other singles which speed dating provides is a very attractive quality of this matchmaking method.
Time efficiency is another valuable quality of speed dating. Because each "date" lasts approximately 8 minutes and first impressions are quite important, one can usually determine even in that small period of time whether or not there may be something there. Rather than go out with one individual for a whole evening and not know whether or not the compatibility factor is there, speed dating takes care of this problem by having mini-dates as a deciding factor with regard to whether or not the individual is interested in having a full-blown date with someone.
Another advantage to speed dating is the fact that face-to-face rejection is less likely to be an option as one does not know who is interested in pursuing the relationship further until after the speed dating session has ended and numbers are (or are not) exchanged. This helps to soften the blow of not receiving an offer of a date at a face-to-face exchange.
A safe environment in which to meet other singles is another positive aspect to speed dating. Rather than venture out on a blind date or first date with someone whom one does not know, attending a speed dating session is a safe alternative as it is a group of individuals in one location where personal information is not exchanged and speed daters can feel secure in knowing that they will most likely be free from any potential harm.
Lastly, at these speed dating sessions, individuals who attend know that all of the other people who are there are attending this session because they are single and looking to mingle. This differs from a bar scene, for example, where individuals do not know who is single, involved or married and have to sift through the crowd to find available potential mates.
Disadvantages of Speed Dating
As with any situation, there will be pros but there will also be cons as well. One disadvantage to the speed dating method of meeting other single individuals is having to base a future date on an 8-minute first impression. Because a speed dating session is so brief, one has to say and do all of the right things in a short period of time in order to impress the other individual. This may be more difficult for some individuals who are shyer than others and take awhile to warm up to another person.
Another thing which those opposed to speed dating point out is that much of the speed dating sessions are based on shallow factors such as looks. Since one can only find out so much about another individual in a short period of time, whether or not a first date follows from a speed dating session is frequently based on physical characteristics. This tends to put more emphasis on looks as opposed to other attractive inner qualities such as personality and a good outlook on life.
Costs of Speed Dating and How to Find a Service Provider
Speed dating is relatively inexpensive and the price of these dating sessions depends on both the service provider and any extra amenities such as food and drink which may be included. One can usually sign up for a speed dating session for around $20. This is a great deal for the potential of finding the perfect mate.
With regard to finding a speed dating provider, one can usually get information by looking in the local newspaper in the Living/Entertainment section or using the Internet to do a search for speed dating providers. Recommendations from friends and family members are also great ways of locating companies which arrange speed dating sessions.
Speed dating is a great way to possibly find the perfect match. It is safe, inexpensive and convenient. All of these factors make speed dating a wonderful option for those looking to find a mate or simply someone to enjoy a few nice dates with.