7 Tips for Speed Dating in Australia
What is Speed Dating and How it Works
Speed dating is an event where people meet for a series of brief conversations in order to see if there is any romantic connection worth taking further. Typically people are sat in front of each other for 3-8 minutes depending on the event. At the end of the date, a bell is rung and one group (usually the men in straight dates) move to the next table for their next encounter.
In the late 90s and early 2000’s Speed Dating was incredibly popular. In around 2010 that popularity began to wane as it gave way to the dating app world. Although speed dating was all but wiped out during COVID there are still regular Speed Dating Events in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and in fact in most modern cities around the world.
Who Is Speed Dating?
Speed dating has slowly but surely increased in popularity among mature adults. In recent times there has also been an interest in the younger demographic as people begin to look for alternatives to the failure-ridden dating app culture. Busy people are searching for an option that saves time and puts them in front of people searching for the same thing.
People who are concerned about safety can be drawn to the public-organised nature of speed dating events- particularly if they’ve had bad experiences from meeting people through dating apps.
Do Speed Dating Events Work?
There are some advantages that lead people to consider Speed Dating as a way to meet potential matches.
- Speed Dating is an effective ice breaker- you don’t have to walk up to someone who may or may not respond to you. You are placed together with the intention of getting to know each other (as much as you can in a few minutes)
- You are in a relatively safe environment
- Everyone at the event is looking to connect
- Everyone is usually within the same age demographic at a Speed Dating event, providing a commonality that is generally comforting to people
- You get to see what people really look like. Two-dimensional and doctored images of people on their dating profiles rarely show you this which often leads to disappointment later
- In the few minutes, you meet you can have some time to see your date- how they move, smile, and speak. This provides a lot more information than a dating profile and a series of texts
- As it is a “speed date” it’s all over so quickly. That means you get to meet a number of people so the pressure of success or fear of rejection is reduced. This makes for a less stressful dating environment
- Speed dating is a fun way to interact with people and practice skills that many no longer possess due to our digital lives. This is one of the reasons Speed Dating is popular for more mature adults
- Virtual Speed Dating Events also exist- although you miss many of the advantages of a real social event, you still get to interact with people in a way that is beyond the banality of the dating app profile to text message to dick-pic process
Speed Dating Tips
- Presentation is key in speed dating. You must look your best. A 2005 study at the University of Pennsylvania of multiple HurryDate speed dating events found that most people made their choices within the first three seconds of meeting. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_dating) This means you only get one chance to make a good impression and you need to lead with your strongest assets.
- Ladies put on a pretty (and a little sexy) dress. You want to show that you are sexy and fun but an overly revealing or mini dress may put out the wrong impression and you will end up with poor results. However, if you’re there to meet men for sex then go all out and dress as hot as you like
- Men dress well. No sneakers or ripped jeans & t-shirts. Women like to see men who are smart, suave and a little sophisticated without trying hard. A nice button-down shirt without a tie perhaps untucked over nice dress pants would tick all the boxes
- Smile as soon as you meet your date and smile at everything that’s nice, fun or funny throughout your brief encounter. Smiling is disarming, charming & engaging and infectious. It’s hard to not feel good when someone is smiling at you. Studies also show that smiling even suggests intelligence
- Make strong eye contact. Especially in the first few seconds. People associate eye contact with connection and even sexual chemistry. Don’t stare, especially when you are talking. It can get weird. Look away and back to them when you speak. But when you are listening, relax, gently and subtly smile and look into their eyes
- Be a little flirtatious. Smile, giggle, say something fun, challenge them, and be cheeky. Be positive, light and fun. Leave your baggage, negativity and judgments at the door. Compliment them. It shows confidence and spontaneity. Two characteristics that nearly every client I’ve worked with over the years as a matchmaker has asked for in their ideal partner
- If you like them, tell them! This is a huge one. You would be amazed at how just knowing someone is interested in you can have a huge impact on how you feel about them. Give them a compliment that is specific and not about sex. For example, “You have beautiful hair, eyes, skin.” or “I love your smile, voice, giggle, wit, directness etc.” Then tell them you’d like to talk more with them. They will connect with you and more importantly, feel comfortable choosing you as someone they would like to meet again as they do not have to consider rejection which may have stopped them if they didn’t know you were interested
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Why Speed Dating Doesn’t Work
Many people ask, is Speed Dating Worth It? For all the reasons above, Speed Dating may be an interesting avenue to meet people but there are still some inherent problems with it which is why the exodus from dating apps has not run into the arms of speed dating.
- Although many speed dating event planners suggest there is some sort of “algorithm” in place to match people, there are little criteria that improve your chances of meeting someone like-minded other than basic demographic information (such as age and location)
- Is 3 minutes really time to get to know someone enough to know if there is something worth pursuing? Statistics suggest that success rates are remarkably low in speed dating
- Even event organisers who offer profiles for people to peruse before events run into the same problems as dating apps where people are not who they appear to be on the profiles
- As with dating apps, the shallow people who present well tend to dominate attention whilst you end up missing the gems you cannot discover in such a brief encounter. A 2005 study at the University of Pennsylvania of multiple HurryDate speed dating events found that most people made their choices within the first three seconds of meeting. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_dating
- The process leaves little room for romance and can feel more like a meat market than a date
- Finally, the dating app culture of disposable dating looks based on shallow judgments and meaningless sexual encounters have bled over into the speed dating culture. Instead of lasting connections, most people (particularly males- gay and straight) are not seeking serious relationships but rather an opportunity to pick up. Without mutual intention, most people walk away unhappy.
Speed Dating Versus Dating Apps Versus Dating Agency
Speed dating might be useful in order to help build your confidence in a relatively low-stakes environment. It offers you an opportunity to keep your social skills up and simply provides an opportunity for you to just put yourself out there. This can be good for your self-esteem and a strong declaration to the universe that you are out there and proactively seeking a partner.
For the most part, however, it struggles with success these days as many aspects of its culture have been infected by the dating app culture (looks only, sex only, disposable mentality).
If you’re seeking a serious relationship and only want to meet people doing the same, then working with a dating agency that specialises in the community you are part of is the best use of your time. People who actively pursue a dating agency and are prepared to pay for the service offer reassurance to their matches that they are taking this process seriously. If you are an executive, professional or successful business owner in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane or Gold Coast, take the Elite Introductions Eligibility test here and find out if you are Elite Material.