Dating · Personal Growth

Speed Dating: Yay or Nay?

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Decoding The Pros and Cons of Super Fast Dates

With all the dating apps and websites, you may have forgotten that speed dating is a thing. It may not seem ‘speedy’ considering apps like Tinder require little time and effort to swipe left or right. But before you write off speed dating as a viable option for finding ‘the one’ or ‘one of the ones,’ consider a few of the benefits and pitfalls in a little more depth. Here are the speed dating pros and cons to remember:

speed dating events

Pro: You get to meet in person

While online or app-based dating can give you time to get to know someone before leaving your comfort zone, there are a few qualities that are difficult to measure without a face-to-face meeting. Online, a prospective date’s profile tends to show the person in the light that they want to be seen.

While speed dating, however, you can quickly tell a liar from a truth speaker, and all your questions will be answered – the mutual goal for you and your prospective date is to find out as much as possible about each other to see whether you make a match.

speed dating meetup

Pro: You can take a friend

Speed dating can seem a little bit intimidating in the beginning, especially if it’s your first go at it. This is when the buddy system comes in handy. You’ll gain the moral support of having a friend accompany you, and you will also have a bit of double-time with your prospects, seeing as you and your friend can compare notes about the people you’ve met.

Pro: You’ll get an introduction to ‘real-world’ dating

By this, I mean that you will put yourself out there like you probably haven’t before. Before graduation, chances are that you met many of your significant others through the university system. Because speed dating is usually open to the public, you will get to know prospective dates outside of your usual circles.

Pro: Rejection is softer

When you don’t find a mutual match at a speed dating event, the person doesn’t usually reject you face-to-face – and you don’t have to deal with the guilt-inducing action yourself. Instead, the event organizers collect everyone’s lists and connect people afterward if there is a mutual attraction. After coming home, you will receive an email with contact information for all your matches, but only if both of you are interested in meeting again.

Pro: You can practice your conversational skills

Introverts, in particular, may appreciate this aspect, as making conversation can be pretty nerve-wracking or exhausting—especially when the stakes seem as high as they are in the dating world. Speed dating is the perfect environment to accomplish two things: perfect your small talk and get more comfortable with it through repeat exposure.

Pro: It costs less time and money than a series of full-time first dates

While there is usually a small fee associated with speed dating events, it will only be a fraction of what countless dinners and movies might cost. And when you’re freshly out of university, every penny counts! Plus, you will save hours and hours of full-time first dates that you may have gone on instead.

Con: There’s no vetting process

You won’t be able to research the dating pool online before you head into the event. While your dates will only be a few minutes long, this aspect can make you a little nervous, especially if this is the first time you haven’t been able to gather some background information beforehand.

Con: An even ratio isn’t a guarantee

speed dating ratio

Unless the event registration implements a cap on the number of people, you might show up to an uneven event and experience a smaller dating pool. However, it’s possible to find yourself in the opposite situation, where the dating pool is more extensive, and your chances of finding matches may be higher.

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Con: A few minutes can feel like forever

You may find yourself in some pretty uncomfortable silences or perhaps even paired with someone that you find supremely annoying. It’s in these cases that a few minutes can drag on and on. However, it is an excellent opportunity to carry on a ‘no-stakes’ conversation and get a little more comfortable with speed dating.

Con: Events tend to be heteronormative

While there are speed dating events out there for the LGBT community, the majority of them will be for the heteronormative crowd. You’ll probably find a bigger pool of prospective dates on websites and apps, but if you can try out speed dating, definitely give it a shot.

Con: You might encounter regulars

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If you attend enough events in the same area, you might find yourself on mini-dates with the same people repeatedly. If that happens, expanding the geographical range of the events you attend may yield some new options.

Con: Rural events might be challenging to find

People living in metropolitan areas will have more opportunities for speed dating. In rural areas, especially ones that don’t have a large enough population in which meeting new people is possible, you will have some trouble. Your best bet is to make a city trip and try to pencil in an event.

Speed dating can be a promising outlet in which to meet someone whom you’d like to be with long term. Building relationships with someone is never that easy as you go along the way of knowing each other. And while some of your dates may not lead to something significant, you still might gain some great friends along the way, which are equally essential connections as you gain a foothold in post-university life. So, by all means, try it—you never know who you’ll meet!

Before you write off speed dating as a viable option for finding ‘the one’, consider a few of the benefits and pitfalls of it in a little more depth.

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