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Determining Your Matches at the Speed Dating Party

Be honest with yourself.  You are basically going to a party at a nightclub where you are in a forced setting making conversation with every person of the opposite sex.  This is not the most natural way to meet people.  It is an ice-breaker and every person you meet is a total stranger.   People are always on their best behavior and will try to make the best impression.   Do not treat these blind meetings as you would a potential date with someone introduced by a friend.  Your objective is to find out as much as you can before you waste time and money in pursuit.  There are precautions you can take to make life safer  You may have had 30 dates in one night with some very nice people, but how many would your really want to see again?  As you circle hit or miss, ask yourself the following:

  • In addition to having a fun conversation, does this person really have common interests?
  • Am I choosing this person just because they are pretty/handsome, well educated, or because of their profession/status or  income?
  • What do I really like about this person that impressed me in 3-10 minutes?
  • Am I just marking this persons name as a "yes" to have something marked so I get something out of the evening? 
  • Does this person meet the criteria I have for a serious relationship?

Make sure you take good notes about each person as you are meeting a lot of people in one evening.  Treat your experience as you would online-dating.  Be friendly and cordial, don't divulge personal information until you get to know someone. Don't tell people where you live or work until you have met with them again and determined you want to date them.

After the Speed Dating Event

1. Go through the list of matches and your notes.  If you haven't had dates in awhile or haven't had much dating experience, you may feel like you won the jackpot. Start getting real.   If you had actually circled and received 6-10 matches, start narrowing your matches.   Particularly if you are male and on a budget.   Unless you meet every match for coffee or ice cream you can easily invest another $150-200 in drinks and lunches beyond what you paid to attend the speed dating event.  If you meet each one for dinner you are looking at $40-$100 for dinner.  This adds up.   Remember as you go through this process that you met the person for 3 minutes.  They are a total stranger and you know less about them than you would through on line dating, other than you like the way they look and their personality.

2. After you receive your matches, and narrowed down the ones that you really are interested in, email each match that you are interested in seeing a short note to exchange phone numbers if it was not provided.  If you are female, email is a good ice breaker to let him know you would like to meet again, especially if the guy is shy. 

3. Wait no more than 3 days after you receive your matches to make the initial contact.  If neither of you has contacted the other beyond that period of time, don't assume the person is just busy.  They have put other matches before you or just did their own narrowing and decided you aren't really a match.  Don't take it personally.  Remember, you were just meeting people for a few minutes and trying to make a hurriedly make a guess as to whether you wanted to see this person again.  Many people will mark someone down as a "yes" when they are really "unsure", think about it later and change their mind. 

4. Be careful about giving up your personal information such as work email and phone numbers.  Remember, even if the person is nice at first glance, they are a stranger, not a friend.  If you are female, you may not want to give out your phone number until after you have met for coffee first. 

5. Don't invest your precious time and money into people you don't know.  Instead of setting up a meeting right away, call to say hi.  Ask the match if they have some time to talk. Mention that you just wanted to call and say hi, that you enjoyed meeting them.  This is your chance to pre-screen before you waste your time on dates that go nowhere.   Have a set of 5-10 questions you really want to find out about them to screen further.  Keep the conversation between 15 and 20 minutes, enough to find the information you are looking for. Take scrupulous notes on each match as you talk to them, so your remember and don't mix them up. Thank the match for talking to you and end the conversation with "I am in the process of calling all my matches right now."  "I will know my schedule more next week if you would like to do coffee or meet for drinks."  "Can I call you again?"    Once you have pre-screened your matches narrow your choices again.  

6. After the pre-screen, ask yourself who you really want to meet again.  If you had 5-10 matches and then decided after screening on the phone that you only have interest in 3, call those matches and set up a one hour mini-date.  This should be coffee at a Starbucks or other coffee shop, dessert at a pie place, ice-cream parlor. Keep it very casual, quick and light.  If the match suggests dinner, tell them you are busy and you have a small amount of time right now and are trying to meet each match.  After you have had a chance to meet each match for your hour date, you will be able to tell if the person is really worth an evening of your time and finances invested on a dinner, theater, or other date.  Make sure to send a nice email to your other matches telling them that you enjoyed meeting them and talking to them further but after some thought and consideration, you have decided that you aren't a match.  You don't have to tell them why. 

7. Don't take more than 2 weeks to go through the process of meeting for lunch or coffee.  Unless you are going on vacation or business travel, you need to make contact right away.  Once two weeks has passed, you have to really ask yourself, am I really interested in this person or am I just looking for a date to have a date.  Remember, the matches you meet for coffee or lunch have other matches they are meeting too and sizing you up. 

8. Determine from your mini-dates if you really want to go on a date with this person again.  If so, call within the 1st week of having the mini-date.  Again, if the match you met doesn't meet your criteria to go further on a date, then send a nice email to your other matches telling them that you enjoyed meeting them and talking to them further but after some thought and consideration, you have decided that you aren't a match.

Next: Meeting For the First Time, After The Speed Dating Event


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