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6 Speed Dating Tips for First-timers

A man and a woman who listened to these speed dating tips laughing and talking while on a speed date.

Have you ever tried speed dating? It may sound gimmicky but lots of people still use it as a way to meet new people face to face, establish real rapport, and make a connection. If you haven’t tried speed dating yet but want to give it a try, there are a few things to know first about how to get the most out of the experience.

Here are 6 dating tips on how to speed date and have a great time:

1. Don’t be embarrassed.

Everyone is there for the same reason as you—to meet new people. Yes, there’s the subtext that you’re looking for a date and maybe something more. But that doesn’t preclude you from relaxing a little. Especially when you have all of five minutes to show your best stuff. Be bold because if someone doesn’t like you, odds are you won’t see them again anyway.

2. Be ready to talk.

Unlike having dinner or going to the movies, silence isn’t acceptable when you’re on a speed date. You’re there to get to know people quickly, so come prepared to talk about yourself and ask questions. Also, it helps to have a few things in mind going into the experience so have topics you’re ready to discuss.

3. Have your questions ready.
There’s nothing worse than expecting someone to ask all the questions. Show initiative by coming in with a list of your own questions. Nothing as deep as, “Are you ready for marriage?” But something with more substance than, “What’s your favorite kind of food?”

Sometimes organizers provide you a with a list of questions to warm up with, most of which are pretty horrible and corny. Having your own questions will set you apart from the rest of the pack. It will also help you find out who’s interested in the same things that you are.

4. Don’t forget the power of no.
One of the benefits of speed dating is that you can decline any offers. The point of it isn’t to cling to everyone you meet. It’s to figure out who you’re compatible with quickly, then see if they’re into you as well. On the other hand, don’t be offended if you get a no yourself.

5. Ask for a number.

Initiative is something we all want out of a partner, and nothing shows more initiative then asking for someone’s number when you feel the right vibe. Admittedly, this takes practice and reading the right cues from across the table, but this can also save you the time and hassle of trying to go through the organizers.

Speed dating events usually let two people interested in each other contact each other, but not always. If you’re sensing a connection, try to ask for a number toward the end of the conversation. It’ll save you the hassle of wading through the crowd to find them at the end of the event or relying on organizers to put you in touch.

6. Have fun with it.

Dating isn’t fun when you take it and yourself too seriously. So try to lighten up, take the pressure off yourself, and dive in and see what happens. Part of the fun of speed dating comes from the speed—when you’re moving fast you don’t have a lot of time to think, and instead you just react.

So don’t over think it, focus on the other people, and you might just find that speed dating is a perfect fit for you.

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