Level the Playing Field with Speed Dating
Speed dating is the bomb, and if you don’t believe me give me a minute and I will explain myself.
Now, I got married in 2001. Speed dating was only created in 1998 so it’s safe to say that it wasn’t that popular when I was searching for dates. But ever since I was invited to speak at a speed dating event in 2006, the concept has grown on me.
Speed Dating was created in 1998 by Rabbi Yaacov Deyo to help Jewish singles find other Jewish singles. Since its creation, speed dating has blossomed into a popular activity for all types of Americans. Speed dating events are held at business conferences and networking programs. They are also coordinated at comic book conventions and other programs with niche tastes.
In 2010, I hosted Miami’s first Gay Speed Dating event, which was sponsored by Empower U. We held the speed dating to allow gay men an opportunity to meet outside of the sexually charged nightclub environment.
The hottest thing about event-based Speed Dating is that it evens out the odds. What I mean by that is at your basic convention, like say the Congressional Black Caucus, there are always a lot of singles. These singles crowd the hotel bars and do their best to mix and mingle without ruining their political futures. This risk, combined with the normal pressure of approaching someone you are interested in, practically prevents good people from connecting. The only people who end up making connections are the gold diggers and players who are well-versed at picking up people. Convention-based speed dating events allow you to meet people you normally wouldn’t meet.
When I coordinate speed dating programs, I use my book 20 Soul Questions for a Better Relationship as a conversational tool. Even though I wrote it (along with my wife) as a premarital resource book, it makes an even better speed dating book. It’s full of all types of questions that help people learn more about one another, and in a speed dating environment it gets participants past the basic questions.
Questions like “What do you do for a living” and “What happened in your last relationship” are boring after a few rounds of speed dating. While the basic questions are important, participants often fail to think of other questions during their 5-minute opening. Just like first dates, speed dates are better when you plan for them. To help prepare you for your next speed dating event, I have put together a list of some simple things to keep in mind.
Yo Jeff’s Tips on Speed Dating
1. Don’t hold back.
Speed dates are the easiest form of rejection to take, because they are quick. In a speed dating event, each person makes notes on the people they are interested in. So you won’t find out you got dissed until after the program is over. Since you won’t get dissed to your face, have no fear of being yourself. I say go for the gusto; you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
2. Take it seriously.
Even though speed dating seems simple and not as flashy as scooping someone up on the dance floor nor as suave as copping somebody a drink, it is the most efficient way of meeting someone you don’t know anything about. Not even the smoothest player or sexiest chick can meet five to six different people and have a conversation with them in an hour. I always tell people not to make fun of speed dating programs, because they are no joke.
3. Be daring.
This is a good chance to go on a date with the type of person you wouldn’t normally date. Even at the most niche gatherings, there will be people present who would never meet otherwise. I say embrace the nature of the event and release all your normal visual prejudices. Don’t be afraid to talk to somebody who doesn’t look like your type. Speed dating is a chance for people to let their inside character show.
Speed dates are a lot like first dates, so practice how you will explain yourself. Rehearse your answers to the questions you would ask of your dates. Practice your answers so they will be clear and concise.
5. Enjoy the moment.
Finally, have fun. First impressions are not always the only impressions. If you feel you got better after a few rounds of speed dating, don’t get too upset. Even if you liked a person you met in the first round but you were nervous and feel you messed up your answers, chances are they were nervous as well. The world is full of nice people, so sign up for another speed date and you won’t be as nervous.
As always, I hope my suggestions help and motivate you to attend a speed dating event. Post your comments and email your questions to Coachyojeff@gmail.com. Peace out! Yo Jeff.
Jeff Carroll aka Yo Jeff is THE hip Hop dating. Jeff is dedicated to stopping the games in dating. Yo Jeff gives advice on how to avoid playas and gold diggers and strategies for successful dating. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org