Speed dating originated in the Jewish community in Los Angeles in the 1990s. Since then, it has become a popular way to screen dates quickly and safely. Typically, participants pay a set fee for the evening. They are then introduced to several potential partners with each “date” lasting anywhere from three to eight minutes.
At the end of the evening, participants discreetly let organizers know which dates they’d like to see again. If two people have selected each other, the organizers will provide them with contact information so they can get together and set up a more traditional date.
Pros of Speed Dating
Proponents of speed dating say that it removes the uncertainty from the dating situation. There is no wondering if the other person might be available or might be in the correct frame of mind to date. The very fact that the other person is at the speed dating event shows that he or she is single and looking.
Another advantage of speed dating is that it allows singles to meet several eligible people in a short period of time. Traditional dates usually take up an entire evening, even if one person realizes in the first five minutes that the other person is not for them. At a speed dating event, the mismatched date takes up only a small part of the evening—not all of it.
Finally, speed dating definitely favors those who are attractive, warm, and outgoing. If you have these characteristics, speed dating is probably a reasonable choice for you.
Cons of Speed Dating
As mentioned above, speed dating favors attractive participants with outgoing personalities. The person who is not especially attractive, or who is shy and takes a little while to “warm up” to other people usually don’t get a fair shake at speed dating events and are probably better suited to other types of dating that allow time to get acquainted before a final decision about future dates is reached.
Also, speed dating relies heavily on first impressions, which may, as we all know, be inaccurate. Therefore, the eager-go-getter from the five minute date may turn into a male slug after a few weeks of dating, and the dream girl of the five minute date the evening before may easily turn into the shrew of the five hour date a week later. Speed daters should always remember their Latin—Caveat Emptor (“Let the buyer beware.”)