Speed dating is an organized event that gives potential daters 10 minutes or less to interact with each other. Speed daters use surveys to document their interest level in the other participants.
Participants sit down for three to 10-minute interactions. Organizers notify participants when they must move on to the next "date."
According to a 2005 University of Pennsylvania study by Robert Kurzban and Jason Weeden, most speed daters made their selections based on information gathered in the first three seconds of their dates.
Participants meet between five and 12 potential mates. All participants are vetted by the organizers.
Speed daters do not exchange phone numbers during their initial interaction. After the speed dating event, organizers provide contact information only to couples who expressed mutual interest in their surveys.
Each speed dating event has its own separate rules relating to time limits and what information can be shared. Most speed dating services require that participants arrive on time and stay for the duration of the event to ensure that equal numbers of speed daters are maintained. Speeddating.com prohibits participants from exchanging or even asking for phone numbers or last names.
Matching success rates vary widely for each speed dating service. Fast Life, a speed dating service in major cities nationwide, claims a match rate of 90.1 percent.