What to Say on a Speed Date

Speed dating is fast paced but also quick fun.Speed dating is fast paced but also quick fun.

Speed dating is an organized dating event in which individuals rotate around a room and go on a mini date with another person. Each “date” lasts about seven minutes, after which both people must determine if they’ve learned enough about the other person to want to see them again. Seven minutes is not a lot of time to make an impression in speed dating, so it’s important to prepare so that you can tell the other person what you want them to know about you and help them make a quality decision.

Keep it Light

In the first seven minutes of meeting someone, you don’t want to burden them with your problems, rant and rave about your terrible day or force them to sit through your own private pity party. Instead, keep the conversation light and upbeat. Show him the charming, happy, fabulous side of your personality that your friends and family love. Talk about movies and TV shows, your pets, your funny stories and what you like to do in your spare time. Make a good first impression during the speed dating, and delve into deeper topics once you have more time to discuss them in depth.

Show Interest

In the rushed atmosphere of speed dating, it’s easy to sit down and begin talking about yourself; however, don’t forget about the person sitting across from you. Show interest in what she has to say. Ask questions about her interests, hobbies and goals in life. She will appreciate your sincerity and will hopefully show you the same courtesy.

Discuss Goals and Expectations

Mention your goals and expectations, and find out about his. Do your religious and cultural backgrounds differ, and if so, does that matter to him? If his ultimate goal is to marry a Jewish woman and you are a devout Catholic, a second date would be a waste of time. Also, find out where he wants to settle. Perhaps he’s living in the city for a few years but ultimately plans to move back to Iowa. This is also important ground to cover early on, especially if you’re hoping this will lead to something serious.


Perhaps one of the biggest tips for speed dating is to not say anything at all; instead, listen. Don’t just nod and pretend to listen, but truly comprehend what the other person is saying. This will make your “date” feel more comfortable and may help her open up even more. Even if you find in the first minute that you don’t share her same interests, you may find yourself attracted to her passion and learn more about her just by listening to her talk about her hobbies. If nothing else, giving her your full attention for seven minutes is a nice gesture of respect, and it will help you hone your listening skills for the next person.

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About the Author

Melissa McKean is a freelance writer based in Milwaukee, Wis. McKean has an expertise in web and SEO copywriting and has worked on both B2C and B2B lead generation and e-commerce websites to improve search engine rankings and usability. McKean has a bachelor's degree in advertising from Kent State University.

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