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Is Speed Dating Any Good For Men?

Speed dating is cooler than it used to be

Speed dating is marketed as a brilliantly simple and fun way to meet a partner, but has been heavily criticized by men in the past.

The main criticism surrounds the lack of hotties. However, just as with online dating, this appears to have changed over the last decade.

There are now some relatively cool speed dating companies popping up across the world’s major Western cities. The best companies will arrange events with a desirable cap on the maximum age. They’ll also upload photos of previous events online, so you can screen the quality of the women who attend. Events with quirky gimmicks such as ‘Scrabble Speed Dating’ or ‘Arts and Crafts Speed Dating’ tend to attract a younger audience, so look out for these.

The main selling point for men is that women have to sit and talk with you for a designated time period. Usually three or four minutes. Then, both parties will discreetly tick or cross their date’s name to suggest if they want to swap contact details. The company will then send details for all your matches. No instant-blowouts. No cock-blocks. No embarrassing rejections. Think of it as an extended face-to-face edition of Tinder, where everyone gets to showcase their personality.    

The question is: does this make speed dating more efficient than swiping on Tinder or cold-approaching in bars and clubs?

Who is speed dating likely to help?

If you’re riddled with approach anxiety, speed dating might sound appealing.

After all, you get to bypass the approach and go straight to the date, albeit only for 3-4 minutes.

In this environment, you’re on a level playing field with the guy who is brave enough to confidently approach these women. You get 3-4 minutes with them. So does he.

Any fear of rejection you may usually feel is likely to be dampened too, as you’re highly unlikely to be ignored, cock-blocked or insulted. Whatever happens, she’ll mark her checksheet and leave after 3-4 minutes. This puts you on a level playing field with someone who could chat with her for hours with no fear of rejection.

Speed dating vs online dating

Online dating also levels the playing field in these ways, as it’s highly unlikely you’ll experience approach anxiety or fear of rejection from behind a screen.

There is a strong argument for either platform being more efficient.

  • Speed dating increases your chances of swapping contact details and lowers the risk of flakes, as the woman is forced to see a glimpse of your personality in a low-pressure environment before deciding whether to match.
  • Online dating increases your reach. You can potentially swipe on hundreds of girls in the time it takes to complete a speed dating event, meaning you could get more matches with less hassle.

Your looks – while far from everything in dating – are likely to play a huge role in determining which platform is more effective.  

Who is speed dating unlikely to help?

The levelling of the playing field (described above) won’t help anyone who can already approach women confidently.

In a normal bar situation, these people could potentially spend hours with the hottest women in the room, while all the scaredy-cats get zero minutes.

It’s harder to stand out from the scaredy-cats in 3-4 minutes, especially when the environment allows everyone to bring out their personalities. Even if you’re the most charismatic guy, she has to go and speak to dozens of other guys afterwards.

Levelling the playing field is dumb if the odds were originally stacked in your favor.

How to kick ass at speed dating

Most speed dating events start and finish in the early evening hours, so it’s not as if attending will rob you of an opportunity to hit up the true hotties at a nightclub. You can consider this your ‘warm up’ to a proper night out meeting women.

Either way, I’d suggest arriving early and introducing yourself to women before the event even starts. Aim to swap phone numbers or social media details before the speed dating even begins.

This will get you noticed, even by the women you don’t approach. It’ll help maintain your ability to stand out with your superior confidence.

During the event, demonstrate complete indifference as to whether the women match with you or not. Don’t be rushed by the timer. Have fun. However, if there is a fun quirky game to play, don’t fall into the trap of playing it. These games only serve as a distraction for people who can’t hold conversations – and a boss like you doesn’t need this, right?

It doesn’t matter who matches with you, because as soon as the event is done, you’re going to beeline for your favorite woman and invite her to join you for a drink. 

It’s not impossible to arrange a proper date without the beeline strategy, but there’s only so much impact you can make on a woman in 3-4 minutes. The longer you spend with her, the less likely she’ll flake in the future. 

The bottom line

The biggest mistake you can make in speed dating (and arguably dating in general) is to take it too seriously.

Beautiful women who attend won’t see this as their one opportunity to find a partner, and neither should you. The event itself is just an excuse to have a laugh and should be seen that way.

The true seduction should happen before and after the event, as this is the only time where you can stand out from all the other dudes.

Indeed, the best way to succeed at speed dating is to make it last longer.

In 2018, I was asked to film my entire dating life as part of a documentary to be aired on national TV. As part of the documentary, I tried speed dating and several other quirky dating strategies with varied success. The 17 brutal truths learned from this experience are detailed in my upcoming book ‘The Camera Never Lies’. Click to learn more about this book and download the first chapter for free

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About Joe Elvin Joe Elvin travels the world working remotely as a lifestyle writer and confidence coach. Throughout 2017, he filmed his entire dating life as part of a national television documentary in the UK. His new book 'The Camera Never Lies' details the brutal truths about dating and relationships learned from this experience. You can learn more about the book and download the first chapter for free by clicking here >>

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