Speed Dating is Coming Back

Published On: June 20, 2024|Categories: Dating Tips|7 min read|

At The Matchmaking Company, we’re big fans of old-fashioned face-to-face dates. While dating apps have revolutionized the way we fall in love, there’s no denying the experience is lacking a human touch. That desire for real connection has singles looking back in time to recreate dating trends of the past.

In the age of swipes and digital matches, something interesting is happening in the world of dating: people are going back to basics. More and more singles are choosing to meet face-to-face at in-person events like singles mixers and speed dating.

But why are so many leaving the comfort of their screens for the uncertainty of real-life encounters? It seems that in our tech-driven world, there’s a growing desire for genuine, human connection that a screen just can’t provide.

How Does Speed Dating Work?

Imagine walking into a cozy café or a stylish lounge filled with other singles. You take a seat, and the event host explains the rules. You’ll have a few minutes to chat with each person before a bell rings and you move on to the next. It’s fast, it’s fun, and it’s a great way to break the ice.

The conversations might be short, but they’re enough to get a sense of whether you want to see someone again. And if the feeling is mutual, the event organizers will connect you after the event. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of how a speed dating event usually unfolds:

Arrival: When you arrive, you’ll sign in and receive a name tag. You might also get a scorecard to jot down notes about each person you meet. The atmosphere is usually light and friendly, with everyone in the same boat – eager to make a connection but understanding the unique nature of the event.

Introductions: Once everyone is seated, the event host will explain the rules. Men typically move from table to table, while women stay seated, but sometimes it’s the other way around or mixed up to keep things fresh.

Mini-Dates: Each date lasts about 3-8 minutes. To break the ice, you might start with basic questions like “What do you do for fun?” or “Have you traveled anywhere interesting lately?” The key is to get a sense of the person and see if there’s a spark. When the bell rings or a signal is given, it’s time to move to the next person. Don’t worry; the organizers will keep track of time for you.

Taking Notes: After each mini-date, you’ll quickly jot down your impressions on your scorecard. Did you like their smile? Did they make you laugh? This helps you remember who you clicked with.

Making Connections: At the end of the event, you’ll indicate on your scorecard who you’d like to see again. If two people both express interest in each other, the organizers will share contact information, allowing you to follow up on your own.

Why Are People Turning Away from Dating Apps?

For many, dating apps were once the ultimate convenience. A few taps and you could be chatting with potential partners from the comfort of your couch. But after a while, the novelty wears off. Although around half of users say apps make dating easier, nearly nine in ten adults are disappointed by the options on dating apps.

Swiping left past lackluster profiles can quickly become monotonous, making the whole process feel like a chore rather than an exciting journey to find a meaningful connection. Many people report feeling like just another face in a sea of profiles, struggling to make genuine connections.

Having too many options can lead to decision paralysis and the “grass is always greener” mentality. People may find it harder to commit, always wondering if there’s someone better just a swipe away. One reason for this is the prevalence of misleading profiles.

When you have access to hundreds of potential dates in your pocket, how do you stay focused on one person? . . . Is the grass greener on the other side?
Lindsay Mills, Director of Matchmaking, Executive Matchmakers

We all want to make a good first impression, especially to potential dates. On dating apps, it’s common for users to embellish their profiles or use outdated photos. This emphasis on building an impressive resume can make it hard to gauge genuine compatibility. It also leads to disappointment when the real-life person doesn’t match the online persona.

The lack of connection is a huge contributing factor in the rise of one of modern dating’s most frustrating aspects: the frequency of ghosting. After investing time and energy into conversations, many people find themselves suddenly ignored without explanation, leading to feelings of rejection and frustration.

The Appeal of In-Person Dating Events

While speed dating is a popular option, it’s not the only type of in-person singles event gaining traction. Singles mixers, wine tastings, and even adventure outings are all designed to bring people together in a relaxed, social setting. These events offer a natural way to meet people with similar interests.

After spending so much time on screens—whether for work, social media, or dating—many people are craving real-world experiences. As our society emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, people are craving connection more than ever.

In-person singles events offer a refreshing break from the digital world, providing an opportunity to disconnect from technology and reconnect with people in a tangible, meaningful way.

Real Chemistry: While dating apps let you see someone’s photo and read a brief bio, they don’t capture the spark that can happen when two people meet in person. Eye contact, body language, and real-time conversation are all part of what makes meeting someone new exciting.

Authentic Interactions: In-person events force you to engage and be present. There’s no hiding behind a carefully crafted text or profile picture. It’s just you, meeting someone new, and seeing where it goes.

Efficiency: Speed dating, in particular, is a hit because it allows you to meet multiple potential matches in one evening. Instead of spending weeks chatting online before meeting up, you can quickly see if there’s a connection.

Surprising Connections: Dating apps make it incredibly easy for singles to home in on their “type”, which can lead you to only meet one kind of potential partner. In-person events, however, bring together a wider variety of individuals, increasing the chances of meeting someone who broadens your horizons and introduces you to new experiences.

A Confidence Boost: Meeting people in person can also boost confidence in a way that online interactions can’t. Successfully navigating a room full of strangers, striking up conversations, and making a connection can be incredibly empowering. This boost in self-esteem can translate into other areas of life, making people feel more confident and self-assured overall.

Low Pressure: The amount of conversations helps take the pressure off. If one chat doesn’t go well, you know you only know there is a room full of potential partners to chat with. It’s always an option to start fresh with someone new at singles events.

Shared Intentions: Everyone at the event is there for the same reason: to meet someone. There’s no guessing whether the person you’re talking to is interested in dating. If they weren’t interested in getting to know potential partners, they wouldn’t be here.

Fun Atmosphere: These events are designed to be enjoyable. The venues are usually lively and welcoming, with a friendly host to keep things running smoothly. Many events involve a shared activity, like wine tasting. This is a built-in conversation starter, adding to the lighthearted atmosphere.

Final Thoughts

While dating apps are unlikely to disappear entirely, the rise of in-person singles events signals a desire for more human time, less screen time. As we continue to navigate our digital world, it’s clear that face-to-face connections are more important than ever. People are recognizing the value of face-to-face interactions, and they’re seeking out opportunities to meet potential partners in real life.

Whether you’re tired of swiping, looking to boost your confidence, or just ready for a new adventure, giving in-person dating a try might be just what you need to find that special someone. You never know who you might meet.

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