If you are divorced or separated and middle aged, like me, you may be thinking of trying speed dating to meet new people, but are wondering what to expect when speed dating. I was wondering the same thing when I got separated so I figured the best way to find out was to just do it. I have gone twice now so I can share with you what I experienced.
The first time I went, I signed up for an event that went from less than 15 years to my age, 35 to 48. This was not the greatest idea I ever had. Most of the women there were WAY younger than me as were the men. I only met one guy I maybe kinda wanted to date. The second time, I picked an age range where I was more in the middle, 40 to 55. This worked out much better and I picked half of the men to potentially go out with a second time.
What to expect when speed dating
First I signed up for the event online. There are at least 3 speed dating services in my town, but I went with one that seemed the most organized online. It cost $29 but they are raising it to $35.
They meet at a mid town bar, early before most patrons get there. There are numbers placed around the room at tables. As you enter, you go up to the man in charge and get a name tag. On the name tag is a number. If you are a man, the number is the table you start at.
If you are a woman the number is the table you will stay at. Studies show that there are more matches when the man rotates and the woman stays seated. This goes along with John Gray’s advice in Mars and Venus on A Date that the woman needs to act like a job interviewer or shopper and the man needs to act like a job interview candidate.
At each table the man had 5 minutes. I have read that other places do 3 or 4. 5 sometimes seems long and sometimes seems short. It depends how well the conversation is going.
You get a card with the names of all the men on it. As they show up, you have to discreetly write something about them to remember who they are. The service I went to also allowed participants to upload photos, but not everyone did.
Then you go online that night or the next day and check the ones you want. If there is a match then you get each others email. I only picked one guy last time and got no match.
Pros and cons of Speed dating
Speed dating is a little awkward because you often realize the second you see the person who sites in front of you that you have no interest in them but then have to spend 5 minutes talking to them anyways.
On the bright side, I think speed dating is a good way to get you out there though if you have never dated after your divorce. It is also a good way to break out of the online dating doldrums. If you are tired of endless emails from online shy guys with no dates, this is a way to jack up the reality to right here and right now!
The problem with speed dating is that you have no control over who you will have a mini date with unlike with online dating. My minimum standard for a date is that they are taller than me and college educated. The last time I went, at least 8 of the men out of 15 did not meet the standard.
I read the odds of meeting someone at a speed dating event overall is like 1 in 20 so you have to take it for what it is. And that does not mean if you go to 20 events you will be guaranteed of meeting someone. Odds don’t work that way. Think about flipping a coin; there are 1 in 2 odds of getting a head or tail. If you flip a head does that mean next time you will for sure get a tail?
The evening often drags on and on. The men seemed to all asked the same thing “So what do you do for a living” so you may want to have a few more interesting questions to ask if you go although for me that was a way to easily asses if they were college educated or not without asking “Did you go to college?”.
How is speed dating for middle aged women different?
I have read that men get more picky in speed dating as they age and women get less picky. This makes total sense since the ratio of men to women gets better for men as they age and worse for women.
The other factor is that in younger age categories for speed dating events, men out number women at the event, and vice versa for the older ranges; again, for the same demographic reason.
Overall 80% of women get a match each time they go but I think the ratio is much lower for older women. For my paltry survey of 4 middle aged women, only 1 of them got a match out of 6 speed dating event attempts by the four women. Not anywhere close to 80%. I think this is a combo of middle aged pickiness in general and just middle aged ratios of men to women.
Overall, if you like what you have read about what to expect when speed dating, then I would recommend going to at least one speed dating event to see if you like it or not. It is better for extroverts, than introverts, so if you are an introvert prepare to be really tired at the end.