When it comes to dating, both men and women can often be lost for what to do, let alone what to say. Sometimes you don’t even know where to go to meet that certain somebody.
Here at Couturing, we’re no different. And in an attempt to rectify this, we sent two of our more than eligible singletons to Melbourne Bike Fest’s speed dating. Why? Because in this day and age of push-notifications and emails sent straight to your smart-phone, ‘maybe’ dates that occupy a whole evening are outdated and avoidable.
So what did they learn?
Speed dating is fun. It’s not just for those who struggle to get dates but for those who want to invest little and get a lot. The essence of speed dating is simple: multiple four-minute sessions followed by a gathering in the venue or at a nearby bar. If you’re worried about standing in the bar alone – don’t, you’ve already met everyone there.
As a result of their ‘investigative reporting’, our two singletons have compiled a list of tips to help you woo your way through the sessions so that you never leave empty-handed. There are the obvious tips, such as: don’t bring up the weather, don’t stare, be nice and remember their name. But what else is there?
His Tips For Her:
Don’t interview me.
Yes, I know we only have four minutes to get to know each other but that doesn’t mean I need to feel as if I’m being detained for questioning by: a) a secret agent in a secret location, or b) my mother. Instead, ask open-ended questions so that a conversation can flow. You can learn much more from one conversation with someone than with an onslaught of mundane questions.
Please ask me what I enjoy doing, not what I do.
What I do and what I enjoy doing are two very different things. For example: ‘I work for a pharmaceutical company in their sales department’ compared to ‘I enjoy riding my bike through country Victoria’. I’m the same person but one of my answers is going to lead to a more entertaining four minutes. Besides, I might just think you want to figure out how much money I make.
Show me that you’re interested in what I have to say, even if you’re not interested in me.
So, you don’t think I’m attractive and you’re clearly checking out my friend. I’m not upset, really. But because you’re being rude and I’m the friend who dived in front of a speeding car to save his Rhodesian Ridgeback, he’s going to listen when I tell him that you hate dogs.
Don’t bring up past relationships.
Just like you don’t want to be hearing about how one girlfriend of mine left the country without telling me, I don’t want to know how many psycho ex-boyfriends you’ve had in the past year – it just might be you.
Ask me what I haven’t been asked before.
Start our conversation with something fresh, something I wouldn’t expect. Denim or Corduroy? Apart from being an icebreaker, I’m less likely to fall into the monotonous routine of telling you my name, how I am and what I’ve done today. On top of that, you’ll be that one girl I’ll remember and speak to afterwards. One-up for you.
Her Tips For Him:
When it comes to dating, this sort of advice is generic for a reason. There is nothing worse than ‘getting to know’ a person only to later find out what’s underneath. Not only that, but unless you’re an actor or a particularly charming sociopath, your ‘cool guy’ persona will come across as oddly false. If I’m spending our four minutes looking at your pencil-thin arms and wondering how you could possibly be a cage fighter, then you’ve probably lost yourself a date.
Asking questions will always make you seem interested. As my male counterpart has already advised, asking interesting questions will shoot you up the ladder of potential mates. The lull that can form during a four-minute speed date is deafening. If you’re the kind of guy who struggles to think on his feet or becomes tongue-tied when placed before a lady, then prepare some beforehand. I cannot stress enough that you should keep your questions engaging but impersonal, ‘ why the divorce?’ is not the sort of information you want to be drawing out on the first date.
Be Confident, Not Cocky.
There is nothing worse than a cocky guy. You can save your chest-puffing skills for the CPR demonstrations because it’s not working. Confidence, however, is sexy. I want you to keep eye contact, smile boldly and if I’m copying your moves, flirt shamelessly. Cocky and confident can be difficult to distinguish between (if you’re a little thick between the ears) so I’ll give you an example:
Cocky: Well, hey beautiful girl, my name is Jo-Jo and I’m about to be the highlight of your night.
Confident: Hello gorgeous, i’m Joe, how’s your night been?
If you’re struggling to see how the second approach is far better than the first, then I’d like to suggest some reading materials: Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, springs to mind.
Don’t Bring Up Your Family
So your mother wants you to date more – that’s great but I don’t want to hear about it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a family-lovin kind of gal but if you’re already bringing mama into our four minutes then I’m not sure you need another girl in your life. Families can also bring up really heavy subject matter in an otherwise light conversation. ‘Are you close to your father?’ Can lead to the response of: ‘he’s in jail. I don’t see him.’ She’s not seeing him anytime soon and she won’t see you, either.
Keep Compliments Simple
Complimenting a girl in a four-minute dating session can come across awkward and forced under the best circumstances; thinking before you speak can save you from blowing your chance before it’s even begun. Compliments such as, ‘you have the most beautiful eyes’, ‘you must be a model’ and any form of pick-up line are going to go down faster than a Friday night fist-fight. If you think my dress is pretty, tell me. If you think I’m gorgeous, that’s also nice to hear. If you ask me, ‘did it hurt…When you fell from heaven?’ I’m going to take one long sip of my drink and look at the next table.
Speed dating is not all ‘hello, my name is…’ nametags and awkward small talk. It’s a fun, fresh and personal take on the dating scene that allows for you to test your physical chemistry with a partner without knowing anything about them. In a world where online dating forces you to judge somebody on what they say, it’s refreshing to return to a setting where it’s all about that first glance. Take our tips to heart and sign up to your next local event. And if you leave your lines at home, you may just come back with a catch.