15 Speed Dating Tips (Advice for a Positive Experience)

Speed dating is a great way to meet new people while avoiding online dating. It gives you the opportunity to meet local singles and possibly find true love. 

Although it can be a blast, attending a speed date event can also be a little intimidating. How do you impress other speed daters in such a short amount of time? What do you need to do to prepare? How can you be successful?

Don’t worry! This list is compiled of the best speed dating tips to help you be successful at your next single’s event. 

How to Make the Most Out of Speed Dating

When speed dating, you’re given a short space of time to get to know other singles. You get around 3-5 minutes to determine if someone is a good match for you. 

There are a few things you can do to make sure that you make the most out of the few minutes you’re given. The most important things to focus on are making a good impression and getting to know your potential partners. Doing this will help you attract others and determine who you would be compatible with. 

This speed dating advice will help you focus on those areas so you can have the most success at your next event. 

Important Speed Dating Tips for Success

Read through these tips before attending a speed dating event to ensure you have a great time!

Speed dating tips infographic

1. Keep an Open Mind

The most important thing to do when speed dating is to keep an open mind. Since you never know who you’ll be meeting, it’s important not to go in with a bunch of expectations. 

While it’s important to adhere to your standards, don’t discount potential matches. If you start the night with the attitude that anything can happen, you might be surprised who you hit it off with. 

2. Have a Positive Attitude

The second most important tip is to maintain a positive attitude. Sure, your friends may have pressured you and dragged you to this event. 

But, you just might meet someone great. At the very least, you’ll get some good practice that will help you in the dating world. 

It’s important to stifle any negative feelings you have toward speed dating before you go. Giving off positive energy is much more likely to help you attract someone. Your dates will be able to tell that you don’t want to be there which is a huge turnoff. 

3. Know What to Expect

When you’re attending a speed dating event, especially for the first time, make sure you know what to expect. You don’t want to be so overwhelmed by the process that you aren’t able to focus on the people you’re meeting.

Here are a few things to find out before you go:

  • How many dates can you expect?
  • How much time do you have to talk with each person?
  • Do you need to arrive early to fill out any information?
  • How soon will you know if you found a match?

Knowing the process and what to expect will help you relax during the process. You won’t be trying to figure out what’s going on and will be able to focus your attention on making a good impression.

4. Focus On Making a Good First Impression

Speaking of making a good impression, that is next on the list. Consider speed dating to be a series of short dates in which you need to impress your date in a small amount of time. 

First impressions are crucial to having success. Make sure you’re greeting each person with a big smile, maintaining eye contact, and showing them the best parts of yourself. 

If your first impression is less than great, you only have a few minutes to turn the date around. So, make sure you bring your A game!

5. Make Sure You Look Nice

A study that covered the outcomes of speed-dating found that “both men and women based their choices mainly on the dating partner’s physical attractiveness”.

Making sure that you look nice is really important! After all, you want to show yourself off and go into the night with confidence. 

So, ladies put on a nice dress or other flattering outfit. Guys, dress up a little more than your regular casual outfits. Have a friend choose between some good outfit options and make sure you go in looking great. 

*Bonus Tip

You should always wear something you know you feel and look good in while on a date. This isn’t the time to try out a new style that you aren’t sure about. 

You don’t want to spend the date adjusting your outfit and worrying about what you look like. Wear something comfortable that makes you feel like a million dollars. 

6. Ask the Right Questions

You only have a short period of time to get to talk to each potential match. To avoid meaningless small talk, you need to ask the right questions. You can read this list of hundreds of good questions to ask when speed dating to get some ideas. 

It’s a good idea to discover any mutual interests to keep the conversation going while you’re talking. You’ll also want to learn about their lifestyle, views, and where they’re going in life. 

Asking meaningful questions will let your dates know that you are sincerely interested in getting to know them. It will also help you determine who you could see yourself spending more time with in the future. 

7. Pay Attention to Body Language

Body language can tell you a lot about how a date is going and it can tell your date a lot about you. You’ll want to avoid actions like crossing your arms and appearing closed off or unapproachable. The expression on your face is important too. 

This scholarly book explains a lot about body language and how to use it during courtship. This is a great thing to read up on when going on any date to make sure you’re picking up and giving off the right signals. 

8. Don’t Stress

It’s important not to put too much pressure on yourself. If you do, it can make you even more anxious and worried. This can turn a fun experience into a high-anxiety situation which will most likely be unsuccessful. 

When you’re too stressed out, you probably won’t be a very fun date. Your true, shining personality won’t be able to show through. Make sure that it does by limiting your level of stress.

Remember that this is a fun way to meet people. Everyone is there for the same reason and you won’t be judged for looking for a partner through speed dating. Try not to put too much emphasis on the night and worry about the outcome. 

9. Bring a Speed Dating Partner

If your dating anxiety is a little high, try bringing a friend or group of friends with you! This will make the experience way less stressful and more fun if you have people to commiserate with. 

If you can bring friends that will circulate in your potential dates, it can give you a break for a few minutes. This is a great way to get a breather and talk to someone you know for a bit. 

Either way, if you can bring a partner, you’ll have someone to talk to at the end of the night. You can compare who you liked and who you didn’t along with the conversations you had. 

10. Prepare Things to Say About Yourself

Along with preparing questions to ask your dates, you need to be prepared to answer questions about yourself. You can prepare by using the same list of speed dating questions and practice how you would answer them. 

You can even try running through a mock date with a friend. You can have them use the list of questions provided or come up with their own for you to practice with. 

*Bonus Tip

Once you answer a question about yourself, the conversation has a chance to stop there. You want to keep it going by either asking the other person the same thing (How about you?”) or another question to keep things going. 

Leaving things open-ended and using follow-ups will help keep things going in order to avoid any awkward pauses. 

11. Don’t Dwell on Past Relationships

One of your dates may ask you about your past relationships. While it’s okay to answer their questions (if you want to), you shouldn’t dwell on your past relationships. 

For example, don’t go off on a tangent about your ex when they ask why your last relationship ended. You can instead be vague and move on to something more positive. 

What is even worse is to bring up your exes when they don’t even prompt you. So, stick to talking about the two of you so you can get to know each other. 

12. Don’t Focus on Finding the Perfect Match

Speed dating is just about as casual as it gets! So don’t put pressure on yourself to find the perfect match. 

This is basically a first date with someone and you have a short time to talk to them. Think of this as more of an opportunity to find someone to go on an actual date with and get to know better. 

Your focus while speed dating should be to get to know each of the candidates. See who you find a spark with, and hopefully, they’ll be interested too. 

13. Scope Out the Venue

If you haven’t been to the venue before, check it out beforehand. You’ll be able to prepare yourself much better if you do.

Once you research the venue, you’ll be able to know how casual it is. If it’s a restaurant or bar, you can dress casually. If it’s more upscale, be sure to dress the part. 

You’ll also be more at ease if you familiarize yourself with the spot before you go. It will be easier to be comfortable somewhere you’ve seen or been before. Otherwise, you’ll be meeting potential matches in a new, intimidating environment. 

14. Have a Great Time

If you’re not having a good time, what’s the point? Dating should be fun and speed dating is no exception. Even if all of your dates are duds, you can still have fun. If anything, you’ll have a good story to tell your friends. 

Having low expectations can help you have a great time. Go into the date knowing that you might not meet someone and that’s okay. 

The more fun you’re having, the more fun you’ll be to be around. This will increase your chances of at least having a good conversation with someone new.  

15. Keep Trying

Dating is a bit of a number’s game. The more people you meet, the higher chance you’ll have of meeting someone special. So, don’t give up after one try at speed dating. 

Different events will have different people to meet. Maybe your special someone won’t happen to be around until your third, fourth, or tenth event. Persistence is key in meeting the right person!

Speed Dating Success FAQ

How can I be successful at a speed dating event?

There are many factors that will determine your success at a speed dating event. Besides the things you can’t control like who else shows up and how many dates you get, you’re able to do some things that will help your chances.

First, show up looking and feeling good about yourself. Confidence is a big factor in dating success. Make sure that you are prepared with questions and answers that keep the conversation going. Lastly, make sure that you keep a positive attitude and open mind. 

What Should You Talk About on a Speed Date?

You should talk about yourself and your date in order to get to know each other. Be prepared with questions to ask them about themselves. Also have facts and stories about you prepared in case they ask. 

The whole goal of speed dating is to meet someone you can date further. This is the first step in getting to know them.

What Should You Wear When Going Speed Dating?

Speed dating is usually pretty casual. However, you should dress the part of the venue. If it’s more casual, dress casually. If the venue is more upscale, dress nicer. 

Wear clothes that fit your style and make you feel great about yourself. You shouldn’t wear anything that isn’t comfortable or that isn’t really you. Feeling good is just as important as looking good. 

How Do You Prepare for a Speed Date?

You should prepare for a speed date by dressing up nicely and coming up with questions that will help you get to know your dates better. Have a few questions in mind of what you’d like to ask each person that will tell you about who they are. Also have a few answers prepared about yourself for common questions that come up on dates. 


I always recommend taking things slow when you first start dating. But don’t worry, speed dating doesn’t break these rules!

Speed dating can be a lot of fun. You may even meet the perfect person at an event! Although this type of dating is very low-pressure, there are some do’s and don’ts of speed dating to be aware of. 

You can use this list of expert tips to help you be successful at your first or next speed dating event. Remember that your key focus should be getting to know your dates and making a good impression on them. 

Be persistent, positive, and prepare yourself for the most success at speed dating. You never know when you’ll meet the right person or come out with a hilarious story. 

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