I don't know about you, but I've always had this idea that speed dating events are either held in a high school cafeteria at night or in a church recreation room accompanied with fruit punch and a tray of mint Milano cookies that no one touches.
But, obvi, that is not what happens. I chatted with a real life speed dating host who gave me a delicious Costco sized sample of what the events are really like, and to my surprise, there were no Milanos. She even bestowed some of her wisdom for first-time speed daters to me.
So how did you get into the biz and how long have you been doing this?
My friend and I attended a speed dating event a few months ago at a swanky Hotel bar in Los Angeles. We had a lot of fun and after the event was over, I reached out to the woman who had hosted the event asking if they were in need of another Los Angeles host. They were…and here I am!
What are the events like? Are they cool? Because I think a lot of people might think they're held in cafeterias like me.
The goal is to keep the events fun! There is already so much pressure when it comes to dating, so our goal is to always make people feel comfortable and at ease.
The events are held at popular Los Angeles bars and restaurants. We’re usually in a private room or designated area, which makes the events a lot more intimate.
How long do the couples get to get to know each other?
Each date will last five minutes long. Each dater will go on one five-minute mini date with each person of the opposite sex.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of only having a limited amount of time to get to know someone?
To be honest, I don’t see many disadvantages to the limited amount of time. In just five minutes, it’s pretty easy to get a sense of someone’s personality. Though you may not learn a ton about someone, that is all the more reason to go on ANOTHER date with that person!
Do you hear any success stories from singles who have attended your events?
At the end of the speed dating event, everyone is encouraged to stick around as long as they’d like to grab drinks and mingle! I love seeing daters who grab a second drink or decide to dine at the restaurant.
What is something surprising people may not know about speed dating?
It really is for all ages. People often refer to speed dating scenes from movies asking if it will be similar. Truth is: you’re never too old to date, or go speed dating, for that matter.
Have you ever accidentally met someone at an event you hosted/is that allowed?
Though I’m pretty sure we’re allowed to “meet” people at these events, I have yet to!
What's your advice for someone who is trying it for the first time/what should people talk about in those few minutes?
Arrive on time—a lot of daters go for the “fashionably late” approach but when it comes to speed dating, it’s best to arrive on time, grab a drink, take a seat and have a few minutes to relax before the dating begins.
Don’t try and tell your whole life story in those five minutes…that’s what a second date is for! Make an impression with a unique story or conversation.Oh, and have fun. Think of it as a fun night out where you get to meet a bunch of really nice and exciting people.
If you're in the LA area and want to meet someone at a HurryDate event (like the ones discussed here), check out some of their fun events here!