What is Speed Dating? – Origins

Speed dating is an arranged dating system that originated in Jewish circles in the United States. The aim was to give Jewish singles living in highly populated areas an opportunity to meet other Jewish singles.  These days, of course, we’ve all caught the bug and it’s not just confined to the Jewish population.  So now you know the origins of speed dating you may be wondering exactly what is speed dating and how it works.  Read on to find out.

What is Speed Dating? – Offline

With so many dating services these days both online and off, it can be confusing, making what is speed dating a fair question.  Basically, speed dating is just what you may be thinking: quick dates.

Speed dating participants gather at a pre-arranged venue which could be a hall, restaurant, coffee shop or anywhere else.  Those participating in the event wear a name tag and are given a score card upon which to note whether or not they are interested in arranging a further meeting with any of the other participants.  Each “date” generally lasts for between five and ten minutes at which point one person moves on to the next person.  By the end of the meeting everyone may have speed dated ten people or more.

The initial aim is to see if you would like to be friends with the person sitting opposite you.  For this reason, some speed dating events have rules prohibiting discussing certain topics such as what you do for work and where you live.  This lessens any pressure and also adds a measure of safety.  At the conclusion of the “date”, the score cards are given to the event’s organizer who checks to see if any two people have expressed an interest to meet again.  If they have, the organizer will give the relevant people their date’s phone number.

What is Speed Dating? – Online

So now you know how offline speed dating works, you may be wondering what is speed dating online.

Online speed dating is basically the same as offline except that it is done over the computer.  You get to “chat” with your speed date for a specified time, before moving onto the next person.  Sometimes the meeting will take place in special chat rooms with the participants meeting there at a specified time.  With other sites it is not as formal.  One can log on at any time and start typing to whomever takes one’s fancy.  In this instance there is no need to interact with the person who initiates contact if you don’t wish to.

While these forms of dating have been particularly popular in Australia and the United Kingdom, usage has declined as people are not happy about paying for a few minutes in a chat room when they can have unlimited time on a regular dating site.  There are, however, ways around this which include signing up with a free speed dating site.  Your options on most will be limited, but some allow non-paying members to interact with paying members.  In such a case, if both parties agree there is a provision on some sites to extend the date, and of course one can always pass on their email address during a chat.

I hope this answers your question what is speed dating and gives you a better idea as to whether or not it’s for you.

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