Speed dating under 4 minutes just might be one of the highest-pressure dating situations on the planet. Even meeting a girl’s parents gives you some time to repair mistakes! In saying that, comparing it to walking up to a woman at a bar will be even more terrifying for the majority of men out there. When you’re faced with just 4 minutes in speed dating, you have to bring your A-game, and that’s precisely what these tips will help you to perfect.
Dress the Part – Letting your personal style shine is one of the biggest keys to a great first impression – and that’s really what speed dating is all about. If you don’t currently have a personal style, grab one – fast. If you’re clueless, go for classics – a well-cut suit projects a “successful businessman” vibe, while a slightly battered leather jacket never goes out of style (and lends you a slightly bad-boy air, even if you’re an investment banker).
Work that Body – Your body. Body language is subtle, hard to control unless you know what you’re doing, and one of the quickest ways to send out “stay away” vibes. Learn a bit about the subject when you have the time. For starters, learn how to walk confidently. Just by throwing your shoulders back, standing tall and slowing your stride, you can appear much more confident. A quick, hunched shuffle indicates low self-confidence, which is an immediate turn-off.
Leaning in as you talk to your dates is crucial, but be careful. Too close and too often can come across as stalker-ish and needy. Try to alternate leaning in to hear her and leaning back (so she has to lean toward you) during your short conversation. Avoid crossing your arms – although this move has been debunked as a defensive posture, it’s still often perceived as one.
Touch Her – No, not there. Pawing a date within minutes of setting eyes on her is a horrible idea. We’re talking about subtle touches. If you actually strike up a mini-conversation, touch her arm for emphasis as you make a point during a story. This casual intimacy mimics the real thing, and automatically places you in her mind as somebody she feels comfortable with. That is, if she doesn’t yank her arm back. You might also try this as you’re getting up to leave the table – just don’t make it look as though you’re grasping after her for dear life.
The Art of the Flirt
How much to flirt? How little? Unfortunately, there’s no magic formula for this question. Some women find casual, immediate flirting fun, while others are more serious and would prefer a strictly casual conversation during speed dating. The good news is that whatever you prefer, your best matches will prefer the same. Flirting at your own speed will actually help you weed out potential matches.
If you’re already a big flirt, don’t hold back! The women most compatible with you will respond favorably. Avoid being vulgar or coarse, but let her know that there’s a spark between you. Your openness may just make her comfortable enough to flirt back.
If you’re naturally shyer, learn how to flirt. You don’t want women to leave the table thinking you’re not interested. Something as simple as a compliment can be flirtatious, so pick a feature you find beautiful (avoid being vulgar, of course) and let her know. Complimenting her eyes is a great choice, but also very common. Add to it by thinking outside the box and compliment something more unusual – try her hands (especially if freshly manicured) or even her nose. It will catch her of guard and probably make her laugh – always a good thing!
Look Her in the Eye – You already know not to stare at the table. However, you may have heard that if you look at a girl’s mouth, she’ll think you’re looking her in the eye. This could not be further from the truth. Suck it up, take a few deep breaths and look her in the eye. Avoid creepy, stalker-type staring, but connect with her eyes at least a few times during your four minutes. You’ll come across as more genuine and extremely confident, both of which are wildly attractive.
Downplay the Negative – This is one of the most confusing aspects of speed dating. You want to nail a stellar first impression, but you don’t want to tell lies that are only going to come out if you score an actual date. Think of your speed dating patter almost as you would a job interview. Don’t puff yourself up to insane (and totally false) levels of success. This doesn’t do a think except tell women that you’re a liar.
On the other hand, however, broadcasting the negative stuff about you comes across as just plain weird. Strike a balance. Nobody’s perfect, but we’ve all got something interesting going on. Living with your parents? Be upfront…but be sure to work in that amazing freelance job you’ve got going on, and your future plans.