I am a firm believer that every exchange with someone includes something, a life lesson, a self-realization, a laugh when you needed one, an exchange of some kind of information. It is so fascinating to step back and look at the people who have impacted your life, some close and some strangers. This list is compiled based off of my own experiences of speed dating. When I was turning 30, I decided to make a bucket list of “30 things to do before I turn 30” (future blog coming soon). I added speed dating to my bucket list after watching one of my favorite movies, “Hitch” and checked it off initially when I lived in San Diego. I’ve tried it 3 times now and have always had the desire to create these types of events myself to bring new ways for people to connect. Especially those who were against or not into online dating and those who are shy, so here are 10 reasons why you should go speed dating!
1. Go Outside of your Comfort Zone and Try Something New! – Like Baz Luhrmann (the guy who sang the sunscreen song) said, “do one thing every day that scares you!” It’s great advice by the way. Life’s too short to look back at all of the “I wish I would have… could have… should have’s”. It was a little intimidating the first time I attended speed dating because I did not know how it worked or what to expect, but instead of being scared, I changed my attitude and outlook to look at it as a fun new experience to check off my bucket list! If you are feeling uneasy, bring a friend with you! You will not sit together, but you have that extra comfort in the same room and lots of stuff to discuss and share afterwards!
2. Self-Growth & Development – Putting yourself out of your comfort zone is growth, but you can also learn a lot about yourself in these types of situations by the questions asked and answers you give. I had a lot of realizations about myself in reflecting on the conversations I have had during speed dating and the information we exchanged. For example, my first time doing speed dating in San Diego I sat with a guy who had previously worked for another type of in-person dating company and his questions were really deep and thought provoking. I remember specifically he asked me “If money was no object and you could be anything in the world, what would you do?” I realized then that I did not really know and discovered that I thought this was an important question in life and something to know about myself. In reflection, it made me sad to realize that I did not really know myself and in another sense, it was a great thing because his question sparked the self-growth and development phase in my life.
3. Fine Tuning your Likes and Dislikes – Every time you go on a date or have a relationship you naturally discover the things you like, dislike, want and do not want in your future partner and relationship. Speed dating can help you determine the same. Although it is only 5-7 minutes of time talking to someone you can actually learn a lot about a person in that time.
4. Become a Better Communicator – It is a great chance to practice making eye contact, a simple, yet difficult and awkward task! You will also be able to practice expressing yourself and speaking up in the conversation. It is a great place and environment to stretch yourself in conversations, especially if it is a place you feel awkward!
5. Practice Accepting Compliments and Not Putting Yourself Down – this sounds silly, but holy toledo, I can’t tell you how many people have a hard time accepting a compliment! Now that you’ve read this, watch yourself. Someone will tell you “you look really cute today” and your response would probably be “Oh, this is an old dress” or “really? I woke up late this morning”. Just say, “THANK YOU!” 😃 Not to mention people putting themselves down without even realizing it. Make yourselves aware and use an event like this one to practice talking about yourself only in positive ways.
6. See What the Universe Sends your Way! – When you are open and have no expectations, the Universe may send some great messages your way. Conversations may consist of a good laugh you needed to have at that time, a good book recommendation or maybe even a movie. Maybe a story someone tells you or the energy they omit inspires you! Never underestimate the power of a conversation with a stranger! One small thing could be extremely impactful in your life! You may not realize it in the moment, but someone giving you a book recommendation may lead you to read that book, and that book changes your life in one way or another. I try to always find the positive takeaways in every situation. They are there if you focus on those and not on the negatives!
7. Practice Opening your Heart & Being Vulnerable – This is the perfect opportunity to practice giving love and receiving love. As adults, we may have had a lot of experiences and can be jaded in the love department from past relationships, knowingly or unknowingly closing ourselves off. I know, sounds super cheesy! This may be you and do not realize it, so it is never a bad time to give love to the world and those you meet. You may even be the person that someone needs to talk to that day. Maybe you share a personal story about yourself that someone can relate to or you give them a nice compliment that brightens their day!
8. Be Authentic – This sounds silly, but I cannot tell you how many people are inauthentic in their lives. We often worry about the thoughts and opinions of others…so what better way to practice being yourself and being accepted than with a room full of strangers and potential mates! Just be you and the rest will fall into place.
9. Become a Better Listener – Or continue practicing if you think you already are a good listener! I will be honest though, most people are not good listeners, myself included. This is a great place to practice being present and listening 100% to what someone else has to say (and not interrupting or waiting to respond)! We can learn so much when we actually listen to people, it is crazy!
10. You Never Know Who You Might Meet! – And of course, you knew this would be the last reason…You may actually meet the partner of your dreams! My first-time speed dating, I met a really cool guy, we ended up matching (we both marked our cards as interested in the other) and we dated for a few months and are still really great friends! When I speed dated in London, I met a cool guy, we went out and are still really great friends as well. Speed dating has not brought me to my Prince Charming… yet… BUT it brought me some amazing people and friends!
One of my motto’s in life is not the question of why you should do something, it is really, “Why Not?!”! Life is too short to sit on the sidelines and watch everyone else play. Saying YES to something new just may change your life, but you have to take the first step! No excuses, there is now Speed Dating available in the Central Valley (209) area! Follow our new social events company, The Social Muse on Facebook for dates, times and age groups: facebook.com/thesocialmuse