Why Speed Dating has an edge over Online Dating Apps

You may be wondering why, in this age of ordering anything we want online, people are signing up for singles events such as Speed Dating. Isn’t it easier to sign up to Tinder or Bumble or any one of the many other dating apps available and meet people that way? It’s so easy to swipe left or right, send a few witty messages and arrange to meet up, right? Perhaps not. It is surprisingly easy to spend a lot of time on dating apps and never meet up with anyone at all, or to meet them and find they are not at all like you thought they were going to be from their profile and online chat.  

So often we spend hours typing messages to someone, and eagerly awaiting theirs and then, suddenly, without explanation, they are gone. We’ve been ghosted, and all that time spent on them was wasted. Sometimes we make a plan to meet and then something always seems to come up. And don’t even get me started on those cases when we swap numbers to arrange to meet, and then, surprise surprise, we receive intimate pictures instead of a time and place! Speed dating is much more efficient in terms of your valuable time. You turn up to an event and in the next hour and a half you actually meet a whole bunch of real life people. It’s like several coffee dates rolled into one fun evening, and is very likely to lead to more follow up dates.  

There’s another very important reason why Speed Dating has the edge on online dating. Scrutinising a persons online profile often leaves us with more questions than answers. Is the person who logged their height as less than 90cm actually a midget? Is a man who poses in front of his Ute with a dead animal over his shoulder likely to be a misogynist? Is the cat/dog/baby theirs or their brother’s? What does the acronym mean? 


When you read the brief sales pitch that accompanies their grainy photos you are hoping for more clues. It may be very witty, which is great, but you still need to figure out if they are actually funny in person. Because it could be their witty aunty or friend who actually wrote the lines that made you LOL and left you wanting more!  You peer at those grainy photos, hoping for more clues. You may find some; a warm smile, a drink in the hand in every photo, a cool travel destination or sporting activities, or dead house plants in the background. But you may be left wondering once again. Is the person who posts a picture of a sunset as their profile picture as beautiful as that sunset? And should you swipe right on that weird cartoon in the vain hope that your Prince Charming is hiding behind it? 


But of course the most important clues aren’t there. So much of our communication is non-verbal. To really get a feel for whether someone might be a match for us we need to read their body language. We need to see their facial expressions and gestures, listen to their tone of voice, hear their laughter and even, dare I say it, smell their body odour.  Online apps don’t allow us to gather any of this very important information about a prospective partner. You can exchange messages with someone for weeks and still not have a clue as to whether or not you’ve got any chemistry with them.  


In the few minutes spent chatting to someone face to face on a speed date you get so much more to go on than you ever could online. You get to see if their eyes light up when they see you, if your jokes makes them laugh out loud, and to find out if their laugh gives you a warm fuzzy feeling in your gut. And if it does, chances are you’re both going to circle YES!

Sarah Gillard