If you’re looking for love, you have a lot of options. Since your Aunt Ethel’s setups haven’t gone too swimmingly and you can’t find a compatible match at work or when participating in your hobbies, you’re probably ready to turn to a solution like online dating or speed dating. Sites like OKCupid, Plenty of Fish, and eHarmony have their advantages and disadvantages, but here are some clear ways in which speed dating is better:
Making that initial connection through online dating can be a real struggle. Have you found someone who could be “the one,” reached out to them a perfectly charming and cute introduction, only to have them ignore you altogether? On the flip side, does your inbox get inundated with cheesy or crude pickup lines, or copy/pasted introductory statements? If it doesn’t leave you feeling cold or grossed out, at minimum it seems like a pretty giant waste of your valuable time.
This is where speed dating has a big advantage over online dating. You don’t have to hover over your keyboard trying to come up with that perfect flirty message, you just sit down across from an eligible single and act like yourself. Likewise, you don’t have to deal with an overflowing inbox (or the opposite, no messages ever). You can just sit and interact with one person at a time, devoting your full attention to this person before you both move on. If there’s a connection, you receive each other’s contact information and can grow a deeper bond going forward.
We all know people can be a little loose with the truth when it comes to their profile pictures on online dating sites. You know what we mean – pictures that predate the launch of the internet, crafty angles that deceive, photographing from their “good side.” You can be completely taken in by a picture, but when you meet them in person they look nothing like you expected. The point of a picture shouldn’t be to trick you, it should be to show you what a person actually looks like.
This is one major way that speed dating has a leg up on online dating. When someone sits across from you, that’s exactly who they are, no photo trickery or Photoshop magic at work. If you two click, you know you’ve made a real in-person connection, and you can completely bypass that fear that the pictures don’t match reality.
According to psychology researcher Albert Mehrabian’s groundbreaking study in 1967, about 55% of communication comes down to body language – our facial expressions, our arm movements, whether we sit back or lean in etc. This critical part of communication is completely left out of the equation with online dating. Think of a message like “I think you’re pretty.” Is it said with a smile? An ogle? Sarcastically? Did the person hit send before finishing the thought: “I think you’re pretty boring.”? Even if you’re talking to a match on the phone so you can pick up on their tone, you are still missing the body language completely.
Speed dating also beats online dating when it comes to body language. When you are sitting across from a match, you can learn so much from how they comport themselves. Are they nervously twitching in the chair? Are their eyes darting over at the girl next to you (or the door)? Are they slouched back and bored? Or is their attention fully focused on you? Do they smile genuinely when they see you? These non-verbal cues can tell you everything you need to know.
If you’re ready to give it a try, sign up for a speed dating event near you!