Ladies: Speed Date Like a Boss (Here’s How!)

27. April 2011

Think speed dating is just fodder for cheesy sitcom antics? Think again. Speed dating is a smart alternative to both pickup joints, and online hookups. The men you’ll meet are obviously interested in some type of relationship (don’t expect a ring on the first date – and, if there is one – run!), and you’ll never have to ditch Mr. Tall-Dark-and-Handsome when he actually turns out to be Mr. Potential-Stalker.

To make the most of your new road to romance, take charge of the show from start to finish. Although you’ll have a mini-date (three to ten minutes) with each potential mate, you can also expect each guy to make his decision within three seconds of plopping his cute (hopefully) butt in the seat. Without a powerful (and lightning fast) first impression, your hunk of burning love will forget all about little ol’ you while you’re still watching him walk to the next table.

Don’t sit back and wait for Mr. Right to fall into your lap, ‘cause that just ain’t gonna work. Think about this task just like any high-profile project, or that next big promotion. Use these tips to create a speed-dating plan – and, then, work that plan!


Who starts a project without a little up-front research? You certainly wouldn’t go into the boardroom and wing an important client presentation. Doesn’t something that might hook you up with a life partner deserve the same kind of prep work? To prepare yourself for a night of speed dating, include these tasks in your plan:

  • Choose Your Clothing – Carefully consider the message your ensemble will send to other participants. You definitely want to appear attractive, and emphasize your female attributes, but you don’t want anyone to think they can rent said attributes on the cheap. Think smart & sexy instead of easy hoochie. Check out the venue beforehand, to ensure you’re not over- or under-dressed. Here are a few guidelines:
    • If your shirt is low-cut, people will respond to you physically, rather than noticing your personality.
    • Wear natural-looking makeup. Let people see who you are, and then wow them on a date. If you wear too much makeup, you’ll look desperate.

    • If you dress like a grandma, with a buttoned-up cardigan, expect to be treated like a buddy and forgotten. Show your style, and dress age appropriate.
  • Know Yourself – You won’t attract the cream of the crop by mumbling and stuttering over the most basic questions about your life. It’s a good idea to prepare a little biography, and decide how you’ll answer common questions. Just review it all ahead of time so it sounds natural – note cards and crib sheets are definitely not sexy.
    • If your conversation is superficial, even though you only have three minutes, people will judge you by that. Try to throw in a remark about the day’s news, or a clever statement.
  • Decide What YOU Want to Know – Remember, it’s not all about you. Well, actually, it is. It’s all about what you want to know about the other person, and asking a few questions to spark an engaging conversation may earn you a special place in the right man’s memory. Here are a few to get you started:
    • Do you have children?
    • What’s the last book you read that impacted you?

    • Do you like X? Fill in the blank with a hobby you have, to see if the guy likes it, too. If you want to seem more interesting, make the question specific by adding location, for example, “Have you ever hiked Timp?” allows him to respond whether he likes hiking or not, and implies that you’re adventurous.


Most great projects are brought in right on time – never too early, and definitely never late. Timing your speed-dating entrance could be a critical part of the night. If you arrive before anyone else, you’ll be known as the needy, desperate one. Be the last one to arrive, and you’ll either miss the first round, or every man in the room will instantly know they’ll be waiting “just five more minutes” for the rest of their lives if they enter into a relationship with you.


OK – you’re on! Once the room is full, the names have been recorded, and everyone is in their places, the delicate ballet known as speed-dating begins. Put on your ultimate game face, and hitch up your big-girl panties—leaving your hormones, biological clock, and emotions at the door—and take charge of the event!

As you meet each new man, create an impression of confidence by making direct eye contact (in a normal, non-maniacal way), speaking clearly, and in a strong voice (again, in a normal, non-shrieking, non-scene-making manner), and firmly shaking hands (although a platonic hug is fine at this point, too). If you’re shy, a warm smile is just as friendly as a handshake.

While the goal is to appear confident, you don’t want to seem stiff or cold. Be assertive, but be natural, be yourself, and keep your sense of humor. In fact, if you have a twisted funny bone, go ahead and show it.

This will give you a valuable clue about each man’s own appreciation for the absurd, and may even be the fastest way to find out how he approaches life in general. It doesn’t matter how hot he may be, how rich he is, or even how smart he is—no one wants a stick in the mud as a life partner.


1. Talk about sex.
2. Talk about money.
3. Talk about previous relationships.
4. Talk about any communicable diseases, mental illnesses, or health problems in general.
5. Mention that you want to get married in X days, months, years.
6. Whine about a problem.

Every project has an implementation plan, and speed dating is no exception. Every speed-dating event requires you to check “yes” or “no” to indicate whether or not you’re interested in more from each prospective partner. This is the time to be brutally honest – like any good boss would be. Once you’ve made your gut-choice, stick to it, and don’t allow yourself to dwell on passed-up dudeportunities.


No new project is forgotten the day after implementation. After the speed-dating rounds are complete, most events have a little mixer to continue the fun while all the paperwork (those check-lists) is handled. While you’re waiting, find a more productive way to spend your time than downing a few midnight cocktails or hiding in a corner.

If you really hit it off with someone earlier, it’s fine to spend most of your time with them. It’ll be pretty clear that they feel the same way, and the contact sheets will just be a formality.

However, it’s time to work the room if you didn’t feel a single spark. Don’t spend all your time with the men – you might find a great wing-man (or wing-woman) among the other ladies.

Once you get your contact list in your hot little hand, carefully review it. Before names start to slip your mind (which may happen before morning), make a note beside the ones you’re really interested in, and forget the rest. Don’t worry about hurting anyone’s feelings at this point.

Don’t wait for your potential real date to call you. But, don’t call them the same night.


Now that your project has been successfully implemented (you’ve entered into an actual relationship), you can mark this one off as a job well done. From here on out, you’ll be too busy to spend your Saturday nights playing FarmVille, obsessively checking your emails.

Don’t forget that every good product needs a little tweak here and there, or it soon becomes obsolete and stale. If it does, don’t worry. Speed dating will always be there to help you out in the romance department. As the boss, it’s always an option to start the entire process over from the beginning!


As you explore the exciting world of speed dating, it’s important to take control, and exude every bit of confidence you have at your disposal. In this way, you can choose your perfect mate, instead of settling for whoever decides they’re attracted to you.

Along the way, you can ask those important questions that give you a peak into the other person’s mind, and never have to face a 300-pound man disguised by a 180-pound profile description.



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