What is Speed Dating?
The hottest new trend in dating rituals, speed dating is a fun way to meet several prospective matches in one night. The basic concept is that you first register for a speed dating event (usually geared to an age and/or interest group). The event lasts around one-two hours in which you speak privately to a roster of potential matches (6-15) for a designated period of time (usually 3-7 minutes, or basically, just enough time to decide whether you'd be interested in spending more time with that person). Upon completion, you indicate on a form which individuals you are interested in; then later, you are notified of matches by email, so there is no pressure or agonizing uncertainties. What a hoot!
There is less pressure than on a normal first date. Most of the time, we decide in the first 30 seconds of meeting someone whether there is any attraction. With speed dating, if you don't really 'go' for a person, you don't have to spend the next 2-3 hours in an uncomfortable situation trying to find an excuse to leave. After your session with that person, you're done and you don't ever have to have contact with that person again unless you want to (and they do).
Rejection is minimal. If one of your choices doesn't match with you, you don't have much invested in terms of time or emotions. It's an opt-in experience, so to speak.
It may be the safest way to meet a first date. All parties are in public places with a group of individuals and are coordinated by event organizers/coordinators.
A few minutes is not really enough time to get to know someone very well. The danger here is overlooking a potential 'diamond-in-the-rough' who may not initially seem to be the person of your dreams.
You have no control over who shows up; if there is no one interesting at all, you may feel that you have wasted 2 hours of your time.