Has anyone speed dated before?

So I’m going to an event where they have speed dating and I thought I’d give it a go for a laugh. How do they usually structure these things? Anyone end up in a relationship from one of these kinds of meetings? Tell me how it was for you.

I’ve been to speed dating twice (please bear in mind this was gay speed dating so only men were involved). In terms of how it’s structured people are generally allowed to mingle before the session starts but this can be a little awkward. You’re registered and given a score card and then asked to split into twos and sit at a table each and then you have three minutes with the person you’re talking to. Once three minutes is up you mark on your score card any notes (specifically whether you want to see the person again for relationship and/or friendship) and the next person comes and joins you. Rinse and repeat until everyone has dated everyone else, although in cases where there are odd numbers or the session isn’t long enough for all the people there sometimes you may have a few people afterwards that you’re asked to talk to “off the bell”. When the session is over people are typically encouraged to stick around and have drinks and chat to people etc, but you don’t have to.

After that it varies depending on how the company runs itself. Sometimes you give the card to the people running the event for them to input into their system, sometimes you do it yourself. You then later log on to the website and click on your event and people who match up with you (as in you said you wanted to see again and they wanted to see you) are displayed along with contact details.

What was my experience like? Mixed. I’ve done it twice and one session was very busy and lively and quite fun but I only got one “friendship” match out of that, the other was less well attended and a little dull and I followed up with one guy afterwards who clearly wasn’t interested in anything when we met up after. I decided not to do it again as it didn’t seem like a very good investment of time or money if nothing was coming out of it. I would have been happy just to meet some potential new friends but that didn’t seem to happen either, and the second session I went to showed it’s not always that much.

YMMV for straight speed dating, and in fact probably does as someone I used to work with met her boyfriend at speed dating. As far as I know they’re still together three years later.