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Speed dating questions to get the most out of four minutes

Wednesday September 12, 2012

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One of the most effective aspects of speed dating is the fact that time is so limited. It is one of the reasons it appeals to so many people; you don't have to spend a great deal of time meeting a large number of new people, and if you meet one you don't like the date will be over swiftly without the awkwardness associated with a typical blind date.

While the brevity of a speed date is an obvious strength, it also means that you really do have to make the most of the time you have. Some dates will go very smoothly without having planned anything in advance, but sometimes the conversation may falter slightly with silences marring an otherwise good time.

In these situations, it's a good idea to have a few interesting questions prepared, especially if they might help illuminate some aspect of your date's character. You may even find it useful to start all of your dates in the same way to see how they pan out, as a good way of identifying the different characteristics of your matches.

It is often the unexpected questions that elicit the more enlightening and honest answers, as your date won't have prepared for them or answered them a thousand times before. We find one of the best methods is to ask either-or style questions, where your date has to choose between a couple of options and then elaborate on why they have made that choice. This also works well if you get them to answer as quickly as possible, without thinking too much about.

The may even surprise themselves and it makes for a fun game all on its own. It's a good idea to come up with some of these yourself, so that you can ask about things that are important to you, but we've provided a few tried and trusted examples to get you on your way:

Are you a hoarder, or do you love to throw things away? - may indicate whether they are particularly sentimental or not. A good one to ask if you have issues with clutter, or people who throw important things away thinking they're useless...

Would you rather walk or take a taxi? - a useful question to differentiate between active people and those who prefer their comforts, it can also reveal how laid back someone is and their attitudes to money.

Do you dance, or sit quietly? - tells you about their personality without asking directly, this may indicate whether they are introverted and shy, which may also explain why they might not seem keen - it's not necessarily the case.

Should a tree be pruned or should nature be left alone? - quite an open one this, you can get some surprising information out of it and will usually catch people off guard.

Try these out and see if they work for you, or use them as a template for other kinds of questions. Remember, it's not necessarily the question that is important, it's more about the answers. See where it leads your date and what it may tell you about them. It's an admirable quality to be able to make something interesting of an otherwise inane topic.

Speed dating can be immensely entertaining, but it always helps to come with a few questions in mind. Use ours or come up with some of your own for our next speed dating event - we look forward to seeing you there!

We've got five speed dating events somewhere in London every week!

Check out our forthcoming events here