We’ve all heard of speed dating before but do you really know what it is? The first thing that usually comes to mind never paints a flattering image of this unique form of dating. The stereotype is that a bunch of socially awkward people wearing name tags gather together, sweating through an excruciatingly long 5-minute conversation with a total stranger before moving on to the next. Doesn’t sound fun, does it? Well, the good news is that speed-dating in 2022 is nothing like that!


Speed Dating 101

Body of a man in a suit adjusting his tie and body of a women in red shiny dress holding an alarm clock and pointing at it.

Speed dating events are a unique and fun way to meet many interesting new people in quick succession. It began all the way back in 1998 by a rabbi from Los Angeles in order to help young single Jews meet potential partners. This revolutionary new form of dating was an instant hit and soon spread like wildfire across the United States and then the rest of the world.


While the format can vary slightly depending on the event, the fundamentals of speed dating are generally the same. An equal number of men and women spend an allocated amount of time (usually no more than 10 minutes) chatting to each other before moving on to the next person once the time is up. If you find someone that you click with, the event organisers can provide contact details - but only if the other person felt that same spark.


Are Speed Dating Events Worth It?

Two men and two women sitting next to each other at a cafe with coffees in front of them, conversing with each other.

It really depends on what you are looking to get out of it - but as a new way to experience dating? It’s absolutely worth it!


Think about how many first dates you have been on that have been awkward and felt like they would never end. Too many, right? Speed dating is a way to fast forward through this and if you find that you aren’t hitting it off, it’s only a few minutes before you never have to see them again!


By its very nature, speed dating requires you to quickly get comfortable with meeting a lot of new people in a short space of time. The chances are high that socially awkward people will avoid events like this so you will mostly come into contact with gregarious, outgoing and interesting people!


If you’re a bit apprehensive about going alone, why not make a night out of it with a group of friends? It’s a great way to spend the evening instead of the usual dinner and movies or having a few pints down the pub. Go there with an open mind and just enjoy the experience, you won’t be disappointed!


Are you looking for love? Well, you might be surprised by what you find! Remember, you’re meeting so many people in one evening so the chances are high that you will mesh well with at least a few of them. And even if you don’t find “The One”, you’ve likely made a few new friends along the way!


Speed Dating UK

Dark-haired man and brunette woman laughing while looking at each other, they are sitting at a cafe having coffee.

The UK is a veritable treasure trove when it comes to speed dating. Whether it is hosted by your local pub or club, the community hall or by a company specifically organising these events, you really are spoilt for choice!


The number one site we would recommend to find a speed dating event near you is Original Dating. They describe themselves as the UK’s leaders in speed dating and a quick browse through their events list really backs this up! They organise events not only based on location but also target specific demographics. Looking for an over 40s night or an LGBTQ+ night? No problem! They also host singles-only parties so if you are not sure about speed dating, why not go to a more casual deconstructed version?


A quick search of "speed dating events London'' on Eventbrite shows just how many options are available in the capital! Whether you are specifically after something long-term or are a Christian looking for love - they cater to everyone. There are even events for specific age groups, the LGBTQ+ community and events just for young, single, black professionals!


Virtual Speed Dating

Brunette woman and dark-haired man sitting on chairs next to each other, looking at each other while holding their phones.

If the thought of in-person speed dating events makes you nervous then don’t worry because there are virtual alternatives just for you! Most dating apps are, in essence, a form of speed dating but there are dedicated apps and sites that follow the traditional format more closely.


LightningSpeedDating.com is one of the leaders in the online speed dating industry and although you have to pay to join one of their events, it seems worth every penny! They have been around for quite a while so they know a thing or two about what makes virtual speed dating work.


A newer site to try out that seems equally promising is roundhop.com. Verification is done through Facebook or LinkedIn and the flirting starts with a  simple virtual thumbs-up! Roundhop is also completely free to use which is another major perk.


Country To Country Speed Dating

Brunette man and woman facing each other and leaning in for a kiss, with a white globe between them.

Now that travel restrictions are slowly being eased across the world as we emerge from the pandemic, you might be wanting to broaden your dating horizons a bit more.


Pre-dating.com is perfect for singles in North America, especially across the USA-Canada border. They also boast an impressive success rate of around 70% so the chances are high that you won’t leave one of their events disappointed!


For a more European-centred site, couple.eu should have an event or two that catches your eye. One great thing about them is that they make the first move for you on your virtual date - if only there was something like that in real life! Their events are also hosted by energetic and enthusiastic MCs whose job is to ensure you have a great time!

It’s clear that speed dating has come a very long way from its humble beginnings in that small Jewish community in 1998 Los Angeles. Speed dating has become a fun and unique alternative to traditional dating and it shows no signs of going out of fashion any time soon!


It doesn’t matter whether you are looking for love or you want a change of pace on a night out with your friends. Maybe you are in a new city and just looking to make new connections or you’ve just wanted to give it a try and see what speed dating is like! One thing is certain, no matter what your motive is for attending an event, you are guaranteed to have an unforgettable time and meet some amazing new people in the process!