You need to make the most of your time. (Picture: Getty Images)
In an increasingly virtual world, it’s hard to imagine a first date that wasn’t preceded by at least a week of picture swiping, instant messaging and Instagram stalking.
Nowadays, there’s little need for small talk during the first toe-curlingly awkward 15 minutes of a date. After all, it’s likely you already know where they work, where they live and whether or not the dog in their dating profile is theirs or simply for show.
But post-pandemic things are shifting back to how they used to be, with speed dating apparently making a comeback.
Yup, according to the figures, events and ticketing platform Eventbrite has twice as many speed dating events listed on its books now than before the pandemic.
With only three to 10 minutes (at most) to collect enough data about a prospective love interest to find out whether or not they are indeed worthy of being anything more than a prospect, it’s surely easy to fumble the bag.
If you’re serious about finding someone while speed dating though, every second counts, so you need to make sure you’re asking the right questions. Otherwise, you might end up choosing Brad who works in finance for a second date – only to find you have nothing in common and he wants to move abroad in three months, anyway.
According to Maria Sullivan, relationship expert and vice president of Dating.com, these are the best questions to ask for a successful night of speed dating.
The best questions to ask while speed dating
Are you looking for a serious relationship?
It’s probably best to establish expectations up front: are you speed dating in the hopes of finding a life partner, or just a one night stand?
‘This question will allow you to identify whether or not they are looking for a committed, exclusive, serious, long-term relationship or whether they are looking for something more casual, like a seasonal fling or a friend with benefits,’ Maria tells Metro.co.uk.
‘Then it’s up to you to decide whether what they are looking for aligns with what you want and whether a relationship with this person, serious or casual, would be worth your time.’
Where do you want to live in the next five years?
If you’re looking for something long-term, it’s probably good to know how viable your relationship will be.
‘Location plays a huge role in relationships, and understanding where a potential new partner plans to live temporarily or to settle down is very important to know as early on as possible before you get too involved,’ says Maria.
Whether that’s because you’re hoping to travel overseas or you’re thinking about the best areas for a potential baby, it’s a pretty useful question and, Maria says, ‘it’s best to set the record straight up front.’
Do you want children?
Again, depending on what you’re looking for, it’s important to find out where your potential love interest stands on the big issues, especially if they’re important for you.
And the issue of children, or no children, is certainly a big one.
‘This is a great question to ask on a speed date or when you have limited time to get to know someone,’ says Maria.
‘If you’re certain that you absolutely want a child or children, and your date is sure that they definitely don’t, it’s best to save yourself time and move on to the next person right away.’
What are you looking for out of a relationship/partner?
‘This question will shed light on their core values,’ says Maria.
‘Hearing the most important attributes they look for in a partner can help you quickly decide if you’re aligned on your values and what you want out of the relationship.’
It’s also a good idea for you to know which attributes you’re looking for in a partner, too, so that you can be more focused when whittling down your options.
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What do you like to do for fun?
Serious questions are important but, in the short term, you need to know if you’ll actually be able to have a good time with your date – especially if you want to see them again.
‘Throw in some questions about their hobbies and interests,’ says Maria.
‘Questions about their weekend or favourite activities can let you see if you have common interests and can potentially help you decide what to do if you end up getting a second date.’
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