by Danielle Waller
Danielle Waller is a dating and relationship expert at SpeedDater.co.uk. She has personally introduced more than 40,000 singles so she knows her stuff!
Impress me with your dress A little effort goes a long way, so as the old saying goes: dress to impress. Dress as if you were going on a first date. Because you are. A lot of first dates. First impressions really count so don't be that guy that gets turned away from a flash West End club for wearing tracksuit pants. Yep, that happened, one time, in 13 years of events. Hang your head in shame trackies-guy! Better to be overdressed than underdressed right?
Let's not talk business Keep the conversation light and fun. A few dates in, the opener of 'so, what do you do?' gets really old. By your 18th date you'll want to fly kick your date in the throat for being so unoriginal. It's called speed dating for reason, so skip topics that lead to lengthy debate like politics/religion/who will get the Iron Throne in Game of Thrones. Get a bit of banter going instead. Aim to make you date laugh so hard their G&T shoots out through their nose. Achieve that and they're yours.
Expect the expected
I hate to break your heart, but chances are you won't meet Ryan Gosling or Mila Kunis at your singles event. Sorry! I'm gutted too. You will however meet new people who aren't in your normal circle. Give people who aren't your 'type' a go. Maybe it's time to try a new direction?
Work it You've dragged yourself away from Netflix, made it out, and you're flying solo at a singles night. You're doing great. Take a breath and remember everyone is in the same boat. Introduce yourself. Socialise. Be bold. Never underestimate the attractiveness of confidence.
Smiling = sexy Sometimes when we are out of our comfort zone we forget to smile. But guess what - people like to date happy, positive people. A smile is welcoming and warm, can be flirty, a little cheeky… there are no limits to the greatness of a smile.
Love the sound of your own voice? Cool. Maybe you should become a monolog performer? Talking about yourself non-stop during a 4 minute speed date is not ok. Make sure you listen too, it's always key in any strong relationship.
Being hammered is not sexy. Trust me on this one. I get it - you're in a nice bar and you're a little nervous. You knock back a couple and soon you are wishing you'd at least grabbed a bag of crisps on the way from work. I once saw a girl vomit during a speed date. It wasn't sexy. Or funny.
Sell yourself Your personality of course! It goes without saying to not brag about money, just play your trump cards and leave your date wanting to know what's in the rest of your deck.
Friend tick vs. friend zone
After the event, you can find out who you match with through the SpeedDater site. Some people are conservative with their ticks. The 'friend' tick is not necessarily your one-way ticket to the friend zone, so don't panic! Get in touch anyway - some of the best relationships start as friendships. Plus you might end up with a new circle or friends. Who could be fit and single.
It's a marathon, not a sprint
Singles nights are a numbers game. I'm not saying people don't get married from our events, we get success stories all the time. I had a great one earlier this year where a group of 3 ladies went as a fun ladies night out and 2 of them ended up marrying guys they met! Brilliant! Just don't expect this to happen every time at every event. Sometimes you fancy one person or four or none! The good news is, if you don't like anyone you come again for free. Is 10-20 dates not enough for you? Head to a singles party instead with up 300 guests. Want to show off your skills in the kitchen? Try one of our cookery events. We run around 80 events every month with different activities and age groups, so there is something for everyone. Get involved!