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Let’s face it – dating events don’t get much credit around here. I mean, the prospect of having to zip yourself into a pair of suffocating skinny jeans then meet a bunch of new people is enough to have you retreating back into bed. Never mind if you’ll become a crazy cat lady in ten years, you can worry about that tomorrow.
So we decided to check out a dating event to see just what the deal is. We headed down to the Social Development Network’s speed dating event, School of Love, to scope out the crowd. And yes, we spotted a weird lurker or two, but found some cuties as well.
We also took the liberty of asking the experts there for some easy ways to score at speed dating.
How To Win At Speed Dating
1. Look Snazzy
We all know that looks matter when it comes to making a first impression, so make sure you look your finest. Michelle Goh from CompleteMe dating agency says that a good look for guys is a tailored shirt or smart polo tee. For the ladies, keep it casual but feminine in a nice top and dark jeans. You can wear a dress or skirt, but keep the look simple or you might come across as being too prissy.
Also, smell nice. Nobody likes being near someone who smells like a dumpster.
2. Fake It To Make It
Confidence, we mean. You can fake confidence by sitting up straight and smiling (naturally, in a non-creepy way). Jamie Lee from Lunch Actually Group says that it’s important to be (or well, try to look) high-energy, so that people will be drawn to you. Think about it – when you’re hanging out with a friend who’s negative and whiny, don’t you feel kind of depressed too?
3. Don’t Be A Lurker
Make an effort to chat with new people, instead of standing in a corner and waiting for a handsome prince to come sweep you off your feet – because newsflash: not gonna happen. “Go in with an open mindset, rather than with the intention of finding The One there,” says Jamie Lee of Lunch Actually Group. “When you’re open to talking to more people, you’ll have more fun.”
Also, don’t be that weird guy who lurks in the corner and rummages through his goodie bag to see what freebies he scored.
4. Don’t Be Awkward
I know, I know – this is a tall order, especially coming from someone who is painfully awkward around new people (I have this weird habit of pointing out uncomfortably personal information when I don’t know what to say, like hey look, I have a mysterious scab on my leg and I think it’s growing bigger.) According to Choo Yanqing of A Dance Date dating agency, smiling is a good way to make things less awkward. Also, ask questions about the other person to deflect any awkward silences. A good one is to point out something interesting that the other person is wearing (“That’s a cool shirt. Why’d you pick the one with the ladybug print?”).
5. Do Your Homework
Not all of us are naturally witty, so be sure to prepare some talking points. Think of funny stories or interesting questions beforehand, so you can impress your date with your charming wit and humour. Talk about cool places you’ve recently been to, or that weird aerial yoga class your best friend dragged you to.
According to Deon Chan of Love Express dating agency, it’s also good to talk about your interests so you can find out if you have anything in common with your date.
Special thanks to the pros Jamie Lee of Lunch Actually Group, Michelle Goh of CompleteMe, Choo Yanqing of A Dance Date and Deon Chan of Love Express for the dating tips.
Some photos from the event:
Host Chua En Lai getting participants to play a game. Time for some public humiliation, he says.
The set up at the event. We spied a 7-course lunch, which sadly, we didn’t get to try.
Old school toys that reminded us of our school days.
Cool props at the photo booth section – no wonder there was such a long line.
Friends Jiaying, Kangwen and Frank who were at the event.
Cousins Li Min and Carolyn who swear they didn’t coordinate their matching looks for the event.
Gillian (resident photographer for the day, and also my sister) and I. We couldn’t resist a few shots at the photo booth.