Dating is stressful—it takes us out of comfort zone and throws us into a situation with a new person. Now imagine a situation that throws these feelings into hyper speed—namely, speed dating.
We do not know how the date will go, what the topics of conversation will be, and how the date will end (Breakfast? In a typical speed dating event, single adults go on 8-12 dates in an evening that each last about 8 minutes.
These factors introduce high levels of uncertainty, and according to Berger and Calbrese, humans do not like uncertainty.
Whenever I talk to my students about speed dating, they appear to be judgmental and critical (as most of my students are of nontraditional dating methods, including online dating—a topic we’ll discuss in another blog).
But, the value of speed dating lies in its efficiency.
For a moment, think of the worst first date you ever went on.
You know, the one where that woman just never talked?
Or, the date where you showed up at a guy’s house only to be surprised that his entire family was there?
Even worse, how about when your first date says, “I love you” and/or discusses “our” kids (yes, this happens).
With these painful memories in mind, now imagine that the terrible date lasted less than 10 minutes.
That is one of the greatest benefits of speed dating.
We quickly realize when our first date is headed for doom, and unfortunately, we realize this before the appetizer arrives.