Ask Advice 
Article Archive 

How Can I Be More Effective?

Hi Mark and Sophie, How's it going? I didn't do too well my first time at the speed dating, I didn't get any matches. I am trying it one more time, to see if I have a better experience. What questions are proper to, work...or do you keep it light. I think I was also nervous, and talked a mile a minute. Please give me a little advice how to start when you first sit down across from a girl and have just three minutes to start a conversation. Thanks, Confused

Mark's advice

Okay Confused,
Are you any relation to Dazed?
So you're talking a mile-a-minute. There's your biggest mistake right there. Women love to talk. Oh Lord, do they love to talk! And there you are not letting them get a word in edge-ways. Instead of babbling like a trekkie at a sci-fi convention, next time you hurl yourself in front of some young thing for 3 minutes (or however long they time you), try this: "Why don't you tell me about yourself, and if there's time left over, I'll bore you with my life."
Or "I'd like to hear all about you. If I start telling you about my life, I'm liable to put you to sleep." And it's okay to be nervous. Just say you are a little nervous because you are not used to sitting across the table from someone that good-looking. Hey, now that's smooth if I say so myself. You can even say that you're not even sure you are in their league. Women like to be flattered, as long as it sounds sincere. (Hell, I like to be flattered, and I don't if the person's lying through their teeth.)

So there you go.
Let them know you're nervous, and let them talk.

Sophie's advice

Dear Confused,
You may have hit the nail on the head when you said you "talked a mile a minute". People like to be heard and be asked questions - this makes them feel like you genuinely care about who they are. If you spend the date talking only about yourself, this can make you come off as self-involved, and why would someone want to date a person who's only interested in talking about themselves? It may also be that your nerves really came through and were perceived as a lack of self-confidence. This is a real turn-off for people as well. Before embarking on your speed dating evening, try to get in touch with a few things which can help you better focus and enjoy the experience:
1. Don't expect more than is reasonable out of this situation. You're spending an evening meeting a lot of people you might normally never meet, and that in itself is enough to enjoy. If you go in worrying you might meet the "one" and that you could screw it up, you're adding too much pressure to the situation and your dates will be able to sense this.
2. Be yourself and try to relax! You have a lot to offer so don't ever lose sight of that. Be confident in your gifts - someone will be able to see them if you portray yourself honestly.
3. Treat each conversation as something individual and unique - just like the person you're talking to. Be present in the moment and try to make the other person feel at ease - chances are they're just as nervous as you. Let the conversation happen naturally, but if you want to come up with a few questions beforehand to keep you on track, then do so. What do you genuinely want to know about this person? A compliment (not a standard line you say to every woman) can also be effective - if you like someone's shirt or hair - feel free to tell them. Don't gush about it - state it and move onto something else.

Hopefully these tips will help you the next time around and good luck!

P.S. I disagree with Mark in that I don't think you should say that you are likely to bore them to death or that you are out of their league. Women like a confident man, even if he is a little shy.

Add comment


Mark, You are so wrong!! If you tell a girl that you dont want to bore her with your life, she is going to think you are a bore. Also , if you tell her you are not used to sitting in front of someone so beautiful,or that they are out of your league it shows a lack of confidence and they might just start to think that they are out of your league. Lack of confidence is one of the most unattractive things. Yes its okay to be nervous and okay to let someone know, chances are they are nervous also.

you dont have a clue.

Hi Mark and Sophie, How's it going? I wrote the above letter...signed "Confused" about a month ago. Well, feeling much better now, I just came back from my second Speed Dating session. Well, I happen to get 4 matches this time. I took both of your advice into consideration....and it helped out alot. Thank you

Not Confused Anymore!

Wow Mark are you serious? And you're supposed to be providing such good advice you're on a website called the advice people. That's probably the worst dating advice i've ever heard. Have you ever even been on a date??

you're way off buddy!