The 8 Kinds of People Who Go to Speed Dating Events

Speed dating is making a comeback following the pandemic with live dating events for singles rising by over 60% in the beginning of 2023. But we’re not just talking about awkward little speed dating events in small towns. In fact, some areas are seeing upwards of 200% more attendees! With the obvious growth of this style of dating and matchmaking, more and more people are taking notice-and asking questions.

What Kinds of People Actually Go to Speed Dating Events - custom featured image

The two biggest questions we always hear are one-what can I expect when speed dating (which we cover in our speed dating guide), and two—what types of people go to speed dating events? 

The second of these two is what we’re going to look at today. Maybe you’re wondering if you fit the mold of the type of person that should be attending. Or maybe you’re considering giving it a go and want to know what types of people you may run into?

Regardless of the reason you’re asking, we’ve got the answers for you. Here are the 8 kinds of people you can expect to see at a speed dating events.

1. Singles looking to try something different.

They say that the definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If more traditional dating methods just aren’t working for you, it might be wise to try something new. Well, that’s what a lot of the people going to speed dating events are doing. 

While we’re not fans of the word “normal”, it’s the best we can come up with to make our point here. There are “normal” singles who go to speed dating events.

While there are some other types of folks you may run into at these events, the bulk of the attendees are “regular” people who are just looking to try and shake up the ways they are meeting other singles.

2. Busy singles looking for something more efficient. 

The other large group of people who go to speed dating events are people who may not have as much free time in their schedule as they like. One of the nice things about speed dating is it’s a very intentional and deliberate form of meeting other people for potential romantic relationships. 

If you spend an hour at a random happy hour hoping to bump into someone versus spending an hour at a speed dating event, the number of singles you meet will be wildly different. For this reason, a lot of the singles who go to speed dating events are just “normal” people with busier lives looking for a more efficient method of meeting new people.

Before we go on to the next groups of people you’ll meet at speed dating events, we want to share an important disclaimer…

Please keep in mind as you read the rest of this article that the bulk of people attending fall into the first two categories we’ve already talked about. Most of the people attending these events are regular folks just looking to meet someone special.

In the coming sections, we’re going to outline people who are a bit more of outliers and potentially unsavory, but they are generally few and far between. Additionally, a good speed dating event will do a good job of policing this up if necessary. 

3. Singles who love to drink alcohol…maybe a little too much.

Almost all speed dating events either take place at a bar or have alcohol served as part of the event. Generally, there is a pre-mixer time before the actual speed dates start where people can grab drinks. While there’s nothing wrong with having some drinks, we have heard quite a few stories of people showing up and having one-too-many. 

Now, does this mean they are an alcoholic or a lush? Sometimes yes. However, sometimes it’s people who haven’t been out in forever and are nervous and try to cover that up just a little too much with some social lubricant. 

The point here (that is not that groundbreaking) is that events built around alcohol are going to attract people who like to drink alcohol.

Related: Guide to Drinking on First Dates (Pros, Cons, and Tips)

4. The occasional oddball or creeper

Yes, every now and then you’re going to run into someone who is a bit odd or a bit creepy. It happens. There is only so much vetting that can be done and there really isn’t an easy way to check and see if someone is odd in a bad way before they attend an event.

However, if someone does something at an event that is out of line, most good speed dating events will have them removed.

The one drawback to speed dating is that you generally are asked to spend a couple minutes with everyone at the event, so that does tend to attract a few people who take advantage of that…

Again, this shouldn’t be a deterrent not to go (because there are going to be strange people anywhere), but it’s just something to be aware of. Have a plan to talk to the staff if you ever feel uncomfortable. 

5. People who are lying about their age.

Sadly, people are not always the most honest when it comes to dating. One of the things that people tend to lie about the most- is there age.

Related: Over 20% of online daters lie about their age (Data Study)

Most speed dating events are based around a certain age group on a certain night. For example, Tuesday nights might be for everyone in their 20s, or 40s on Fridays (you get the idea…). 

Depending on the quality of the speed dating event, they may or may not be checking IDs (or checking them close enough) when people check in. Additionally, some people may have fake IDs to make themselves appear younger or older. 

Why would people do this? Well, sometimes older people want to date younger people. And unfortunately, in some cases they are willing to be deceitful to make that happen.

Again, a good speed dating event will have checks and balances in place to handle this but even those systems are never perfect. 

6. People who love to talk about themselves.

No idea why, but speed dating events tend to attract people who like to talk way too much about themselves. Sometimes this is just from nervousness, sometimes it comes from trying to show off, and sometimes it comes from ego. Regardless, it tends to showcase a little bit more prominently because you only get a few minutes with each person. 

Learning to tell the difference between those who are just nervous and filling the silence (and may still be a desirable person to date) and those who are just egomaniacs, is a strong skill for anyone getting into speed dating. 

7. People you’ve gone out with before.

When you meet someone anywhere, go out with them, and then split up, the odds are high that you will see them at that place again. This doesn’t end with speed dating. If you meet someone from an event and it doesn’t work out, chances are that both of you are going to “go back to the well” and look to meet someone else at the same spot. 

This shouldn’t be a reason not to go, but it’s something to be aware of so it doesn’t catch you off guard. 

8. Shy people.

The last group on our list of people who go to speed dating events is not part of our “bad list” of attendees. We decided to mention them last as we wanted to add a few extra words of encouragement for those that fall into the group.

A lot of people who attend speed dating events do so because they are shy. Why? Well, because speed dating events are there to help people who may not be the best at approaching someone and striking up a conversation. 

What this means for you if you’re not shy is that you may see some people who take a minute to come out of their shell. And if you are shy, you won’t need the courage to start the conversation anymore, but you still will need to be prepared to be a participant. 

The words of encouragement we wanted to end with for those who are shy are this. Kudos to you for looking for a way to get out there and meet someone special. Try your best to have fun, and be prepared to go to more than one event. The first one may be a slow night, or there may not be a lot of people that you connect with. 

That’s okay. Stick with it and at least give it a couple go’s to see if it’s for you or not.

Related: More Ways to Get Dates if You’re Shy

A Message to Everyone 

One last thing we want to say-if you happen to fall into one of the unsavory categories, do something about it!

If you’re someone who talks too much about yourself, learn to ask questions of others. If you’re a bit of a lush who drinks too much, try an event sober or limit yourself to only a few drinks. The better you can present yourself, the better results you’re going to get!

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Author: Matt Seymour, MSF

Matthew J. Seymour is a dating industry expert with over a decade of experience coaching singles, reviewing dating apps, and analyzing trends within the industry. Matt is a published author with his most recent work “Get More Dates: How to Master Online Dating Apps” that hit shelves in 2023. With a Masters of Science in Finance (MSF) degree from the University of Florida and extensive knowledge of the innerworkings of the online dating industry, Matt frequently serves in an advisory role to some of the largest dating apps on the market. In Matt’s current role with Healthy Framework, he leads the interview team that regularly interviews key dating industry leaders, and leverages his financial knowledge and dating app experience to review and share what singles need to know to get the most out of dating online.