Speed Dating

10 Jun

Dear LetterBalm: It’s been a long time since I’ve been in the dating world, and I’m nervous. I’m almost 70, widowed two years ago. I signed up for a speed dating event for seniors 65 and over. I’m not sure how it works. What are suitable questions to ask in five minutes, the time we have with each prospective date? Are there other things I should be aware of?

–An Old Newbie

Speed dating is a good way for unmarried men and women of similar ages to meet in a supervised social setting with drinks and snacks. At the end of five minutes, a bell is rung and you change places and pair off with a different man. Usually the women stay put and the men move around. Ask each man questions tailored to your interests – avoid controversial subjects like politics and religion, and don’t be shy about having written questions with you. During your meetings, telephone numbers can be exchanged. (If you have doubts, you don’t have to give yours.) At the end of the event, you should have spoken with as many as a dozen men, some of whom will call you or you may wish to call. Ms. L.B. has a few pointers: Go easy on the alcohol because you want to be sharp and lovely. Do have a glass of water/mints with you because nervousness can lead to dry mouth and bad breath. Don’t use a lot of perfume or heavily-scented lotions and sprays. Smile, breathe, and make eye contact. And, if you do arrange a date as a result of the event, take commonsense precautions. Meet in a public place for coffee to get better acquainted; dinner can come at another time. Have your own means of transportation. And, tell someone where you’ll be, with whom and what time you’ll be home. Now, here are some open-ended questions you can ask:

  • Where are you from?
  • Who are the most important people in your life?
  • Do you work or are you retired?
  • How do you spend your free time?
  • What kinds of entertainment do you like?
  • Do you like to travel?
  • Do you root for sports teams? Which ones?
  • Are you active in sports/physical fitness yourself?
  • What’s your biggest accomplishment/your biggest disappointment?
  • Do you have children? What is your relationship like with your family?



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