In London, there has been a 200% increase in attendance to speed dating events, as listed by Eventbrite, with three times more events taking place last year compared to 2021. Whether you prefer traditional speed dating or unique experiences like naked speed dating or chasing a chicken across the city, there is something for everyone.
Gone are the days of speed dating being associated with awkward, gel-haired corporate men in dingy bars. Love Lockdown, founded in 2017 by Philomena Obasi-Adams, is a south London-based speed dating platform that seeks to dispel this myth and provide a relaxed and creative atmosphere for young singles.
A recent study by the Pew Research Center showed that 45% of people who used dating apps recently reported feeling more frustrated than hopeful. This is why dating astrologer Lucy Porter decided to start hosting speed dating events in the capital in 2021. "The number one thing people tell me when I ask why they're here is 'I hate the apps'," says Porter. "People are seeking connection, and Covid
has left us feeling isolated from each other."
Porter has seen a significant increase in attendance to her events and True Dating, a speed dating site, has even seen a marriage and a baby from its events in just two years!
As vice president of Dating.com, Maria Sullivan explains, post-Covid
, in-person dating events are here to stay. "Like 90s fashion and flip phones, speed dating is cool again.
Single people are looking for unique experiences and speed dating events are providing just that." Sullivan adds, "After being pent up and feeling lonely during the pandemic, people are eager for physical interaction and speed dating events are exciting ways to connect with other singles and gauge potential matches."
Here are five of the coolest speed dating events in London:Love Lockdown
- Peckham-based Love Lockdown hosts both queer and heterosexual speed dating events for young singles with a relaxed and creative atmosphere.Chicken Rush
- Singles mingle at a pub in Soho before being divided into double-blind dates and racing to find a mysterious chicken somewhere in the city.Link Ting
- A sexy queer speed dating event back in March to match up LGBTQ+ singles in the city.Jenga Speed Dating
- 15 fast dates in a fun Jenga-themed speed dating event at hidden speakeasy bar Zoku in Soho.True Dating
- True Dating runs events in London almost every day of the week for those seeking their soulmate.
Here are some tips for a successful speed dating session:For a successful speed dating experience, consider the following tips:Show your depth
- Use the time you have to ask meaningful questions and get to know your dates on a deeper level.Bring friends
- Going with friends can help to alleviate any nerves, and you can turn it into a fun night out afterwards.Take notes
- Jot down quick notes on each date to keep track of who you clicked with.Lower your expectations
- Most speed dating events only have around 20 potential partners, so don't be disheartened if you don't find a match instantly.Have fun
- Speed dating is a great way to meet new people and expand your social circle, so enjoy the experience!
So, put down your dating apps, grab a friend (or two), and get ready to have some fun while searching for your next connection at a speed dating event.