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Questions to Make Every Minute Count in Speed Dating

Antonia Greco - Writer for Top10.com
A man and women meeting at a speed dating event.
Speed dating is a thrilling way to meet potential romantic interests, but how do you ensure meaningful connections in those fleeting minutes?

Dating online or in person can feel like a whirlwind of superficial impressions. But as a personal and relationship coach, I see these rapid encounters as opportunities to create impactful bonds. The secret is asking thoughtful questions that uncover each person's true essence and spark insightful conversations.

With my 15+ years of experience helping clients enrich their love lives, I can teach you how to turn these brief interactions into rewarding exchanges. Who knows? You might meet the one.

» Ready to spark a connection? These are the questions to ask on a first date.

How to Ask the Best Speed Dating Questions

Focus on asking questions tailored to the other person. Customizing topics is considered a green flag in the talking stage and demonstrates that you truly want to get to know them.

Inquire about their unique passions and listen closely to their answers. Ask thoughtful follow-ups that show your curiosity. This encourages a meaningful two-way conversation rather than an interrogation for facts.

The Importance of Body Language

Non-verbal communication speaks volumes in speed dating. According to the 7-38-55 principle—7% of meaning is communicated through spoken word, 38% through tone of voice, and 55% through body language.

An open, engaged posture with smiling eye contact sends loud signals. To make a good impression when time is short, it's more important to control your movements than to choose what to discuss.

Different Types of Speed Dating Questions to Ask

Conversation Starter Questions

These solid starter questions kick off conversations and give your match a chance to share something about themselves while also learning about you. At the event, you can get to know them better without asking anything too private.

Relationship and sex therapist Jane Greer says asking about career goals is an important first-date question. It gives insight into how much time someone may invest in work versus relationships.

You can give these a try:

  • Are you a morning person or a night owl?
  • What does your ideal Friday night look like?
  • What do you like best about being in a relationship?
  • What drives you in your career?
  • If you could have any job in the world, what would it be, and why?

If you need more ideas, apps like Bumble have built-in prompts that generate questions to get your chats flowing.

a woman sitting at a table with a cup of coffee

Ice-Breakers

Asking lighthearted questions can break the ice, whether you attend a speed dating event or chat on apps like Zoosk. These queries allow you to swap entertaining stories, share laughs, and bond over common interests.

These questions will help:

  • What's the most embarrassing thing you’ve done recently?
  • If you could drop everything right now, where would you travel to?
  • What's something that always makes you laugh?
  • What show are you streaming at the moment?
  • What’s your best impression of someone?

Questions For a Man to Ask a Woman

Opt for thoughtful questions that reveal her personality and preferences. Inquire about her favorite relaxation activities to show interest in her hobbies. You'll be more likely to leave an impact if you make her feel comfortable and seem genuinely interested in her passions.

This same principle of showcasing personality applies to standing out on dating profiles.

Try these questions:

  • What’s your favorite way to relax and unwind?
  • Which adjectives would your friends use to describe you?
  • What's your favorite thing about men?
  • What era of history would you love to visit, and why? 
  • What’s expensive but worth it?

Questions For a Woman to Ask a Man

Asking a man about current projects gives insight into his passions and ambitions. His favorite thing about women reveals his perspectives and relationship expectations.

Which skill he's proud of highlights his strengths and interests. But remember—be wary of first-date red flags, and don't feel pressured to stay if you ever feel uncomfortable.

Give these a go:

  • What kind of projects are you currently working on?
  • What's your favorite thing about women?
  • What’s a skill you’re good at?
  • What three items would you take to a desert island?
  • Would you rather sing or dance? 
a man and a woman sitting at a table

Flirty Questions

Flirting with someone new can be challenging during speed dating. But you can uncover compatibility by asking questions about what the other finds enticing. You can also share what physical attributes they like and whether you fit that bill.

Asking about their ultimate romantic fantasy lends insight into desires and may spark future date ideas if you click. If you're looking for a more casual hookup, BeNaughty is the ideal platform for you.

Try these flirty questions to spice things up:

  • What’s your love language?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how spontaneous are you?
  • What are your guilty pleasures?
  • What’s the most romantic thing someone could do for you?
  • What feature attracts you the most?

» Looking for something less serious? Learn more about what casual dating is.

Nerdy Questions You Can Ask

These questions allow you to connect on a geekier level and reveal your date's personality and passions. Creative questions foster meaningful connections by encouraging people to tap into their imaginations and show their true selves. If you're seeking intellectually stimulating chats, platforms like EliteSingles shine.

Give these questions a go:

  • Which holiday would you rather celebrate: Pi Day or May the 4th?
  • What's your favorite book?
  • What kind of superhero ability would you want and why?
  • If you could be a character in any sci-fi or fantasy universe, which one would you choose and why?
  • If you could invent one new piece of technology, what would it be?

Questions For Different Generations

Remember to tailor your questions to the life stage of the person across from you. For example, ask about travel dreams or meaningful life lessons learned. You might consider asking older individuals more serious questions. They might have a better understanding of how personal values affect romantic relationships.

If you know your Myers-Briggs personality type, sharing this can spark an engaging chat. For single parents, Stir connects people navigating a unique life situation. The key is asking questions that speak to where they are now.

Like these questions:

  • Where do you want to go on your next trip?
  • What’s something important you’ve learned about yourself?
  • Can you tell me what you're grateful for in life?
  • What's something you want to learn or try?
  • Do you know your personality type?
a man with glasses talking to a woman

Questions to Avoid

If you want to avoid dating disasters, you'll need to steer clear of questions that make the other person feel uncomfortable. Instead, focus on positive aspects and save discussions about political affiliations or religion for a later date.

These questions are in the clear:

  • Why are you single?
  • How much do you weigh?
  • What's your salary?
  • What political party do you vote for?
  • What are your views on religion?

Following Up After Speed Dating

After the speed dating event, it's time to think about follow-up actions. If you've felt a strong connection with someone, act quickly and reach out to show your interest. A fantastic way to do this is by recalling a specific part of your conversation. This shows that you were genuinely interested in what they had to say.

In case you've started texting, move out of the pen-pall territory. Propose a casual date to continue your chat. Remember, not every interaction will lead to a date. For those instances, consider services like Tawkify, which provides carefully vetted matches for more intentional connections.

» Here's how to have a successful first date on video chat.

Guarding Your Safety

In both speed dating and online dating, safety is paramount. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Guard personal information: Never reveal your workplace or last name.
  • Protect your address: Keep your home address private, even if asked directly.
  • Buddy system: Inform a friend or family member about your speed-dating plans.
  • Trust your instincts: If someone gives off a negative vibe, trust your instincts. Your safety is more important than maintaining an open mind.

Speed Dating Done Right

As you begin your speed dating experience armed with these questions, remember that genuine interest and active listening build meaningful connections. Focus on getting to know each person, but balance speaking and listening. Most importantly, enjoy the process and have fun with it.

Whether online or in-person, guarding your safety is crucial—don't share personal details; trust your instincts if something seems off. Platforms like Match.com conduct background checks, helping weed out ill-intentioned people. Now, you're ready to spark up a conversation that leaves an impact!

» Feeling nervous? Follow these hacks to deal with pre-date anxiety.

Antonia Greco - Writer for Top10.com
Antonia Greco is an IDCA certified personal development coach, relationship expert, author, and communications graduate. For almost 15 years, she has helped clients reach their goals in life and love. Antonia has written for several leading publications, including Elite Daily, Bustle, Seattle Weekly, and Top10.com.