Hi Angela! I am single in South Florida and am considering going speed dating. One, because it look so insanely silly in movies, and two, because I think it would be a nice way to meet new potential suitors. Do you have any advice on how to tackle these super short dates? --Time Bomb

Hi Tim Bomb,
Your positive attitude going in is great. Dating is a numbers game. The more exposure you get to potential suitors, the more likely one of them will possess the attributes you are looking for in a mate. Here are five tips for making sure your speeding dating adventure a success.

Pre-game. Before the actual speed dating begins, there is usually a 30-45minute timeframe for all the daters to arrive and have a drink. Be on time and mingle. Many new speed daters think the rule is that you are only “dating” when you sit down for the actual event. Not true. In fact, it’s better to start scouting the crowd for those that catch your attention beforehand. Strike up a conversation and continue it during your speed date.

Be Prepared. A speed date shouldn’t sound like an interview, but you also don’t want to stare at each other for five minutes with nothing to talk about.  Come prepared with a few questions that will be conversation starters.

Eye Contact. You’ll be meeting multiple people throughout the night. How do you differentiate yourself from the crowd? Eye contact- whether across the room or when you meet face to face is key to an emotional connection with anyone. If you find someone interesting, don’t let natural tendencies take over and shyly look away. Make them notice you.

Remember the Name. This is an important rule of speed dating. You will need to record which people you’d like to get to know further. If you don’t remember their name, how will you write them on your date card?  

Be respectful. Ok, so the person most likely to be voted “Not My Type” just sat down at your table. It’s ok. It’s five minutes, not an entire evening. You’ve spent longer than five minutes talking to the girl at the drive thru! Don’t make them feel as if you’d rather be anywhere but looking at them. You can do this. Did I mention, it’s only FIVE minutes?

Speed dating is about first impression. Go into this letting your instincts lead. If you feel any connections, explore them further to see if you have the attraction is more than skin deep.  

Good luck and keep me posted on how it turned out for you!

Angela, a friend of mine recently untangled herself from a long and emotional relationship, like two months ago or so. We’ve been friends for a few years and I’ve always had feelings for her, but was never able to say anything because she’s been in this relationship. I’m thrilled that I have a chance. How long should I wait before asking her out? --Brent

Brent,

Surprisingly, I’m romantic when it comes to other’s pursuits. I want to tell you to go to her house right now with a boom box raised over your head and play “your song.” (I grew up on John Cusack movies. What do you expect?) I want her to run out and tell you she’s finally realized after all these years of being with the wrong person, YOU are the man for her. I want to see you ride off into the sunset together…

Yeah, that’s not going to work.

We have two hurdles to overcome. Friend Zone and Rebound Guy. She’s already friend zoned you. In order for her to see you as boyfriend material, create a little competition and don’t be as available as you have been. As in, when she calls and begins to tell you how hard this breakup has been, politely tell her you are running into a dinner “with a friend” and can’t talk now, but will call her back. (Don’t call her back.)  Yes, this means, you may have to go on a few dates with women other than your love interest.  Why would you do that? You want her to see you in a different light than just the guy with a great shoulder made for crying on.

Once we’ve gotten you out of the Friend Zone, and she’s looking at you differently, this is when you have to proceed with caution. Is she ready? After two months, probably not. As hard as it might be, you best route to her heart is to hang back and let her crash and burn with a couple of rebound guys before that moment when you show up with the boom box under her window. (I’m determined to fulfill that Cusack fantasy.)

Do you have a question for Angela? E-mail NakedTruth@bocamag.com!

About Angela Lutin:

Angela Lutin is Essentially Angela. Blogger, Advice Columnist and Dating Guru for the social media age—decoding modern love one tweet, text, and like at a time. Angela’s weekly dating advice column, The Naked Truth, appears exclusively in Boca Raton magazine. Her work appears regularly on the Huffington Post. She can been seen on MTV’s "Made" and Bravo’s hit show, "Millionaire Matchmaker." Crafting personal dating makeovers for her clients, Angela also maintains a private practice, which turns the romantically challenged into the relationship-inclined. Follow Angela on Facebook, facebook.com/EssentiallyAngela or Twitter, @essentiallyang.