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Unkempt man on a Couple online speed date. He is sitting in a messy room with a computer in his lap and a phone in his hand.


Want to meet your online speed dates in the real world? Avoid these behaviors.

Andy Phillips   |   Fri, 28 Apr 2023

Real talk, Couplers: if you’ve attended lots of online speed-dating events but haven’t made many mutual matches, the problem may lie with your video-date etiquette.

We’re not talking about the egregious types of behaviors that will get you kicked off the Couple platform. (Although, yeah ... def don’t engage in those.) There are plenty of habits that are less serious but just as likely to sabotage your speed-dating success, and today we’re zeroing in on six of them. So if you find yourself in the camp of receiving more Cuts than Couples from your speed-dating partners, perhaps you’re guilty of making these blunders yourself. Check them out ... and then check yourself. It might be the ticket to bringing your online date into the real world.

You show up to your Couple event looking like you don’t give a s**t

If you consistently strike out during speed dates, the first thing to ask yourself is this: Would my Couple dates ever describe me or my surroundings as slobbish? If your answer is anything but “NOPE,” you’ve got a problem.

Couple online speed dating occurs over video, which means your date will get a live look at your appearance and that of your immediate environment. By “appearance,” understand we’re not talking about your general attractiveness or traits you can't control. We’re referring to whether you and your space look clean and neat(ish) so that you don’t inadvertently communicate “I don't want to be here.” There’s a fine line between “casual” and “couldn’t care less,” and while that line is a matter of perception, we can all agree that looking grungy, or streaming video while surrounded by trash, sends a confusing message.

Does “making an effort” mean you have to show up to your events in formal wear or that you should contort yourself into something you’re not? Of course not. But at the very least, throw on a clean shirt and tidy up the area that’s visible on camera. The littlest effort goes a long way.

Woman with exaggerated expression on her face as she participates in an online Couple speed date on her computer.

You show too much or too little interest in your speed date

When you feel a spark within seconds of meeting your speed date, nervous energy might make you act "extreme." Perhaps you’re prone to dramatic displays of overenthusiasm ... or maybe sudden crushes make you clam up. The fact is that operating at either end of the spectrum is far from ideal.

Overeager energy could potentially scare off a love interest. Let’s be real: “too much too fast” isn’t a vibe you want to cultivate on a three-minute speed date. Conversely, if your interest paralyzes you to the point where you inadvertently communicate disinterest, well, obviously that doesn’t bode well for your second-date chances either.

The trick is to keep an even keel. Whether your date mutually matches with you doesn’t define your worth, so try to enjoy your encounter, keep it casual, and let the rest unfold organically. If you want to make it clear how you feel in a healthy way, send them a virtual gift after the date.

You compliment your speed date inappropriately

Along the same vein, tread carefully with complimenting your speed date. There’s nothing wrong with telling your date that they look nice or that you appreciate their company. However, if your compliments tend to be too specific or suggest an intimacy you don’t share yet, you’re in dangerous territory.

Use your best judgment and keep it casual. If it’s possible your comment could be interpreted as creepy, then err on the side of caution and keep it to yourself. A lot of body-based comments fall into that category (for what we hope are obvious reasons), and while that’s not a hard-and-fast rule, it’s a good point of reference.

Another type of praise to avoid is the backhanded compliment. “You have nice XXX for a YYY” only comes off as critical, not complimentary, so check any snideness at the door.

Man with computer on his lap. He gestures as he dominates the discussion on a Couple online speed date.

You’re all-talk, no-listen during your speed date

Do you find you dominate most of your Couple conversations? If so, that could be why you’re not getting a lot of mutual matches, and it's probs time you reevaluate your small-talk strategy.

When you only have three minutes to connect, it’s incredibly important to share the mic. Remember that this initial conversation should be like a game of ping pong. If there's not an even back-and-forth between questions and answers, the game is going to suck. This balance isn't always easy to maintain (especially if you find yourself speed-dating someone who’s shy), but do your best to give your date openings to share.

You push your speed date for contact info or ask them to match you

One of the social contracts of speed dating is that you don’t directly ask your date for their contact information, and you certainly don’t push them to divulge whether they’re going to Couple you once your encounter ends. If you’re guilty of that habit, you’re completely defeating the beauty of a speed date, part of which is the ability to say “yea” or “nay” privately.

Even if you’re on the best damn date of your life and you’re 99.9% certain your partner feels the same way, it is never appropriate to break this contract by putting them on the spot. Their interest (or lack thereof) will be communicated presently, so stay patient and hope for the best.

You “stalk” your speed dates at the Couple after-party

Finally, if you’re the type who uses the Couple after-party to “stalk” one of your speed dates? Yikes. You’re not doing yourself any favors with that approach.

While you absolutely can (and should!) use the after-party time to hang with a date you’re vibing with, it’s not cool to follow them from mingle room to mingle room unless they’ve explicitly invited you to do so. Otherwise, if a conversation has run its course, let it end naturally, find other people to hang with, and trust that if they’re into you, their match decision will reflect that fact.

And, just as it isn’t okay to pester people for their contact info or to suss out whether they Coupled during a date, it’s just as inappropriate to do it at the after-party. Be cool. You'll get your answer, and the only thing hounding your date will do is ensure a last-minute Cut call.


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