Tips for Video Speed Dating from The League


This story originally appeared on The League, and is by Connell Barrett, a dating coach, advisor for Ask Men, and the founder of Related residents were able to experience League Live with for a special Valentine's Day event with Truly hard seltzers to help them soothe their nerves. Read on for their best tips for how to make the most of the experience. 

As a dating coach, I’ve been doing online dating since 2005, using every major app and site out there. I can report that League Live—the League’s innovative take on speed dating—is the coolest thing to hit the singles scene since swiping.

On a recent Sunday night at 9 pm, I tried the in-app, video-dating feature. It’s fun, easy to use, and effective. I was paired with four fantastic women for two-minute video dates. This led to three “matches” (meaning we can keep messaging each other), two phone-number exchanges, and one real-life date that went great.

My favorite part? It’s awesomely efficient for the busy professional. Here’s some back-of-the-cocktail-napkin math: In the real world, four first dates would equate to four nights out (over a couple of weeks), several hours of chit-chat, and plenty of pricey cocktails. On League Live, four video dates took 20 quick minutes, all from the comfort of my couch. (Bonus: Drinks are way cheaper at my place.)

Heck, I’ve spent more time waiting at a bar for my date to arrive than I spent doing League Live!

Give League Live a try. When you do, follow these 7 tips to help you get more matches and dates—and take a big step closer to finding your soul mate.

1) Look First-Date Great


Dress for League Live the same way you would for a first date. That means no pajama bottoms! True, people will only see your face and upper body; but looking sharp head-to-toe will make you feel more attractive, giving you a confidence boost your dates will notice.

2) Set The Scene


On video, lighting can make you look hot—or not. To flatter your features, use a lamp that emanates soft, diffused light; and place it even with or slightly above your head level. (If the lamp is too far above or below you, it will cause shadows.) One of my dates stood in her kitchen when we talked. The harsh, fluorescent lighting overhead didn’t do her any favors, which is too bad, because she’s an appealing, attractive woman.

Choose a setting with an intriguing backdrop—art on your wall, a well-stocked bookcase, your Smurf figurines. (Hey, no judgments.) Having some cool stuff in the frame gives your date something to ask you about.

3) Have A Back-Pocket Topic


Moments before your video date begins, you’re given a fun ice-breaker—a nice touch. Still, it’s good to have a back-pocket topic or question of your own ready to keep the conversation from lagging. When I did League Live, it was a cold day, so I was prepared to ask my dates, “If we could be somewhere tropical right now, where would it be?” Even if you don’t use it, a back-pocket topic relaxes you, letting you better enjoy the conversations.

4) Use Your Wing Pooch


You can’t bring your dog to the wine bar for a first date, but you can bring her or him to League Live. And everything’s better with dogs.

5) Get Loose


League Live starts Sundays at 9pm, so at about 8:45, get into a loose, relaxed state. How? Choose what works for you. Meditate. Sing in the shower. Dance. Pour a glass of wine. (Me? I do a one-man karaoke show—’80s, Beatles, Broadway tunes.) When you loosen up, you’ll become more present and confident, the perfect first-date vibe.

6) Give A “Power Compliment”


Because of League Live’s speed-dating element, you’ll likely be one of several people your date “meets” that evening—you only get two minutes to work with. To stand out, you must quickly make an impact. So here’s an advanced tip:

Near the end of your date, give what I call a “power compliment.” A power compliment is three things: genuine, specific, and not about their looks. Praise an impressive character trait. Saying “you seem great” or “you’re attractive” won’t cut it. (Too vague, too superficial.) Instead, go deeper. Be real, vulnerable. “Wow, you have a quick wit, and I love that,” or, “You’ve been to 50 countries? You’re so adventurous!” Show them that you see the person behind the profile—and you like what you see.

7) Ask Them Out!


If you feel a good vibe, ask them out during the video date. Keep it simple: “We’re almost out of time, but this has been fun. Want to meet up in the real world?”

Carpe that diem. Boldness makes you stand out. And fortune—and finding your soul mate—favors the bold.