With the frenetic pace and time constraints placed on modern life, it is becoming increasingly difficult to search for and find love and companionship. This fact is supported by the range of innovations and variations that have evolved from the traditional dating format over the last two decades, such as online dating and speed dating. In the US in particular, speed dating has become a hugely prosperous feature in the industry, with the city of New York alone boasting more than 12 independent service providers and approximately 1000 events during a typical calendar month. The Concept and Suitability of Speed Dating The basic concept of speed dating involves like minded individuals gathering as a group of between 16 and 20 people, typically in a bar or restaurant setting. These romantic hopefuls then meet each other in individual dates that can last anywhere between 3 and 6 minutes, a factor which is decided by the number of attendees at any particular event. It has evolved over time from a novelty, fun concept into a highly organized and profitable entity, with a series of events aimed at varying demographic groups. Speed dating has proved particularly successful amongst career minded and professional individuals, especially for young participants aged between 24 and 35. It is suitable for this demographic for 2 reasons: firstly, the timing of speed dating events (mostly scheduled during the evenings or weekends) and their fast pace suits the busy lifestyle and hectic schedule typically associated with young professionals. Secondly, this group of individuals in their mid-twenties and beyond grew up with the inception of dating innovations and online dating concepts, so that they view these opportunities without the scepticism and trepidation that exists amongst the older generations. The Advantages of Speed Dating Speed dating allows all of its participants to meet many potential suitors in a single event, which appeals to individuals who are looking to socialize and make friends as well as those who are looking for a longer term relationship. The social aspect is a wonderful advantage to speed dating, as its fun and enjoyable nature creates a relaxed environment for daters to enjoy. This casual and laid-back setting is at odds with the professionalism and hard work that goes into organizing a speed dating event, and also provides a less daunting alternative to the more formal aspects of traditional dating. The Disadvantages of Speed Dating There are criticisms of all modern dating trends, and speed dating is no different. The minimum duration of an individual date is 3 minutes, and this is the average length of time spent with a single person at the most popular and busy events. It does not necessarily offer enough opportunity for people to mix and get to know each other, and can therefore be inadequate as the basis for a meaningful and lasting relationship. The concept itself is still marketed as a dating experience to meet potential life partners, but its fun and interactive format has, over recent years, been targeted more by people seeking short-term liaisons and socialization. This wide variation in expectations and aspirations amongst speed dating participants is detrimental to the harmony they seek to create. Why to Choose Speed Dating? Speed dating has undoubtedly emerged as highly profitable and professionally organized faction of the dating industry, and the features of its events certainly lend themselves to those looking to meet others and form new relationships. It is the nature of these relationships which are questionable however, and the increasing popularity of speed dating can be explained in some part by the fact that more and more people who participate are not looking for a prolonged union. With this in mind, speed dating is a far more suitable option for fun loving individuals who wish to socialize and enjoy brief romantic interactions. However, it is important to remember that many of the events and their marketing strategies still attract daters looking for a longer term and significant relationship, and this clear dichotomy of expectations is potentially damaging to not only the event participants but also the long term success of speed dating.