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On the other hand, the random matching precludes the various cues, such as eye contact, that people use in bars to preselect each other before chatting them up.

According to the New York Times, participants in speed dating experience an average of 2 in 10 or 3 in 10 matches.

Men and women are rotated to meet each other over a series of short "dates" usually lasting from three to eight minutes depending on the organization running the event.

At the end of each interval, the organizer rings a bell, clinks a glass, or blows a whistle to signal the participants to move on to the next date.

Contact information cannot be traded during the initial meeting, in order to reduce pressure to accept or reject a suitor to his or her face.