Testing out the singles event scene

Andrea Joseph

A close friend of mine – who is newly single – recently joined the online dating site Match.com in an attempt to get into the scene and perhaps meet a man she’s compatible with. It seems like once a week she calls or texts me that she’s had a date – meeting nice enough men, but not “the one.”
During a phone call a few weeks ago, she asked if I’d like to join her for a Match.com-sponsored singles event. As a member, she was allowed to bring a couple of guests, and said she wanted me by her side to help ease the nerves.
I was hesitant – resistant, even. I mean, sure, I’m single, but going to a party at a trendy San Jose restaurant to mingle with a bunch of random strangers aged 21 to 47 (that was the limit) just didn’t sound appealing to me. Plus, a large party atmosphere really isn’t my scene.
She did her best to sell me on the idea, reassuring me we’d go together and leave together; adding that we never knew who we might meet; and saying that – if nothing else – we’d have a great story to laugh about when we’re old.
I said I’d think about it, fully intending to text her a few days later and tell her I was busy.
The thing is … I wasn’t. And I’m not a good fibber. Not only am I a terrible liar, but we’ve been besties since we were 10, and she doesn’t hesitate to call me out when she feels the need. I think she actually enjoys it.
So after a couple of days passed, and I couldn’t come up with a good – and truthful – reason not to go, I texted her to count me in.
On Friday, she and another friend came and picked me up at my place and we headed into San Jose. The first thing her friend said to me was, “Are you dreading this as much as I am?”
Truth is, I wasn’t dreading it. I generally don’t get too nervous meeting people or on dates – even first dates. When I was younger, sure. But now I’m pretty comfortable with myself and if I connect with someone – because these days it’s all about personality – great. If not, it’s not the end of the world.
So I wasn’t dreading it at all. Nor was I excited. I was indifferent. That’s probably the wrong attitude to have going into something like this, but that’s where my head was at.
We arrived at the restaurant and were told the event was being held in an area on the left side. There were couches and tables set up, and the darkened space was lit with “mood” lighting and candles. As my friend signed the three of us in, I glanced around and saw a handful of men and a few women, sitting at various tables, sipping drinks.
After grabbing some drinks at the bar, we found a couch and settled in. People continued to arrive and eventually, the place was packed with singles on the prowl.
Conversations seemed to begin with the basics: “What do you do?” “Where do you live?” and “Are you a Match member?” Of course, there were those who had a little too much to drink, and those who perhaps didn’t have enough and were clearly jittery with nerves. There were obvious hits and misses; and I saw at least one pair head out the door, having found a match for the evening – or perhaps more.
So how did I and my two companions fare? Though many conversations were had and nice men were met, I didn’t have that sought-after connection with any. And likewise for my two friends. We agreed the best part of the evening was meeting a new female friend we all “clicked” with.
As we said goodbye to our fellow singles, I took stock of the crowd. There were definitely more women at the event than men – and if I’m being honest, in talking to men and women throughout the night, I think the overall quality of women was higher as well.
On the drive back home, the three of us talked about being single, what qualities we’d like to find in someone, future events and whether we’d be interested in attending more. The two of them, being Match.com members, said they would do it again. They’re “actively searching,” so to speak.
But me? I don’t know. I’m not one to throw myself into a crowd wearing a “Single and Looking” T-shirt, hoping to meet someone. (Hmm, maybe that’s my problem.)
I’m a little more the type to sit back, observe and see who comes along. And if someone does – great.
And if not?
Well, it’s not the end of the world.

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