I recall the overwhelming feeling of walking into yet another singles event. Here we go again! The nerves, the anticipation: Who will be there? How do I look? Will this just be another one of those events where I put myself out there and once again leave empty-handed?
After years of experience, I have been able to hone in on best practices to make the most of singles events:
1.) Do your research: Before you sign up, check out the details of the event. Being open-minded is important, but if this is not your scene, don’t complain if you end up empty- handed.
2.) Be prepared: Mentally and emotionally prepare yourself. Although it may be uncomfortable and awkward at times, the discomfort is a means to an end, not the end itself. Get your game on!
3.) Dress to impress: If you need a haircut, dandruff shampoo, nails groomed, makeup, or an update to your wardrobe ... please go for it! Wanting to be appreciated for who you are is valid, but to generate interest, there needs to be some level of attraction.
4.) Stay focused: It is always easiest to gravitate to the few people you already know at an event, but this will not expand your dating network. Quickly catch up, and then go make new friends. Note: Don’t dwell on the guy/girl who turned you down last month, move on and stay focused on the goal!
5.) Maximize your time: Try to utilize your time wisely and strategically. Don’t spend too much time with one person, even if it is going well. If there’s mutual interest, you’ll go out on a proper date later. Meanwhile, split your time with others so you can leave with multiple new interactions and options. If you are speed dating, try to come up with one to two unique qualities in each person and write them down so that you can remember who they are.
6.) Check your baggage at the door: We all have pain, insecurities, challenges, and struggles. Don’t carry them into an event. We want to meet someone who can accept us and our flaws, but there’s no need to lead with your flaws. We attract what we put out, so put out what you are looking for. People are attracted to those who are approachable and emotionally light with a positive attitude, confidence, and a warm inviting smile.
7.) Don’t get your hopes up: The higher we set our expectations, the more disappointed we may be if it doesn’t work out. Keep expectations realistic. If you’ve met several people, a nice shadchan (matchmaker), and have been exposed to a new social network, you’ve done great! All your singles events are worthwhile if you meet one new person at each event.
8.) Don’t be shy: Many who are not typically shy clam up at dating events. Push yourself to make conversation or respond to those who try to make conversation with you. If you have a hard time striking up conversations, ask someone your trust to make an introduction.
9.) Follow up: When the event is over, speak to the organizers, matchmakers, and coaches to discuss potential matches for you. If there was nobody for you, maybe they can suggest someone or an event where you will have a better likelihood of success.
10.) Be a mensch: This may seem straightforward, but from my own experience, I can tell you it’s not! You don’t have to date or marry anyone you don’t want, but menchlichkeit (kindness and generosity) is not optional. Don’t pretend to engage in conversation while checking out the room. Don’t chat with somebody for a while — suggesting you’re interested in them — because you have nobody else to talk to. Beyond human decency, remember this: You never know where somebody may pop up again in your life!
Getting up the courage to go to singles events is no easy feat, so applaud yourself for your effort! If nothing comes of it, just say “next,” and move on. May these tips maximize your dating event strategies and help you find the shortest distance to your longest relationship.
By Rachel Burnham