Mixed emotions about singles mixers

Are events specifically for singles worth going to? Being a perpetually single woman, that’s a question I’ve been trying to answer for a long time.

I’ll try to answer it again on Friday night, when two friends and I will head off to a singles dance organized by a Meetup Group. In the past, social affairs like this have ranged from dull to disastrous, but in the absence of a better way to meet men of a certain age, we’re willing to give it a try again.

wine-tastingIn the (comically) disastrous category was a singles mixer wine-tasting evening that I went to with my friend Laura. It was in a distant suburb (an hour long drive) and rather pricey ($45 for wine and light hors-d’oeuvres) but we reasoned that it would be worth it. The higher the cost, the classier the crowd, right? And that classy crowd would include — no doubt — lots of eligible men, with good jobs and good taste. Wine drinkers, in other words. Our expectations were high.

Ha!

The crowd turned out to consist of about three dozen women, dressed up and made up, ready to make a wonderful first impression — if only there was a man there on which to make it. We sipped various wines and pretended to listen to hostess as she described what we were tasting. All the while, we were scoping out the room, wondering when the men were going to arrive. Surely a singles mixer would include men to mix with, right?

A palpable air of disappointment and desperation hung over the room. Women being women, we made the best of it and introduced ourselves, exchanged business cards, discussed careers.

Finally, late in the event, a man rushed in, looking a little disheveled. One man.

Begged him to come

Laura shameless eavesdropped on a whispered conversation he had with the hostess, then headed my way. “They know each other,” she said. “I think she called him and begged him to come, so there’d be a man here.”

“Maybe she was afraid we’d all ask for refunds,” I said, with just a touch of bitterness.

Many of them women swooped in on the new arrival, engaging him in conversation, flashing the smiles they’d been waiting to use all night. He enjoyed the attention (what man wouldn’t?) but seemed a bit uncomfortable at being so outnumbered.

We only came for the men

single-the-oneLaura and I skipped that scene, which seemed pathetic. We bought a few bottles of wine, so we wouldn’t feel completely foolish (sorry- we only came for the men). On the long drive home, I vowed to never again fall for something like that. After all, I’m not desperate. I would like to meet a great guy, but I’m very happy on my own.

So back to Friday… The dance is ten minutes away and affordable, so if we’re not having a good time, we can cut out and go somewhere else. I like dancing. Women being women, you know we’ll make the best of it and get out on the dance floor even if we don’t have a partner to dance with.

My expectations are not high, this time. They’re not low, either. I’ve managed to locate that sweet spot: no expectations at all.

What about you? Have you gone to singles events? Joined singles groups? Has it been worth your while, or disappointing? Would love to hear about your experiences.

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