I recall the overwhelming feeling of walking into, yes, yet another singles event. Here we go again!!! The nerves, the anxiety, the anticipation, who will be there? How do I look? Will HE finally be here? Will this just be another one of those events where I put myself out and once again leave empty handed? Will this ever end??
After years of involuntary experience, I have been able to hone in on best practices so you can make the most of singles events:
Do Your Research
Before you sign up, check out the event. What is the hashkafa (religious level) of the participants, age range, venue, and style of the event? Being open minded is important, but if this is not your scene you can’t complain when you come up empty handed.
Mentally and emotionally prepare yourself. It will be uncomfortable and awkward at times. Remember though, the discomfort is a means to an end, not the end itself. Get your game on!
Dress to Impress:
Excuse me for the discomfort, but if you need a haircut, dandruff shampoo, nails groomed, hair dyed, 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. Note: In general men tend to have greater need for physical attraction, don’t blame them – this is how Hashem made them! You do want a family, don’t you??
It is always easiest to gravitate/cling to the few people or gender whom we know, yet that does not expand your dating network. Spend an appropriate amount of time catching up, and then go make new friends. Note: It is never helpful to dwell on the guy/girl who turned you down last month. If they are interested they will come over. Meantime move on and stay focused on the goal!
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. Meantime, split your time with others so you can leave with multiple new interactions and options. Find out in advance who will be there and/or whom might be appropriate for you. If you are speed dating, try to come up with 1-2 unique qualities in each person and write them down so that you can remember who they are.
Check your Baggage at the Door
We all have pain, insecurities, challenges and struggles. It’s OK. Don’t carry that into an event. Of course, 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 make sure you are putting 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.
We attract what we put out so make sure you are putting out what you are looking for.
Don’t Get Your Hopes Up
The higher we set our expectations the more disappointed we may be if it an event work out. Keep expectations grounded. If you’ve met several people, a nice shadchan, and been exposed to a new social network you’ve done great! All your singles events are worthwhile if you meet one new person at one event!
Don’t Be Shy
Many who are not typically shy clam up at dating events. Push yourself to make conversation or at the least respond to those who try to make conversation with you. If you don’t, people will learn not to approach you and that’s event suicide. If you have a hard time striking up conversation, approach an organizer, friend, or matchmaker and ask them to make an introduction.
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 who wasn’t there or an event that will have a better likelihood of success.
Be a Mentsch
This may seem straightforward, but from my own experience and that of clients I can tell you it’s not! You don’t have to date or marry anyone you don’t want, but mentchlachkiet (kindness and generosity) is not optional. Don’t pretend to engage in “conversation” while you are really 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. Don’t schedule events on your calendar when you are dating with any level of seriousness! 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 for many, so applaud yourself for your effort! There are no guarantees in life, we can only try our best. If nothing comes of it, just pick your chin up high, say “NEXT”, and move on. May these tips maximize your dating event strategies and help you find the shortest distance to your longest relationship.