Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I went to a dating event and got a lecture

I haven't had a lot of relationship experience to speak of, but I think I'm pretty well-versed when it comes to all the ways to meet people to date.

I have done online dating on and off for years.
I have gone speed dating four times.

Last night, I went to a happy hour event sponsored by a popular dating site (which I won't name here for a variety of reasons).  Having gone speed dating a number of times, I sort of knew what to expect in terms of turnout (more women than men) and behaviors (awkward conversation).  But I wanted to go because I think the events are good practice for small talk and a good way to open the door to meeting someone new.

I was not prepared for the evening that happened.

Two friends (we'll call them H and R) went to the event with me. Actually, H and I got there first, but R would be joining us shortly after since she had to work later. H and I immediately found a table and ordered drinks.

We were there less than ten minutes when a guy approached our table.
That's good, right?
Wrong.

He introduced himself as Nate and asked us a bit about where we were from and our jobs. He was seemed pretty nice albeit a bit socially awkward. Then again, I figured it could be nerves or the nature of the event, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt.

Nate was still talking to us when R joined our table. There were more introductions and some more small talk.  Meanwhile, the room was filling up with more participants.  A few other guys at the event looked at our table but didn't approach -- probably because Nate was there.  I found myself hoping Nate would decide to move on so we could talk to other people.  Looking back, I realize I could have gotten up and made the rounds myself, but I didn't want to abandon my friends.  So I stayed put.  And so did Nate.

Small talk only lasts so long, especially when you have nothing in common with the other person.  And none of us really had anything in common with Nate.  This is where the lectures started.  Somehow, the topic of food came up.  And where it comes from.  Nate began discussing -- in pretty gross detail -- how many animals are raised and kept before they become the meat in our grocery stores. Nate thinks we should all pay more attention to that, and he honestly believes our society would be better if we had to hunt for our own food.  He believes the connection with the animals would make us more appreciative.

Now, Nate might be right in some ways, and he's certainly entitled to his opinion.  But I'm not sure he chose the right venue to share it.  I felt like he was trying to recruit us for some animal rights group rather than decide if he wanted to date one of us.

And because he lingered, he kind of blocked out other guys from getting to know us.  R was the only one of us who talked to a guy who was not Nate.

Ah well.

It wasn't a total loss.

I enjoyed a nice glass of wine, the people watching was interesting, and I got a blog post out of it. 


4 comments:

  1. Hmmm. Kind of a bummer. I mean, yes people watching is fun but bummer that Nate took up all your time and prevented you from meeting guys. Blegh. Dunno what I would've done.

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  2. Ugh. I'm guessing Match.com, and BOO for Nate for not letting y'all meet other people (what a weird man!)--hope you continue to go to those events!

    Now that I'm dating a man exclusively (via Match, duh), I feel like I'm always in situations where I'm surrounded by men--and I never was before (probably because I'm invited to Sunday Guys' Day at the bar to watch sports?). Weird how life is.

    So glad you at least got a hilarious story out of it!

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  4. you have the best stories. to put in my own unsolicited two cents (so feel free to ignore completely bc what the heck do i know), i would suggest joining groups where you do mutual things together but the intent is not necessarily dating. Like a book club, a church group (if you're into that), a meetup group thats about food or wine or learning a new lagnauge, they even have groups that are devoted to fitness and adventure. i think any time you have the chance to meet someone in a low key setting where its really just about meeting other people in general, youre chances of making new friends grow, asnd in turn some of those friendships could lead to something more.

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