Attending singles’ events can be a mixed bag. For those who have had the fortunate of always being able to find a romantic partner or always be in a relationship, singles’ events are a very foreign concept. Remember the mixers in high school? No? Exactly. If you had a high school sweetheart, the mixers at the gym were not the place to be on a Friday night. Like everything else in life, there are some pros and cons to venturing out into the often surreal arena of face-to-face and forced meet cutes.
1. There will be free food and drinks. Who doesn’t like free food? If you come across a man or a woman who doesn’t appreciate free food, then that person is not the one you want to hang out with at this singles’ event, let alone go out on a legitimate date, meet your friends, and take home to meet Mom, who will most likely be cooking an outstanding meal that you have everyone stuffed–and then she will make everyone have seconds or take some home.
2. You have an opportunity to dress up to the nines. If you think you don’t have something nice to wear, or would like an excuse to go shopping, this is a perfect opportunity to go shopping for a new outfit.
3. You have an opportunity to attend a hopefully nice and respectable bar or restaurant for the price of gratis. If you like the joint, you can come back with friends or dates. If not, at least you checked out a new place. At least you spent the night not curled up on the couch watching reruns of sitcoms, eating three-day leftovers, constantly tweeting what’s on-screen, and wondering what went wrong with your life.
4. Make this into a group outing with friends. If you are in a rut and are sick of going to the same bar or hangout, try to embarrass your friends as they awkwardly converse with strangers over glasses of wine and tiny foods on a stick.
5. You might bump into someone who is also making fun of everyone else there. You guys team up and provide some witty commentary about who is making a fool of themselves. This partner-in-crime could be your new friend or partner or you may never see him or her again, but at least you won’t be lonely.
6. You just might meet the one. (If you were living in a romantic comedy.)
7. You just might meet the one to take home tonight for some of the greatest mind-blowing sex of your life. (If you were living in a porno.)
8. Sometimes a band is going to perform at the event. While a singles’ mixer is not an ideal place to check out a band–especially if all they do is perform covers–there is a slim chance that the band could be good. You could check them out at a later venue, like an actual concert. And chances are the lead singer is single.
9. Most of these events have contests going on, so there is always opportunity to win some prizes, like gift certificates for restaurants or stores, jewelry, tickets to shows or games, and other free swag.
10. Remember, free food and drinks. I cannot stress the free stuff you will get at these types of events.
1. They run of out of the one good appetizer that you wish you had gotten a second serving, but you suddenly became self-conscious and didn’t wanna any of the dozens of complete strangers (whom you may never see again or wish to) to think you were a fatass.
2. There is a chance that you develop food poisoning for the stuffed mushrooms or that spicy baked thing that resembles a pizza bite.
3. There is always that one creepy old guy who will attempt to strike up a conversation with you on more than one occasion. I was a photographer for a couple of Mix and Mingle events, and I still had someone old enough to be my mother talk me up.
4. The music will eventually suck. No matter if there is a preprogrammed playlist, live band, or a live DJ, the music will skewer into dance music, Top 40, or trashy white girl dance music. You’ll have a bunch of people jump up and be excited when that Icona Pop song plays for the billionth time. You will want to stab them. Please don’t.
5. The open bar scenario, if you are that lucky, will quickly become the worst part of these events, especially when people turn into drunken imbeciles.
6. You get rejected.
7. You are forced to be mean and reject someone. Unless you enjoy breaking hearts.
8. You might bump into someone from either school, work, or another time and place in your life. “Hey you, how are you? What are doing here?” will be the first two things you will say, even though you already know how they are doing (single and allegedly ready to mingle). You try to get out of this. You hope this person does not try to hit on you. (Unless, this person is very attractive and interesting.)
9. You bump into someone you know is already in a relationship. If I were in this scenario, I would walk up to him or her and see what’s up. I wouldn’t flat out decide the status. Nope, this needs to be interesting. If he or she is talking or flirting with someone, try to become a third wheel, or at the very least, walk over and say hello and say “Wow, I’m surprised to see you here,” excuse yourself and walk away.
10. You spill something on that new outfit of yours. Or worse, one of the drunken imbeciles spills their umpteenth glass of wine.
In conclusion, there is a no sure win or lose with singles’ mixers. Maybe online dating looks appealing after reading this or going out to a couple of these events yourself.