Every now and then I’ll read or hear someone say something along the lines of “women aren’t nice to each other”, “I don’t trust women”, “women are always in competition with other women”, and, of course “women are bitches”. And we’re all familiar with the concept of mean girls.
There probably is a modicum of truth in these sentiments, and sometimes maybe more than a modicum…but I didn’t see any of this last week, even though I was in the company of 4000 women, most of whom I didn’t know. I attended BlogHer12, a conference of mostly women bloggers, and it was pretty amazing on lots of levels: the speakers, the information shared, the camaraderie, and the fun.
One thing that was amazing to me is that I went at all. I hate conferences. I’m terrible at networking, which is one of the things one is expected to do at a conference. I’d rather stick needles in my eyes than walk up to a total stranger and try to start a conversation. And inserting myself into a group of people I don’t know? Not gonna happen.
And that’s why I’m so grateful to have attended BlogHer12: I met so many smart and fun and interesting women there, many of whom approached me and introduced themselves…instead of letting me stand there like a mute whose feet were glued to the floor. Most people don’t know the introverted side of me. Lots of people just think I’m standoffish. I’m so glad these women saw past that.
Which brings me to the second topic of this blog post. One of the events I attended at the conference was a party sponsored by Match.com. The theme was “Mix Up Your Dating Life With Match.com”. Some of you may know about my love-hate relationship with online dating. I love that online dating provides me an opportunity to meet lots of men I might not ordinarily have met. So, what do I hate about it? Just about everything else. (Read this post for the details: love-hate relationship with online dating.)
So when I was approached to attend and write about a new venture by Match.com, I was both curious and skeptical. I want online dating to work…for me and for all my single sisters who want to be hooked up but don’t have the time or inclination to go man-shopping at a bar. But I’m also a little doubtful that it’ll be much different from my online experience: how do you weed out the guys who are looking for some “easy entertainment” vs. those who really want a serious relationship? But I said “Ok, let’s be open-minded here”. And here’s what I was told (their words):
- Match.com recently announced that they are hosting singles events across the country. This exciting new initiative for Match is rapidly expanding nationwide, hosting 200 events each month by September.
- As the world’s largest dating site, Match isn’t just throwing live singles events – they’re doing it on a massive scale. This month alone, they’re throwing 189 events in more than 62 markets!
- With thousands of singles attending events each week, Match.com is bridging the gap between the online and offline worlds, creating even more ways to meet singles.
- Stir events range from large scale happy hours at local bars and venues, to more intimate, interest-based events such as cooking classes, wine and tequila tastings, dance lessons, bowling nights, rock climbing, and more!
- The Happy Hour events are free and open to both registered and subscribed Match.com members, while the interest-based events are only offered to Match.com subscribers at a fee.
- Each Stir event is customized through group matching algorithms in terms of age, gender and interests so that singles will be attending events with like singles.
- Match.com members can learn about and sign up for these events via Match.com under the “Events” header on the site.
So, I went to this kick-off event and immediately thought two things. (1) This could be good. Attending a Match.com Stir event could be good because I’m doing something social that could be fun AND getting the chance to see men in the flesh, which should make it easier to know whether I’m interested. But (2), it also made me go “uh-oh”. I’m no better at striking up a conversation with a stranger at a social event than I am at a conference (or anywhere else). Will I go to these events, feeling socially awkward, and not make the most of this supposed great opportunity? I don’t know, but I hope not. I’m already envisioning that there will be 800 women and 9 men at these events. I hope I’m wrong about that, too.
At any rate, I’ve agreed to attend a Match.com Stir event in the next month. I’ll let you know how it goes. Cross your fingers because, Lord knows online dating needs to be shaken up a bit. Maybe this is what it needs. It’s certainly worth a try. Stay tuned…
But in the meantime, I’m curious to know your thoughts about this. How do you feel about online dating, in general? Do these events sound like fun -or- are they just more of the same old thing in a different package? Do you think you’d want to attend one…and why/not?