Who Says Girls Can’t Play Nice…and Other Musings.

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?

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13 Responses to Who Says Girls Can’t Play Nice…and Other Musings.

  1. Pingback: Maybe…Just Maybe…Consider Mixing Up Your Dating Life With Stir Events by Match.com | Eleanore Wells

  2. jala says:

    After 2 years of on line dating I gave it up 6 months ago and have NEVER LOOKED
    BACK AND NEVER WILL. I have been lied to, scammed, just want to text, walk in my
    house and have sex, meet me f*ck me never call me again, your “goodtime girl”,
    My profile was fantastic written by a dating specialist. Guaranteed to have “more
    men than I can handle” this last time. LOL
    Men today DO NOT know what the hell they want from minute to minute. I am considered by all of my friends and my ex husband “the Total Package”. I have
    also worked very hard to get my body in great shape.

  3. Tricia says:

    I spent over 6 years off and on (mostly on) on online dating sites, and whatnot, before figuring out that it is not the forum for me. Personally, I dont expect events like this to be much different from the online forum.. the only difference, is you can meet the guys face to face. I agree with a prior poster… this sounds like speed dating. Too much pressure, with the knowledge that you are all there, looking for the same thing.. perhaps that ‘connection’ with that one single guy. Sorry.. I know I probably sound a bit cynical and negative.. but it is just not for me. Been there, done that.. 50,000 times over.. and to steal a Dr. Philism: ‘You keep on getting what you have been getting when you keep on doing what you have been doing’.
    I much prefer http://www.meetup.com... the site started by New Yorkers post 911.. where you just join common interest groups.. meet friends, do fun, shared activities, and who knows.. might even meet someone that you STARTED as friends with.

  4. roz warren says:

    I would never willingly go to a large social gathering like this. Never. Not for anything. On the other hand, my ex met his current wife on matich.com and they’re a great match.

  5. SuzyKnew says:

    It was really nice to spend time with you at BlogHer ’12. I really enjoyed it was well. Thanks for discussing the upcoming Match.com and Stir events. I’ve shared this information with my readers (Suzyknew.com). I like the way their mixing up online dating with offline dating. I’ll have to see if I can catch one of their events!

  6. Bridgette says:

    Match tried this a few years ago and it didn’t last long. I don’t seeing this go round being any better. They’ll say that they’re offering a variety of events but you’ll mostly only hear about the happy hours because they are easier to fill. The problem with that is that those socials will be over-populated with women. Most of those women will bring women. They’ll stand around sizing up both the men and the competition. I understand why Match wants the extra promotion for this channel, but it’s not a good sign that they’re partnering with a bunch female dating bloggers to get the word out. If Match is struggling to get women to attend these things, you know there’s a problem. If it’s guys Match wants, then picking a bunch of women who do nothing but complain about men and who have a hard time getting dates probably isn’t the best way to go either.

  7. Jana says:

    I have online dated for years and have met some great guys who just weren’t the ones for me and I have met some real losers. That’s the deal with online dating. There is a website – plentyoffish.com, that encouraged it’s users to have mixers of all kinds. People could initiate their own events. If you have someone so inclined, it’s truly a marvelous thing. The funny thing is, I have met some really awesome people at ethnic dinner events, dodgeball and a regular bar meeting depending on the time of year (valentines, st. patricks day, etc.) but I haven’t met a “date”. Some of the people I’ve met have had lasting relationships and others not so lasting. It was a great way to meet people in a city where I didn’t have a lot of close friends and so for that fact alone, it was excellent. I remain hopeful and after taking nearly a year hiatus from dating (sick of all the guys who just want to text or hook up), I am ready to jump back in. Hopefully Stir will have an event in my area soon!
    Best of Luck!

  8. Cheri says:

    I tried match.com once, after my divorce was finally finalized when they were offering some special like a free month or two free trial. I didn’t really see too many guys that piqued my interest, but thought, what the heck, it’s free to try. Even though I put in my profile that I wasn’t interested in dating guys with children or over 40 years old, I still got mostly guys that had children and were over 40 years old. I also had a crazy guy. After my free trial was up, I had decided to meet a guy from another state that I’d recently gotten to know (not through match.com) and thankfully that all worked out. I’m soooo glad to not be in the dating game. When you have really high standards, as i do, but are really nice and don’t want to hurt people’s feelings or be blunt/mean, you get “stuck” trying to wriggle out of chats, phone conversations or attempts at dates until hopefully they get the point and stop trying. After my experience, I would be leary to do anything on or with match.com again. I’m sure bigger cities are different and have a better selection of guys (hopefully), but in my area, the pickings on there are slim. If I was ever on the dating scene again, I’d rather chance meet a guy in a bar or at home depot or somewhere else. I just don’t feel like the kind of guy I’m attracted to would be on match.com.

  9. Jennifer says:

    I recently attended a stir event on the west coast and unfortunately there were maybe 9 men to at least 70 women…it was a happy hour during the NBA finals. However, I was pleased to see that there was some camaraderie (maybe more like comfort) from the other women. I’d like to think it’s because our ways are changing and women aren’t so competitive with each other, but I’m sure it was more along the lines of our expected expectation that women would outnumber the men?! I suggest making the most of it either way; try chatting up someone at the bar (if it’s a happy hour event) to practice your small talk skills…asking for a napkin counts as you never know what kind of spark that could generate not too mention that it may take a while to get a drink anyway. Good on Match.com for trying to stir the pot, but this is just a drop in the bucket…

    Good luck!

  10. Michael Ann says:

    Timely for me! I am separated and have been dating with match.com for the past couple of months. I have all the mixed feelings about it that you mentioned. I think for me, it’s pretty much the only way to meet men. I am 47 and have kids. My world has been all about other families and family activities. I don’t go to bars and don’t want to. I work in an elementary school and the couple of male teachers there are married. Dating at my age and with kids is nothing like dating in your twenties. NOTHING. Dating in college and going out all the time at that age is easy compared to this.

    So.. yes, I like the opportunity to meet men this way. Plus, you can go out with many types of men that you’d might not otherwise think you’d be “into.” It’s a real learning experience! I have gone on many dates and most of the men I have met are nice. No weirdos 🙂 However I am seeing that many are confused about what they want. They have thrown themselves into the dating world without any personal reflection about what was wrong in their marriage etc… They just seem like immature little boys. I find older men and the men who have been divorce the longest, or never married, are the most mature and know who they are. I realize I am newly single too but have been single within my marriage for many years so I count myself as one of the not confused 🙂

    Anyhow… I have seen ads for the match.com parties and NO, I am not interested in going. To me that just sounds like one big meat market. Just like the bar scene I am trying to avoid! And I really prefer to get to know one man at a time. This just seems really tricky. So, no thanks, but I will be interested to hear what you think of it!

  11. Georgina Esposito says:

    Actually I’m looking forward to hearing your comments on the Stir Events. Let’s face it we are looking for fun, companionship not for a mate. So wouldn’t it be great to have events where single people of the same age get to interact with people that have similar interest? Best of all it is hosted and we do not need to go around trying to figure where to meet new people.

  12. Jeannette says:

    I am so glad that you attended the BlogHer12 event!!! I love being surrounded by positive, upbeat, inspiring Women. It gets my adrenaline going and defies the notion that Women can’t get along. As for online dating, I am for it BUT would not do it personally. I used to date online for many years. I started online dating back in college, which was in ’96. Back then it wasn’t nearly as popular or deemed as for desperate people. I found it interesting that I am surrounded by college educated Guys but I found online dating to be interesting. Besides, back then I preferred older Men and felt that college age Guys were too immature. I met my first love online (he happened to be my age). He and I were in a long distance relationship. For the next 10 years I dated online and met good guys ad some duds. I got to the point that I was no longer interested in dating online. I wanted to meet Men the old fashioned way and I’ve been doing that for the past six years. The Match.com Stir event sounds like fun but it also sounds like another form of speed dating. I’ve attended dating social mixers and from experience found there to be more Women attending these events then Men. Networking for business, I’m fine dealing with mostly Women…they tend to get the job done and aren’t trying to hit on me while I’m conducting business. But socializing for romantic partners, well that’s a different story and I like it where us Women are the minority. This way, we have a multiple of Men to choose from lol. I say try attend at least one stir event, you may like it. I would attend at least one, just to see what it’s like. Besides, Match.com has a large following therefore, it may be a great turn out. Although I personally believe that our chances of meeting Men would be better attending a sporting event ie basketball, football or baseball then it would be at a Match.com Stir mixer.

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