A few months ago (well like 2 to be exact) I decided to re-enter the world of online dating. I like to break up my dating patterns with periods of me not wanting to date so I forget why I hate it so much. Then I get bored and occasionally I get hungry. So I date, again. Since I feel like I am working 100 hours a week, and really hate the bar scene, I decided to hit up my computer to find me a future husband. Bring it on Match.com, I’m ready! What can say I love meeting men while sitting in my pajamas, with messy hair, no make up, and eating a bowl of cereal, life doesn’t get any better than that.
The outcome: well lets just say I went on a date. Now that is a different story for a completely different day.
However, recently Match.com has started having Stir events. Events where people on match can meet IN REAL LIFE, and you can pick who you want to date on the spot IN REAL LIFE! Sounds cool right? Uhhh hold that thought.
If you have a TV, I know you have seen the commercials for the Match events, and you probably even thought how cool it would be to attend one because they look life fun. Well I decided to go to one IN REAL LIFE, and umm fun is a nice word but I would like to say that AWKWARD is the more appropriate word for the whole Stir event.
Before I get into this story let me just give you a little caveat. To date in Honolulu is a different type of dating experience. Honolulu is small, so if you are single, you have probably seen many of the same single people at some type of event. A Match. com event is no different to the Meetup group for Honolulu singles. So if you want to save money join Meetup and socialize with other singles in Honolulu.
I will admit originally I thought going to this event was a great idea. Well it was actually held at a bar right across the street from my apartment building, so since I didn’t have to drive, even better! I figured why not just go to see who shows up, maybe I might meet my husband. Then I remembered that this is MY reality and my life doesn’t exactly work like that. So I went on the thought that I had nothing to lose, and since I was getting there an hour before it was over, one hour out of my life was not going to hurt, well at least not hurt too bad.
The Stir event was from 6-9 pm, I got there at 8. Really not my fault, had to work late, duty calls and clients need a good therapist. As I walked over I began to get nervous. Honestly as my elevator hit lobby and I walked outside of my building I began to think, “What the hell am I doing”, I wanted to run back upstairs, but I headed to the corner to proceed across the street.
As I stood at the stoplight I felt extra nervous, suddenly I realized that I was actually going to this alone. I then thought that I should have brought a friend along for moral support, or at least as a crutch so I would have someone to talk to. I began to feel scared. I kept walking towards the bar, still thinking “What the hell am I doing”. My mind was racing, well since my mind always races, it decided to race faster than ever. I had no idea what I was going to do or say, all I knew was that there was no turning back.
I walked up to the bar, met the bouncer, he was a very nice man. He asked me for my ID, and asked was I nervous. I lied and told him no. He wasn’t a dumb man, so he could read the look of nervousness and discomfort all over my face. I asked him how it was in there. For some reason I felt strangely comfortable talking to the bouncer at the door. He told me that it is like a seventh grade dance with boys on one side of the room and girls on the other. I hoped he was just joking, but a part of me did not really think he was joking. I laughed with him, then nervously went inside.
As I entered the room it appeared as your typical happy hour, but I knew it was like speed dating without the 8 minute time limit. I noticed people chatting, I guessed everyone already claimed who they were going to hook up with. I noticed some guys standing alone, and girls talking in groups. The bouncer was right, I was at a seventh grade dance expect everyone was either in their 20’s, 30’s, or 40’s.
I then headed to a comfortable space on the wall. Thank goodness for walls. Tempted to pull out my cell phone and act distracted, I then mentally slapped myself and refrained from using the cell phone distraction. I decided to be brave. No crutches of my friends, or my cellphone. Just be bare and let the magic happen. I wanted to run out of the there in a time that was faster than my walk over to the bar, and trust me it did not take me that long to walk to the bar. Instead of leaving, I figured I would make myself busy and got a drink. I got a sprite. I don’t even drink soda. I would have drank something with a lot of vodka, but I was on call for work. So sprite it was, and the sprite was flat.
I paid for my flat sprite, and headed back to my spot on the wall. Less than 30 seconds later, I got my first hit. Well a guy started talking to me. I noticed him awkwardly standing next to me. He decided to speak. He was a very, very tall, White man. 38, divorced, in the army, from Oklahoma. Ok, so not my type! But I am trying to be open-minded, I was at a Match.com event, so I engaged in a conversation. However, after his first question was, “so what do you do?”, I knew that this conversation was not going to last long. He spoke, I listened. He asked questions, I answered. He asked if I wanted to sit down on the couch in the back of the bar area, the area where the deeper conversation happens, I went. Hey, why not a conversation can’t hurt right?
We spoke some more, I felt like I wanted to cut my wrist. I started to figure how I could plot my escape as he talked about his divorce from his wife of two years, and how he should have been an officer in the army instead of going in as enlisted. I looked to my right, I saw three girls talking and laughing on the couch, they looked “happy hour” happy. In front me I noticed a girl and guy appearing to have a great conversation. He was talking, she was laughing, they looked comfortable, I wondered if they would get married. Then I came back to my own awkward situation with the bitter divorced man who wanted to move back to Oklahoma, thoughts of how I would get away raced through my head. He asked me if I ever watched “A Different World”, I chuckled as I said yes all the time when it was on. He then told me that I reminded me of Kim Resse from the show. I then thought, White men always say the strangest things to me. Maybe he was just nervous, but since I liked Kim, I didn’t think too much of it.
Finally I decided I was done with him, I wanted to see if there was anyone else to meet, so I told him I was going to walk around and got up to leave. He said no problem. I was free! I looked around the room again, 20 seconds later I bolted for the door! I was done. My 12 minute experience at the Match.com stir event was complete, I felt good, it was 4 minutes longer than a speed date. I went back outside.
The bouncer who I actually felt comfortable talking to was still outside. He asked me if I was done, I told him that I was going back home to sit on my couch. He laughed. I spent the next 35 minutes talking to him. He has never been on Match.com, is from Jersey City, NJ, and has been living in Hawaii since 2004. Of course I would go to a social happy hour to meet single men, and end up talking to the bouncer of the bar. But it was a good conversation, he was funny, and easy to talk to. No I didn’t get his number, but maybe I will see him around again.
Suddenly it was 9 pm the event was over. I was relieved that I had made it through. No dates, no numbers, no persons of interest, but I went. As I started to walk back home it started raining. Great no umbrella either. Now in the movies, girl walks home in the rain, cute guy comes out of nowhere with an umbrella and offers to walk her home. Next they start dating, and three months later they get married, have kids, live happily ever after. Oh wait my life is not a movie, it is my life, I ended up wet. Better luck next time.
Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences
14 thoughts on “Adventures of my first Match.com Stir event”
Thank you Jenny C. For posting your story. I can see myself acting and feeling the same as you do. I found your article because i was curious about the event, and how othe members felt going solo.
Wow, Jenni, if I’m judging you by this one article and its comments, you totally suck. One of the most selfish articles I have ever read. Way to judge that poor fellow after only a few minutes of getting to know him. And it’s obvious you were/are totally just NOT genuinely interested in other human beings. What did you expect, a Brad Pitt-look-alike to spot you as the hottest chick in the joint and sweep you off your feet with cold reads and other pickup techniques? A comedian who also does magic tricks to capture your interest and entertain you?
But I guess that’s how our society is, so I feel bad that you’ve fallen into the trap. I’m sure your recount is an accurate reflection of how 99% of women might feel in your shoes. The only problem is, YOU PUBLISHED IT AND TOTALLY EMBARRASSED ANOTHER HUMAN BEING IN THE PROCESS, while painting yourself as judgmental.
I really feel bad for that former officer from Oklahoma. What if he happens upon this article? How embarrassed would he feel? Granted, you’re just “doing your job”, but c’mon Jenni. This article (and the comments) screams “me-me-me” AND SUGGESTS THAT YOU HAVE ZERO COMPASSION.
Now, I have a feeling you weren’t intending any of the above, but I think you could’ve found a better way not to be so judgmental on this guy. And Lord help you if you should ever get married then divorced (50% odds). That would be poetic justice, wouldn’t it?
Maybe this man was just subconsciously trying to see if you had a certain level of empathy that he was looking for, by bringing up his (likely painful) divorce. Granted, that doesn’t cause attraction for members of the opposite sex; it’s the last thing you’d want to bring up while developing rapport with a woman, but still. If you had demonstrated a little bit of genuine interest, it wouldn’t have necessarily meant you wanted to sleep with him or vice-versa. Shame on you for assuming that was what was going through his mind. Good for him, that you bolted. I wish him the best.
And then the attraction to the bouncer? Well, OBVIOUSLY he wasn’t under the microscope as Mr. Oklahoma was. That bar was his workplace, where he feels comfortable, has authority. Reinforced when you saw him talking to the DJ, another person of authority at yet another venue. It’s called “social value”, sweetie. Lol, so I guess we have some more clues as to “your type”. Um, bouncers are bouncers for a reason, did you ever think about that? Smh. I mean, really, I don’t want to sit here and judge you, but that’s what you did throughout the post. If you’re gonna dish it, I hope you can take it.
You felt like you wanted to cut your wrist? Can a woman be any more condescending?
You counted how many minutes that guy wasted of yours? Twelve minutes?
I hope you get a chance to travel the world and see people as people. You’ll learn how to not be in such fear of meeting new people and thinking that everyone has a hidden agenda of hooking up with you, as you’ve painted out this innocent ex-Army bystander to be. So I suppose you are waiting for that alpha male to step up, see you from across the club, and come over and seduce you. That may happen, and I’m guessing you’re probably a very physically attractive female. But oh my, how this article makes me wish that this doesn’t happen until you learn a few things first.
But bravo, good job on reinforcing the obvious, that these overt social gatherings aren’t for people who can’t manufacture their own fun out of nothing. At least you hit the nail on the head on that; I commend you on that and only that, but next time try to not to judge people in the process. It stinks, doesn’t it?
I’m sure this comment will never get published, but at least you read it. I’d be curious to see if you actually have enough humility to let this comment post, but honestly I am so turned off by you — well, I’ll say not you, but more-so *the article*, as I don’t want to judge you by one post — that I doubt I will ever return to see if it did.
— Defender of misguided and introverted ex-Army divorced Oklahomans who are still learning their place in society
Thank you very much for taking the time out to read my article, and write a very extensive, detailed comment. Although you may feel I am judgmental and hate my reflection on the event, I really do appreciate your feedback. I am writer, so I understand that everyone is not going to always agree with my point of view, differing view points are what adds flavor to the world. I would not feel that I am doing my job as a writer if all my readers agreed with everything I wrote all the time. I am open to feedback, and love that your response was so strongly written.
I will say that I am not a compassionless person, I have tons of empathy and compassion. Now as to me being judgmental? Well in the dating sense aren’t we all a little bit judgmental? You only get one chance to make a first impression, you are heavily judged by that first impression, and research shows that a person knows if they are into you within the first few minutes of that initial contact. We are human, we judge everything even if it may not be intentional, we still judge. Was I expecting to meet a Brad Pitt look-a-like, well not really, I don’t even think Brad Pitt is that cute. Now a Channing Tatum look-a-like, now that is something I can do. Ok just kidding. I actually didn’t know what to expect it was just an experience that happened to me.
Now if poor guy from Oklahoma does read this article, maybe he will learn not to talk about his divorce within the fist few minutes of meeting a female. Divorce conversation is never a good icebreaker. Do I expect someone to do magic tricks, be a comedian, or Mr. Right once we lock eyes from across the room, ummmm that would be nice, but hey that’s the stuff that only happens in movies. My only expectation is a decent conversation, and that night the bouncer had it. Now for you, don’t judge the bouncer because he is a bouncer, he is a pretty intelligent job, and used to work in politics, that night he was a bouncer.
We all have a story to tell, and you will never know anyone’s full story from a 12 minute conversation or one published article, but if we only have a few minutes to talk following an initial attraction at a socially awkward match.com event, then make sure your story represents the best version of you because may only have one chance to tell it.
So as a guy who signed up for one of these things, what would you him rather talk about? Just curious. Hopefully I won’t put anyone at the event through the ordeal you described…But I’m not very good at putting up a show either.
As a guy you can approach a woman and start with the basic conversation and getting to know you questions, chances are she is feeling just as awkward as you so lighten the mood with humor, no need to be overly serious, and no need to put on a show either. Most importantly pay attention to her body language, women say a lot in body language. If she is avoiding eye contact, looking at her watch, looking around the room for other guys to talk to, then you just politely say goodbye, and spend your time meeting someone who is equally interested in you. Now if she leans in close to you, smiles a lot, and pays close attention to what you are talking about, then you got a match. But be careful not to get too clingy too soon, feel free to walk away, explore the room, and see if she continues to make eye contact with you. If you see her smiling at you from across the room, then your in, and you have found a match. Make sure to get her phone number, that way you won’t have to hunt her down on match.com.
Kind of ressurecting this but I also ask the “what do you do” pretty early when talking to girls. Is it not a question that you like to get asked? It seems like a “getting to know you question” so im kind of confused. If it was just that you weren’t into the guy overall I kind of understand where you’re coming from also if he was super serious that is also a bad call. But I just want to know if the what do you do question is just something I should hold out on when talking to girls.
Hi, went to one of these in Scotland last night. Luckily with two friends. We went in, discovered the promised free drinks were limited in number and had run out so match.com LIED! We looked at all the middle-aged (we’re early 30s), awkward people, turned around, left, went to some other bars and drank some cocktails. Never again!
LOL yup! That is a match.com event for sure. Thanks for the comment.
I am going to one in two weeks, yikes!!
Good luck! I hope you have a better experience 🙂
Hey there! As a single guy in his late 20s in DC and dealing with dating fatigue (both in-person and online), I think your review provided a useful review of the stir event.
I’m sorry that you were wet walking home – I would have shaded you in if I noticed. What happened to chivalry!
Good luck with the bouncer.
Thanks so much 🙂 I still have much hope that chivalry does exist!
Great post! I always wondered how painfully awkward those events must be. Thanks for confirming 🙂
Have you seen the bouncer since?
Thanks for reading! I actually ran into the bouncer a few weekends ago at another bar, I just waved and said hello because he was talking to the DJ. But I guess if it’s fate then we will see each other again 🙂