In honor of our upcoming SGLA: Single Geeks in LA night, today I shall give some advice on how to survive a singles mixer. Since there aren’t always geek-only options available, I’ll discuss more general singles mixers as well.
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Unless I’m feeling really comfortable and relaxed, I am rubbish at being thrown into a crowd of strangers and meeting people on my own. I suspect many of you feel the same. At a singles mixer, not only are you in a room full of strangers, but you’re expected to look and sound interesting and fabulous. As much as you may want to hide in a corner, you must venture forth into this scary new world and mingle, mingle, mingle. To help you survive in such an unnatural and stressful situation, here are a few pieces of advice:
1) Remember that almost everyone else is nervous too. While there are those people who flourish around new people, know that most of the people in the room are probably struggling too. Hopefully this thought will help you relax and if you’re aware of those around you, maybe you can find that adorable girl/guy in the corner looking shy and talk to them.
2) Try and meet every single attendee. EVERYONE you say! Yes! This might be tough to do, but trust me, it’s for the best. If you make this a goal, it will force you to be social and not to spend too much time with any one person. The idea behind a mixer is to mingle with everyone in the room and to hopefully make a few connections along the way. If you’re really enjoying someone’s company, don’t rush away before you’re ready, but remember that you are there to meet a lot of different people.
3) If you’re interested in someone, don’t let them get away. If you’re talking to someone and you feel an immediate connection, don’t be too pushy, but don’t wait until the end of the night to get their contact information. You don’t want them leaving while you’re talking to someone else, but you don’t want to seem like a stalker and follow them around all night. If you’d like to continue talking to a new love connection, ask for their card or twitter handle. I wouldn’t advise asking them out at the event itself, but rather ask if you can call/email them and make arrangements then. This will make you appear confident, but not too pushy.
4) Look and feel good. Take this opportunity to wear something that makes you look and feel really confident and attractive. I know, easier said than done. You don’t have to dress up too much, but don’t show up in a t-shirt and tennis shoes. There will be little time to get to know someone in depth, so your outward appearance will be part of how you are evaluated. I know this fact can be upsetting and frightening, but it’s the truth, so you may as well embrace it. For some specifics on how to feel confident in your clothes, read my article on how embrace your inner superhero through fashion. http://thelxl.com/2011/06/17/advice-for-the-week-embrace-your-inner-superhero-and-harness-the-power-of-fashion/ Remember that you are all beautiful just as you are, so make that gorgeous inside shown through to your exterior.
5) Feel confident and sexy, but don’t be TOO flirty. It’s a difficult balance to reach between feeling sexy and confident, but not coming across as too sexual or flirty. If you’re too flirty with everyone, the guy/girl you just met may think that your attentions to him/her were nothing special and that you’re just a plain flirt. Save the hard-core flirting for your first date.
6) Be friendly and maintain eye contact. Always remember to smile, make eye contact and be very friendly. We all want to feel like we have the attention and interest of the person we’re talking to, so focus on them and only them while you’re speaking.
7) Be yourself right off the bat. This should be true for everything in your life, but especially when you only have a few minutes to get to know someone. At a geek mixer, you will hopefully feel comfortable enough to be yourself since you know everyone in the room is a fellow-geek, but at a more open mixer, this is especially important. It will do you no good to pretend to be something that you are not in the long run, so resist those impulses to show off or fit in too much and be yourself!
8) Let your geek flag fly and make yourself stand out. If being a geek is something important to you and fundamental to the person that you are, why not show this right away. We all feel differently on how important our geekery is to us and our dating lives, so feel free to ignore this section if you are fine dating a non-geek (or at least someone geek friendly). Don’t necessarily show up in a Superman t-shirt, although ladies, that would be adorable with a skirt and a blazer, but maybe wear your Batman cufflinks or your Rebel Alliance necklace. You could even add something funny and geeky to your nametag like “Tom: Hogwarts Class of 2000” or “Jenny: Whovian” Okay, maybe those weren’t particularly funny, but you get the idea.
9) Don’t expect too much and stay positive. Sp, it’s getting to be the end of the evening and you haven’t met “the one”. Well, odds are, you may not and that’s okay! Think of the evening as a chance to meet new people and to practice your mingling skills. Setting unrealistic expectations will only lead to disappointment. Be positive and expect to have a good time and you will! Remember, single people often have single friends, so even if you don’t meet the love of your life there, maybe you’ll make a new friend who knows him or her.
10) Don’t stay in a group. This last bit of advice is very practical, but so important! In fact, this is good advice when you’re out trying to meet people in general. It is so incredibly easy to find a small group that you feel comfortable in and just stay there all cozy and safe, but resist the urge. Think back to a time when you wanted to speak to someone and they were huddled up in a group of people that you didn’t know. I don’t know about you, but I could never screw up the courage to head into a big group like that. It’s okay to bring a friend to an event, but make sure to smile and make it be known that you want to meet some new people. Amazing how much a simple smile can encourage someone to come talk to you.
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I hope you will all do some research in your local area and try attending a singles mixer of some sort. Large cities will have a lot of these and if you can’t find any, host one yourself! You can put up a flyer in your local comic book shop and have people come to a simple happy hour. I have found that there are a lot of Young Professionals mixers and some good quality people will usually show up. Where you look will depend on your age and interests, but I’ll bet you can find something online in your area. Best of luck and remember that you are all extraordinary!