Last night I tried something a little different: I went to a singles’ mixer. I’ve watched with interest creeped friends on FB when they’ve attended speed dating events and the like, but I’ve never had the balls to go to one myself. Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when an event planner friend organized a ‘lock and key’ mixer and sent me an invite. I have one particularly brave friend I knew would be up for it, so we signed up. She had to cancel at the last minute, but apparently I wasn’t the only one secretly interested in trying this out, because I found a new wingwoman in a snap.

I showed up (almost) on time, with an outfit carefully planned to look like I always dress this way, when in reality I was in a ratty sweatshirt from second year university not 30 minutes before. After grabbing name tags, a glass of wine (and working my hardest poker face when the bartender asked for 15 fucking dollars for 5oz of wine), we set about to mingling. The concept is pretty simple: all the ladies get locks, the dudes get keys. You try to find your match so to speak, and for every successul unlocking, you each get raffle tickets. It’s much more free-flowing than speed dating, and there’s a built-in icebreaker. The crowd was good — minimal creep, professionals generally in their mid twenties to late thirties, and most everyone was really friendly. I actually hit it off with the first guy I chatted to, and we have plans to get together next week. I spoke to quite a few nice peeps, and while it was a bit nerve-wracking, altogether it was a good time.

Now, some of you might ask why I seem to be trying so hard at this dating thing (some of you have asked, in person). I know all the idioms about finding things when you least expect them, watched pots never boil, et cetera et cetera. However, I think there needs to be an opportunity for these things to happen, and let’s look at the facts of (my) life:

a) I work mostly from home. Occasionally I’ll work at my business partner’s home in Oakville, but I’m not seeing a plethora of meet-cute opportunities on the mid-morning Go train and Josephine is a terrible wingcat. My part-time work also does not afford the opportunity to meet the kind of person I’m looking for as most of the customers I meet look like Hot Topic threw up on them.

b) When I go to networking events, they’re mostly female networks. They are awesome for business, not so awesome for potential relationships.

c) I have a lot of amazing friends (pardon my humblebrag). I like spending time with these amazing friends, because I like them. I’d rather spend time with them than make new friends in a runaround attempt to widen my dating pool.  I don’t need friends, I have friends, and that seems like a disingenous reason to befriend someone anyway.

I don’t necessarily need a boyfriend. I have spent a not insignificant amount of time single, and I’m perfectly content with me. However, dating is fun and it would be nice to find some weirdo who accepts all of my crazy. Besides, if not for these dating adventures, there would be no StephNotStephanie, and what would you do with yourselves then?


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