My sixth sense tells me there is a movement brewing to provide alternatives to online dating. Ways of meeting other human beings live and in the flesh. Imagine that. Of course we can all meet someone in line at the bakery, but somehow, with the spread of online dating, a certain segment of us have become shy.
Here in tech-obsessed San Francisco online dating has become pervasive. But hardly anyone is satisfied. My friend Klover calls it low-stakes dating. People skip from date to date sampling new options from the huge buffet of fabulous profiles out there. The particular passion for another human being gets lost. While people certainly do find their beloveds online, what other options are available?
Tomorrow night I am going to an event called TryMe, which the founders are billing as an antidote to online dating. They’re private events for “San Francisco’s most awesome and unattached.” In the future, they are planning “big mixers, intimate bourbon tastings, cooking classes, book swaps and hiking adventures.” Beth and her co-founder are hand-picking people personally: “everyone is interesting, ambitious, attractive, and has been hand-selected via trusted friends and personal scouting.” Gosh. I hope that people are open-hearted too. I feel like I am going to an elite event, and hope that people aren’t competitive.As I choose my outfit, I’m nervous about being in a fishbowl where everyone is available and expressly looking. And at the same time, that’s one of the things I want; a place where you know that others are available and want to be in a relationship.
Meanwhile my friend J. has taken it on as her personal mission to matchmake for me and a few of her friends. She is hosting a garden matchmaking party at her home and has been going about her daily life looking for quality men to invite. She’s also networking via Facebook asking friends to suggest good guys for the amazing women in her life. She dropped into a bar one night randomly and shared the idea of her matchmaking party and everyone absolutely LOVED it. As we brainstormed for her garden party, we wondered if men would be interested. I never doubted they would but the reaction that night was confirmation. Men don’t ask women out here very often–we feel something and walk away, great to meet you! Everyone needs a push.
Is the solution a little more help from our friends? We are often hesitant to suggest a match for a friend because we don’t want the responsibility. We don’t want to be wrong. Getting set up has a bad rap. But why should it? I don’t care if a friend gets it wrong. I suppose I could take it personally if I don’t like the guy they suggest. But more than anything else I’m just touched that a friend cares and wants to help.
In our busy, busy lives we can feel like we have to put so much intention into finding a romantic love partner. And all the intention comes from the individual unless you search out paid help from a matchmaking service. I’m not endorsing arranged marriage, but at times I really wish my friends would keep an eye out for me and keep me in mind as they go about meeting guys. I’ve been so touched that my friend J. has taken this on to help me find a match.
I’ll be curious to see what the ladies at Try Me have to offer tonight.
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