Last week I was invited to an event to launch Slice’s new series First Dates. From the email, it looked like a show premiere. It said “mixer” with dating tips, free drinks, and free food so I thought people from the industry/Slice would be there. Shay looked at the email and thought the same thing.
It turned out that it wasn’t a show premiere. It was an actual dating event.
Shay and I were the youngest ones there. Everyone at the event was at least double our age. We got there pretty late, so Dr. Jess from “Sex with Dr. Jess” was already giving out her dating tips. We sat down in empty seats beside two women and they told us they were hoping to meet someone. We had no idea it was going to be a dating event, so we just told everyone we were there for the free drinks and food.
We felt bad because we weren’t even there to find someone to date. One of the women we were sitting with brought a man over and he ended up talking to Shay instead. He even told her he wasn’t “looking for a one night stand”, he was “looking for a relationship”.
We ended up hiding in the corner of the bar sipping on peach bellinis and snacking on appetizers. A woman nearby overheard us making up fake names and cracked up.
I know there’s a stigma around going to singles dating events, but after going to one, I realize there’s absolutely nothing embarrassing or shameful about it. It doesn’t make you desperate. Most people want to find someone and not everyone meets someone organically.
I remember there used to be a stigma around online dating as well, but now I don’t know a single person who hasn’t been on Tinder at least once. When you’re older, I suppose it’s preferable to meet a long-term partner at an event like this than at a bar.
We received gift bags as we were leaving. I had a feeling there were going to be condoms in there but I found something else instead. I accidentally blurted out a little too loudly, “it’s lubricant!” and some guy nearby looked at me like I was crazy.
Although it was a pretty awkward night, we had fun. You can watch full episodes of First Dates on their website.