I have been thinking a lot about how trends work. My original major in college was fashion design and we were taught about the 20-year cycle of fashion trends. (I finally feel old now that low-rise jeans and butterfly clips have come back around). Either way, I feel any trend, even dating trends, go though cycles. The apps came out over a decade ago and younger people have only known the dating apps as a way of dating. Having a meet cute or a setup though friends feels fresh and exciting. This brings me to dating mixers…. I have actually said out loud to friends, “gee, I wish all the guys on the apps were in one room”…. Enter the dating mixer.
What is a dating mixer?….
It is an event held usually in a bar or event space where people can buy a ticket to meet potential matches. There could be a matchmaker in charge in certain cases. Usually, there will be opportunity to mingle and socialize and see who you hit it off with. Everyone there is single and ready to mingle.
What happens while there?….
There might be opportunities for introductions and entertainment. A good one has both some unstructured time and a bit of getting-to-know-people opportunities such as games or some speed dating.
Are there things you shouldn’t do?….
- Don’t get wasted – stick to a two-drink max
- Don’t get stuck on one person; make the rounds – You have a limited time, so make the most of it
- Don’t have a hard agenda – Be open to chatting with different types of people
- Don’t expect to meet your husband – However, you never know who you will connect with.
- Don’t forget about your appearance – Great opportunity to get a professional blow out and wear your most flattering outfit
How much should you pay to go?….
I wouldn’t go over $30. There are certain mixers that charge an arm and a leg that I would steer away from. You want to be able to go fairly often if possible, but don’t want to spend a whole paycheck on it.
Is there a way to prepare for one?….
Brush up on your social skills. Say yes to brunches or house parties with friends. Get those conversations skills going again. It’s all about reading cues and being able to mingle in a natural way. The more you socialize the more you will feel confident
What clothes should you wear?….
Don’t go out and spring for a new outfit. Pick the go-to first date outfit that you know looks super flattering. You can go more simple with an outfit as long as it is figure flattering. (Keep it classy). Steer away from sky-high heels you have never walked in. You will be on your feet for hours. Stick with a block heel instead.
Anyone who is burned out from the apps should consider a mixer. Most cities have them (Google “dating mixer” for your city and see what pops up ). If you are a take-charge person, then start your own Meet Up group or network with people in your town. ( I plan on creating one, hopefully for Valentine’s Day this year). Think about how much time you can save in a night versus months of dating on the apps. It’s a good opportunity to go a little extra with your appearance since you are making a first impression with many people. Wear your lucky first date outfit and then get your makeup and hair done professionally if it’s in your budget. In the meantime, brush up on your social skills and accept invites to house parties. You can’t expect to meet your soul mate, but it’s a wonderful time saver and will give you a great perspective on who is really out there.