The first meet-up is always the hardest. Going on my own and knowing how to start a conversation when my confidence was not on its best form was a big step. You might be as scared as I was but it is a great therapy. Really soon you realise that other single people have been doing this for a long time and that they will probably be confident enough to approach you and ask you the usual questions, that you might have forgotten. “Hi! I am (insert name) and I do (insert job title here). How about you?” You smile at each other and you basically start to follow a very simple script. The result- you get along merrily…most of the time. The hardest thing though is to escape from a conversation when you know after a couple of minutes that s/he is completely different and you do not connect.
My biggest challenge was to be able to listen and not talk about myself. When you are locked at home and have no one to talk to you can lose the art of conversation (when finally you do talk to an actual other human)!
Also some small tips: don’t talk about your past or ex! No one cares. I know you want to let it out but don’t. Actually, I have a nice friend who told me that after her break up whenever she went clubbing, she talked to the ladies who maintained the toilets, and would tell them, her whole sorry heart-break story. For 6 months she did it. She cried constantly… (As an aside, she knows how deep the pain of heart-break can be. She is happy now but she told me she will never forget experience. It has made her stronger and we gain knowledge and experience but she will never forget how it felt to have her heart-broken.)
Ooops… I have lost track… So anyway back to the first meet-up. It went really well. I joined a group where I learnt a lot about video optimisation. I always wanted to learn about it (geek I know). Also it was free. And sure it did attract many smart and lovely people. And I learnt a lot from these people as by then I knew how to shut up a little bit and also I learnt and practiced how to talk about myself. What is good and what is not. Testing the reactions and breathing in life stories like air. I had a great night and really soon I knew how to be independent in a new group and how to interact with people again. It was brilliant.
(Author: An, edited by my lovely friend Sarah)
Next: Mask Party