It was Date My Mate (DMM) and its aim is to get single Christian guys and girls talking to each other. Each person is vouched for by their ‘mate’ of the opposite sex who they arrived with. As a guy, I had a list of all the girls’ names. By the end of the night, you hand in the list of names with a tick beside ones you would like to have contact with in the future.
Initially, its hard to step out the comfort zone, but like others, I learnt fast to use the question ‘so have you done this before?’ as a way into a conversation. My answer was ‘yes’ at a coffee tasting event. The question was recycled many times, along with ‘so what do you do?’ and ‘what church do you go to?’ The nice thing about DMM is that although thoughts of coupling up with most encounters hardly enter your mind, you still have interesting conversations, knowing that they are probably feeling the same. In my case, I spent a lot of the evening chatting with ladies who could well have been 10 years older. I don’t generally have a problem with that but wasn’t what I was looking for that night.
After an hour of chatting with about 10 people, the men moved to a pub around the corner where 10 ladies were waiting for us. As the first man to enter the room, a strange feeling of awe and fear came over me. I got talking to someone and recovered quickly. Lo and behold she was from my area. It had started well. She was friendly and a genuinely nice person. After an awkwardly long conversation, knowing that we were supposed to be giving others a chance to meet us, we moved on, mutually agreeing in a strangely comfortable way, that we should talk to other people.
I didn’t meet anyone awkward or embarrassing. It was for me, a world of normal Christian ladies in a very strange but relaxing situation. From my mate’s report of the evening, the men were slightly more interesting. Throughout the evening I had been aware of other guys but not bothered by them. Then at our last location, I was spectacularly removed from a conversation. A guy wondered up to me and my new female acquaintance, apologised for interrupting our conversation, and asked if we had seen his pint. We said ‘no’. He took this small interaction as a cue to introduce himself to the lady. All the best to him I thought, as I gladly gave way. Good thing I was not actually too interested. I admire him in a sort of way, he made a new contact, despite the challenge.
So did I make any connections? I ticked one box, the girl I first talked to and I’m glad to report she ticked me too.