So I have been reading this book How to Get a Date Worth Keeping by Henry Cloud. I have very mixed feelings about the advice in this book, but agree wholeheartedly with the part about meeting new people. At the very beginning of the book, he asks you to keep track of how many single men you meet in any given week.
My number was zero.
Then he goes on to talk about how most people end up meeting people at work and at church - which for me is one and the same. Seeing as how Concord is a great church for families in the suburbs, I work a lot with kids and families and the married pastors on staff. No single men at work or church (hence the zero).
Most of the following chapters talk about ways to change your traffic pattern to meet new people. Basically, it's time to get outside of my comfort zone and do some new and different things. He encourages you to meet 5 new people a week, which honestly, seemed a little impossible but I wanted to try.
Week 1: I replied to an Instagram follower who messaged me about going on a date. Outside my comfort zone for sure. Met 0 men in person, there was zero follow up.
Week 2: I went to the speed dating event at Cruze Farm. 1000% outside my comfort zone. Met 15 men in person, again zero follow-up. (This was obviously a stacked week, haha!)
Week 3: I went to dinner and a concert with friends and ran into a guy from speed dating. Tried other new things (other posts coming soon) but met zero new men and again zero follow up.
Week 4: A friend and I devised a plan to get a group of single girls together to accomplish this plan together. So I started researching all kinds of things to do and places to go together! Unfortunately, I ended up going solo to most of the stuff this weekend.
On Saturday, I checked out the Happy Holler-palooza and the Punk Rock Flea Market on Central. Events like these are not so far outside of my comfort zone, but purposefully talking to people at them definitely is. Walking around the booths, I had a few interesting conversations with single men - many of them way outside of my comfort zone - but none of them technically meet Cloud's requirements to count. (He says they have to be totally new to me, have a long enough conversation to become interested in one another, and have enough information to get in touch with each other later. I'm not so great at the third part.)
Today, I wanted to check out @new2knox's Young Adult Activity Fair. It was at Schulz Brau Brewery - which looks like a castle and is like five minutes away from house. Somehow I never noticed this giant building that I literally drive by all the time.
The place was crowded and I had to give myself a pep talk to walk in alone. Introverts have not cornered the market on feeling awkward in new situations... For whatever reason, I tend to take awkward selfies during said pep talks.
Anyways, I got over myself and went inside. Guys, this place is cool! And it was full of people! I mingled a little and visited some of the booths set up. I'm planning on checking out a few new places and organizations (again - future blog posts in the making!). I also definitely want to go back to Schulz Brau - they do trivia on Tuesday nights!
I finished off the weekend with a late night dinner alone at Five. During the course of my meal, I ended up having conversations with three different men. THREE! I think at least two of them meet Cloud's requirements to be added to my list for this week... You know what, I'll let my Instagram story speak for itself.
So this week, I'm trying more new things. Trivia, a concert, and maybe meeting a friend of a friend (something that has been in the works for years). If you want more frequent updates, my Instagram story is my current favorite place to overshare.
Meeting people is hard. I’d be lying if I said this was easy for me - I am filled with anxiety and dread when it comes to giving up what is comfortable. But at the same time, it’s a worthy pursuit and I know that in the end (even if this process does not lead to dating or marriage for me) I will be a stronger and healthier person because I tried something new.