How Many Single Mefis in Greater NYC Would Like to Meet Other Single Mefis?
posted January 7, 2017 4:36 PM   RSS

I can't believe I'm doing this, but the hell with it! It's a new year! So why not boldly go where no Mefi has gone before!? I wrote this recent Metatalk question — and have likely been giving nightmares to Cortex ever since. But before the thread devolved entirely into jokes, a few commentators suggested organizing an IRL Mefi Single People Meetup. After all, we're in New York, aren't there a bunch of us here? My gut instinct was to dismiss the idea entirely, which is why I wrote: "For those (coupled?) extroverts suggesting interested parties just host a singles Mefi meet-up, let me just say this: Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. That's a good one!" But then....
Then I happened to click "nearby users" on my own Mefi home page, and got a figure totaling 581 (and those are just the numbers of folks who live within 10 miles of me and clicked the box to share their geographic whereabouts), and felt an unexpected flush of intrigue contemplating all those potential single Mefis brave enough to go to a Mefi "Single People" event. I mean maybe those commentators — extroverts and married though they may be — were on to something: All 581+ simply can't be paired, must represent a few different age groups, and surely some fraction is intrepid enough to gather at an IRL "Single People" event without fearing the potential awkward thread repercussions of a sour relationship they have not yet had with another still-imaginary Mefi — wouldn't you think?

So, okay, that's my logic. Now, if I were to organize some sort of "Single People" event, it would have to be as pressure-free and user-friendly as possible! My initial Metatalk suggestion was very much in that vein, and if I am to get a bit bolder about it, it strikes me as imperative that it remain in keeping with that spirit. No awkward silences, no stilted conversations, no forced seating arrangements. In fact, nothing overt at all, except the fact that everyone there is single and, ya know, if we're lucky some folks might just make friends, regardless of later date potential and all that. Further, my immediate idea would be to riff off of other single events I've seen listed that seemed well thought through. Those events capped the number of guests at an even number, 20, say, and then set age restrictions. Age restriction doesn't interest me, but I do think it's wise to have even representation for general age groups. I mean, what's more awkward then to have one 93-year-old, and nine 20-year-olds? To address this, it seems like for every woman in her 30s, it would be good to have at least one man in his 30s, too. For every man in his 40s, a woman in her 40s; for every 20-something, at least one other opposite sex 20-something. (And, yup, sorry, this is all hetero-based. My ambition only goes so far at this time.)

So, to recap, this is my ideal thus far:
  • 10 women.
  • 10 men.
  • Even age representation.
  • An email/throwaway email for all 20 people.
  • Everyone to bring a favorite book to talk about.
A book? Yeah, a book. It'll give us something to talk about as a group, or in small huddles, e.g. I loved this book! Oh, yeah, I hated that book!

I would provide booze as an enticement. The emails are so I could collect a master list which I could later distribute to the group. The goal would be simply for single Mefis to know that other single Mefis in their age group are out there, get some slight sense of them, and then have a means of contacting them afterward if they wanted. So, ya know, no speed-dating, no introduction by age per se, no 30-year-old being forced to converse with the one other opposite-sex 30-year-old, if, in fact, there's only one. Just general group talk or individual talk, as the spirit moves. Booze. Food. Whatever, all very low-key.*

Thoughts?!? If you have suggestions, or are interested, comment below or send me a memail. If you're interested/potentially interested in participating, please list your gender (M/F) and what decade you're in (20's, 30's, 40's, 50's ... 90's, etc.). so I can start to see how easy/hard the demographic mix might be.

S'all for now,

~The ever-enterprising VB


*And, oh, by the way, if this sort of thing did come off, we'd also all have to PINKY SWEAR to never ever ever bother any of the Mods with the details. This is true of all the mods, but most especially Cortex. :>
posted by Violet Blue to Proposed (14 comments total)

It seems like we should at least bat around ideas for including people not seeking opposite-gender partners. I mean, obviously no one wants to go if there's no one of a compatible gender and sexual orientation or just one other person. But maybe it's worth at least gauging queer interest before shrugging and going "Dunno, that's tricky."
posted by hoyland at 6:56 AM on January 8 [1 favorite]


Yeah I would go to a queer single mefite mixer. 0 interest in one that's only hetero/binary.

That said, I think if the idea is to keep it small, maybe there should just be multiple mixers? Like, I'd rather try to organize a queer-only even than be one 1 of 2 queers at a primarily straight event.
posted by (Over) Thinking at 7:39 AM on January 8 [1 favorite]


VB, I love this idea in theory, and I loved your MetaTalk post, but I agree with hippybear's comment in that thread that if you're interested and open to dating other MeFites, it's easy enough to do that through the existing meetups, and you'd probably already be doing it.

I've dated/gone on dates with several New York MeFites, as well as a couple other MetaFilter associated people, since I arrived in early 2013. I also went to about 90% of the meetups that happened from 2013-2015. So in my opinion this all happened naturally as a consequence of just going to meet-ups on a consistent and regular basis, which meant both getting to know certain people over time as well as consistently meeting new people who only came to meetups on a sporadic basis.

I'm sure it also helped that my question history was/is plastered with evidence that I am single, which is another thing that someone mentioned in that thread.

I'm not really confident that a special singles meetup is going to draw out many more people than those who have already made an appearance at meetups over the past few years. However, I will say that I am an Extrovert with a capital E, and a lot of MeFites are not, so I think it's helpful if someone who disagrees with that (i.e., doesn't attend meetups but would go to this one) lets VB know or lets it be known in this thread.

VB, perhaps it would help if you made this one of those regional posts instead of just New York.

Also, one other tricky thing is making sure people actually show up, since a gender/age/sexual orientation balance is important. People can be kind of flaky when it comes to meetups.

Since I DO want this to be successful - all of the MeFites I was involved with were absolutely lovely, and I would love to meet more more more, for friendship purposes too! - you can mark me down as a participant. Also, ping me if you need logistical assistance, etc.
posted by unannihilated at 8:20 AM on January 8


"It seems like we should at least bat around ideas for including people not seeking opposite-gender partners."
@hoyland: I see your point, and it occurs now my title was a hell of a lot more general than what I wrote below the fold. Well, we can bat it around here, no?

"Dunno, that's tricky."
@hoyland: The thing is it's all tricky, even when no whiff of romance is involved. I mean, I don't know if you've ever tried to organize an event before with people you don't know, but it can be tough getting folks to show up at the best of times — they get tired, or held up at work, or a family member comes to town, or they get a cold. Plus they don't know you, which makes it easier for them to blow things off. Add in romance, and suddenly disparities in age, gender, sexual preference and so on can be a BIG deal.

@ (Over) Thinking: "Like, I'd rather try to organize a queer-only even than be one 1 of 2 queers at a primarily straight event."
Exactly. If the numbers come out wrong, the odds of the whole thing being a bust are high. So I was also trying to whittle some of those factors down, too.

@hoyland, @ (Over) Thinking: Just curious, but what would be the minimum number of people at a queer mixer you'd hope to get? Because for a straight mixer, I worry that 10 of each gender is overly ambitious. (This is based on other Mefi events I've either been to, or given, though mind you a singles thing is very different thematically than any of those.)
posted by Violet Blue at 9:34 AM on January 8


@unanniliated: I agree with hippybear's comment in that thread that if you're interested and open to dating other MeFites, it's easy enough to do that through the existing meetups, and you'd probably already be doing it.
I dunno. My guess is folks only representing a narrow age range go to most of these events. Most often when I check it seems to be a small (friendly!) group of friends that do a lot of stuff together. But you've been to many more meetups than me.

I'm not really confident that a special singles meetup is going to draw out many more people than those who have already made an appearance at meetups over the past few years ... it's helpful if someone who disagrees with that (i.e., doesn't attend meetups but would go to this one) lets VB know or lets it be known in this thread.

CALLING ALL THE HERETOFORE NON-MEFI-MEETUP-ATTENDING MEFI MEMBERS (say that 5 times fast)! YOU ARE SPECIFICALLY INVITED TO THIS EVENT!

... it would help if you made this one of those regional posts instead of just New York.
I got called out for using it once. I thought it was just for the tri-state area, but it covers a region much much larger than that, and is intended for major festivals and such, I was told.
posted by Violet Blue at 10:26 AM on January 8


I, as an introverted Mefite who doesn't go to meetups, might be interested in attending this... I'm a cishet female in my 30s.
posted by thereemix at 10:39 AM on January 8 [1 favorite]


I don't have a complex take on this apart from saying I'd be up for it. I've never really gone to other Mefite Meetups before because I always forget to check what's happening in my area. But my experience with other Meetup-style things is that yeah, it's usually a group of people who mostly already know each other and do a lot of Meetups together.
posted by UltraMorgnus at 7:56 AM on January 9


Also yeah, I'm an introvert and it's hard to work up the enthusiasm for a regular Meetup. But something like this I'd be more likely to do.
posted by UltraMorgnus at 7:57 AM on January 9


Others may totally disagree, but I think a more crowded free-form relaxed weekend-night apartment-party kind of thing would be less pressurizing/intense than a tiny gathering with everything super-focused, with a specific, exact, 'balanced' number of people (many of which would probably flake at the last second, as I have done on various occasions), etc. I think a more casual gathering with music and wine and an atmosphere of potential fun would be more conducive to making friends, let alone romantic matches. I may be completely wrong, and I know there are issues involved with someone opening their house to a bunch of randos, but that sounds more fun and relaxed to this introvert. I went to the NYC 10 year anniversary party years back, and it was fun. I imagine a smaller, more low-key version of that vibe could definitely work-- with a focus on fun rather than matches, but strictly for single people, and let the chips fall where they may.
posted by asimplemouse at 8:44 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


I have no good ideas about the queer issue (which I personally have a stake in), but I'd be interested in a way to potentially signal queerness(?) during the party, if that doesn't sound absurd and creepy. But I suspect my 'party' idea may not be universally appealing to begin with!
posted by asimplemouse at 8:48 AM on January 10


It seems like people would be more likely to flake for a party than a gathering that one has to RSVP for and which more heavily relies on attendance of everyone for success (because of the balance issue).

In addition to being an Extrovert, I am also an Attender, so I cannot offer insight into the minds of flakers.
posted by unannihilated at 12:09 PM on January 10


As a young single female in the big city and a long-time Meetup-goer - I'd be down for a casual gathering with fellow Mefites! A coffee shop, a chill bar etc. I think it'd be good to center around a topic or laidback activity perhaps, so it's not just drinking (which I've found tends to be difficult for introverts or first-time-goers because it's difficult to just walk up to strangers in a loud bar) - love your idea of a kind of "book exchange", I'm thinking bowling or board games would be fun as well.
posted by skyfarer at 9:29 PM on January 11


I'm in the female early 40's box. I think best to have as many people as possible not just 10/10, although it seems I am being more of a criticizer than an organizer here! Meet ups are stressful, I have previously approached two and left before entering, and attended two- and I wouldn't even classify myself as That introverted...
posted by bquarters at 6:28 AM on January 14 [1 favorite]


Apologies all, for the quiet. It's been a busy week, and I've been wanting to wait and see what kind of response we got over time. At the moment, unfortunately, we're not over-run with interest, but I'm also not sure how long it takes people to explore this sort of thing, so why don't we leave it up another week, and see if there is any other interest or commentary.

Thanks, all.

VB
posted by Violet Blue at 1:17 AM on January 23



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