Thanks to the huge number of singles nights in Manchester, people have mixed thoughts about what a ‘Meet and Mingle’ may entail. Given last night Social Circle hosted its annual Mingle party at the Portland Bar & Grill, I thought I would share the thoughts and conversations you have when you attend a Mingle party so you know what to expect when attending an event to meet new people in Manchester.
On deciding whether to turn up
- Do I want to go? I feel terrible, I don’t feel sociable, drinking is only going to make matters worse.
2. Maybe I will just cancel.
3. Moping won’t help. Perhaps I should go out?
4. Ok I will go out, but I am not drinking. A hangover will only make matters worse.
5. Oh god what if I see my ex and his new girl on the tram on the way there. I will arrive an emotional wreck.
6. I will stay for an hour, two hours tops. I have stuff to do tomorrow. Plus self care and all that.
7. *Spends an hour getting ready* Glad I only had salad for lunch this dress is unforgiving. Definitely no drinking though.
8. Do not trip up the stairs. Do not trip up the stairs.
I am greeted by Steve at the top. Who tells me to go get a drink from the bar downstairs. I tell him I am not drinking and not staying long.
9. Do not fall down the stairs. Do not fall down the stairs.
10. She looks familiar. Is she from social circle too?
11. “I will have a double Gin and Tonic please”
12. There are lots of people here. Who do I know.? * Makes bee line for Matt who has been on a few events with me.*
Doing the Mingle Thing
Peter comes over to me. “Are you my honey?” Before I get creeped out he shows me his Moshi monster card. We all have them. There is a bottle of champagne up for grabs for the team that find each other. I have jeepers. “Sorry Peter, I am not your honey.”
Harvey comes over and shakes my hand warmly. I ask what interests him. He reels off a number of exciting sounding interests from dancing to rock climbing. He asks me the same. “errr….I like the meals out??” God I sound boring.
13. Where did that Prosecco appear from?
I am talking to a couple of people who are recent joiners. Turns out they are also lawyers. How do we find each other. Lawyers always manage to find each other in a room. Start talking shop. “I am an employment law specialist” escapes my lips. No. No I am not talking shop.
14. My Prosecco somehow refilled itself.
I go to talk to man with epic tash. He is called Dave and loves the walking retreats. Dave tells me “ I love the fact you can just turn up to a walk or a weekend away and it’s all organised. So many great memories.” I ask for a photo. He negotiates a selfie.
Steve comes over. Tells everyone about that time I went to a whisky tasting festival and was ill for about a week afterwards.
15. I am not drinking the whisky.
16. *drinks the whisky*
On Friendship and Dating
I head over to Pauline, another familiar face, and tell her about the blog. “Oh Social Circle has given me so much” She gives Aida a big hug “I found my best friends here”.
I gatecrash their conversation. Aida is approaching a major birthday and Pauline wants to throw her a party. Aida has some sage advice for me “Don’t wait for some birthday or event to live your life. Material things are not important. Live your life. Spend time with good people.” #truthbomb
17. Ohh chocolate.
I get talking to some new faces, including Alex. Turns out me and Alex cancelled the exact same Pilates class which was run by Nicola. Must be fate.
Alex tells me that she was in two minds about coming, and almost cancelled but decided to give it a shot. I completely understand how she feels and I have been a host for 3 years. I decide to introduce her to some other people.
We enter the conversation at the moment where Robert is saying “And that’s how I ended my Friday evening covered in chocolate”. Oh god what is this.
18. *Opens another bottle of prosecco*
19. I must go soon it’s already 10:40.
Steve hands me the camera and tells me to take a selfie. He actually meant to take a photo of him and Vanessa Now feel like a double chinned muppet. *Takes pictures*
Chat to Robert about Social Circle. He has been a member for a couple of months but talks himself out of events. “I like to go out with someone I have met before” I tell him he has to come out first so he gets to know people. He resolved to come out to this one and is enjoying himself. He gives us permission to nag him into attending more events. #challengeaccepted.
20. No more Whiskey Steve you know I can’t handle it. *Drinks more whisky.*
21. Talk to Pete and Nigel about blogging. Pete confesses to enjoying them. It does give me a little boost. Get talking about last weeks blog and how people are really shy when socialising if they have gained a bit of weight. Tell everyone it really does not make a difference.
22. What time is the last tram? 12:34. Ok it’s 11:15 I best head off soon.
23. “Have you taken some good photos?”
*I try to take more photos as Steve also decides he will take photos and gets in my way*
The group at my table start talking about dating and my recent heartbreak. Turns out most people have a similar story of falling for someone only for them to ghost you and move onto their next ‘true love.’
24. We all agree dating is sh*t regardless of your age or gender.
Maybe it’s the prosecco or maybe it’s just because Albert Schloss does the *best* Sunday lunches I ended up telling all about how much I am looking forward to hosting next week’s event.
Continue talking to Alex and Robert. We decide that given we have been talking all night and want to go to the same events we should keep in touch and exchange numbers.
25. It’s now 12:15. I really must go but by this point I don’t want to.
The Morning After.
It was a fantastic event as usual, with a good mix of new faces and regular Social Circle members. Whilst the majority of members are single, most have not joined with dating in mind and just want to meet and socialise with people who are at a similar stage in life. Far from the awkward and forced conversations you get at ‘singles’ events, or the tense ‘networking event’ it was a relaxed and fun party where I was able to let my hair down and forget my troubles for a few hours. The Mingle party proved great way to chat to new people about life, love and everything over some free flowing Prosecco.