Tag Archives: Meet New people

The Reason Why I started Social Circle.

 

Recently I questioned the reason why I started Social Circle

Recently I questioned the reason why I started Social Circle

I recently listened to a Tedx Talk on Finding your Why.  It really got me thinking. It reminded me of why I started Social Circle in the first place – and my vision for the future.  Believe me I needed the reminder. When Taxes are due and I am having to explain myself three times to get stuff done, you can easily lose sight of your passion.   So I sat down and thought carefully about the  reason why Social Circle exists, and why it will always be my passion.

#1 I was just like you.

I was in my thirties when my marriage broke down, and I made a life-changing decision to move to Manchester with my job.  I had no one. My colleagues were nice enough but going out for ‘ a swift one’ after work wore thin. I decided I needed to take action to go out and meet new people. Back then, there was little to cater for my age group and interests.  So I put an advert out inviting people to meet me in my local pub and the rest – as they say – is history.

#2 Being Sociable is a Life saver.

As much as you can enjoy the single life, loneliness in a big city can pave the way to depression and other mental health issues.  Having people around you that share your humour and interests can be lifesaving at times, and the key to a long happy life. My friends from the early days of Social Circle are still by my side – and kicking my ass.  It gives me great pleasure in seeing Social Circle members form deep and meaningful friendships with each other. #Notallheroeswearcapes

#3 Life does not revolve around a single interest.

There are plenty of social groups catering for a single hobby, such as hiking or photography.  I joined a few walking groups myself. However, I was quickly discouraged by the fact that when it came to exploring life outside the ramblers group that people were not so keen.  I wanted to meet people like me, who had a thirst for life and all it offers. As it happens, my Friday night drinking buddies were also up for exploring life outside the Slug & Lettuce. Soon, I was arranging walks, nights at comedy clubs and meals out.  Today we offer 100+ events every month.

#4 It takes f**king courage to introduce yourself to others.

So you want to meet people. Great. Then the fears kick in and before long you have talked yourself out of going. You find your excuses and then Boom! Another year has flown by without you meeting anyone new. I get it.  Truth is that it takes a lot of courage to introduce yourself to anyone, never mind walk into room full of strangers. It’s the reason why –  when I could not be in 100 places at once –  I enlisted the help of our expert hosts. Our hosts will run out into the rain to rescue you when you are frozen with nerves at the doors of a restaurant. I make sure they send everyone a text, or call nervous newbies, because I know exactly what it takes to turn up to that first event.

#5 I wanted to explore the world with others.

I love travelling.  It feeds my soul. I am happy to travel alone, but some experiences are so much better shared with others.  I found that travel for single professionals can be a little pot luck at times – you can be changed through the nose, or have an amazing time.  So when my Social Circle members suggested we organised weekends away, I jumped at the chance. It is through these budget friendly weekends away that I have managed to travel extensively, tick off a few of my bucket list activities and meet the love of my life.  This year, we are going to so many exciting new places I can hardly contain myself. I am even gatecrashing the Galway trip as a co-host as I have always wanted to see the Cliffs of Moher.

#6 I got sick of small print and hidden costs.

I am a man who likes to keep things simple and straightforward.  No – I don’t want to read 100 clauses of legal mumbo jumbo. I certainly don’t want to turn up to your free event and find I am being charged for the privilege.  And if I am paying something, I expect to get what I paid for. I found a lot of places short-changed me, so I was determined to be open and honest with my own members.  That the reason why you get unlimited free events with your membership, and anything that does cost that little bit extra is clearly marked on the calendar.

#7 Because I just love bringing people together.

When it come down to it, I am a big ol’ softy at heart.  I love bringing friends and family together, and still regularly rally them round to mine for pancakes or a movie.  Over the years I have run Social Circle, I have seen shy wallflowers bloom into confident socialites. People stepping out of their comfort zone and finding their passion and purpose through trying new activities.  I have introduced many husbands and wives to each other. Everyday, I hear what a difference being a part of Social Circle is making to our members.

Its that, when it comes down to it, that is why I battle through the hard times.

I just love seeing people find happiness.

So tell me, what is your Why?

Q & A Why should I join Social Circle?

Why join social circle? Well for starters we are your kind of people...

Why join social circle? Well for starters we are your kind of people…

 

In my last blog, I invited you to send me questions you wanted answering as part of my regular Q & A spot.  You didn’t disappoint! Many of you asked ‘Why should I join Social Circle?’ I am glad you asked. With so many free groups like MeetUp out there, it is a question that will cross the minds of anyone thinking of joining.  So I put together a little list of reasons that makes social circle so good.

Firstly, it is important to know why I set up Social Circle. After travelling and living abroad during my teens and twenties, my life turned upside down when my marriage fell apart. I found myself moving to Manchester to accept another job.  In my thirties, totally alone and in need of company, I put an advert up to meet like-minded people. The rest was history. From that, I built a business, found the love of my life and introduced hundreds of people to their best friends and significant others.  Social Circle is my passion and life purpose.

  1. Time Saved Scrolling.

Today, people are still craving connection with others.  We look to modern technology to help us make friends.  You can either meet individuals or groups with a single common interest. Firstly, there is not just one group on MeetUp or similar, but hundreds in some cities.  What if you want to do more than one activity? Are you meant to spend yet more hours finding other groups? At this rate you can easily spend more time on the app than you can out socialising. Then there are the various charges for tickets, or admin costs!   

I know variety is the spice of life, which is why our events calendar is jam packed with wonderful events from meals out to cinema nights and it is all included in one price. We are web and phone savvy too, so you can just book on any event with a single click.

2. No Drama

Have you ever tried to organise a night out with your friends?  How about a weekend away? First there is the alarming rate at which people develop a mystery illness and have to drop out. Then there is always someone who wants to go to someplace else and is very vocal about it.  Or you end up the only single one amongst couples. At Social Circle there is none of that. When we organise our calendar, we book everything. The tickets, the table and the time. Our weekends away are organised with military precision.  If you want to join us – great! If not, then there will be something else you fancy.  All you have to do is show up and meet people who like the exact same things.

3. Help with the nerves.

I am a confident and sociable guy, and I get nervous when I meet new people.  I can completely understand how terrifying it must be if you have anxiety in social situations or are more introverted.  Can you rely on amateur organisers to understand? Some will be sympathetic, but others may not have a clue and it can be difficult reaching out and asking for help.  

Our hosts always call and text ahead, and will run out and meet you if you have an attack of nerves at the door. I am also proud to say we have members who are warm and welcoming and will always take any nervous newbies under their wing.

4. Fresh and Familiar.

Part of why we reach out to social groups is to meet new people.  So imagine you meet a kindred spirit on an event, forget to swap numbers, and never see them again. Ever.   Lets face it, we don’t just want to meet new people – we want to make new friends. It can be difficult when there are so many people attending an event that you end up being the new guy (or gal) at every single event.  So what is great about being a member is that other people are members too!

We have a members facebook group and regular events means that you will start to bump into the people you gel with more often. Some people have been members for many years and have met their best friends and partners through social circle.   For me, providing a membership encourages people to attend events regularly so you get to meet new people and see some familiar faces, that way friendships can really start to blossom naturally.

5. Your kind of people.

The hardest part of using apps is trying to find people who are – well – more like you!  Maybe you moved to Manchester with your career and are looking to set down roots.  Perhaps you are the only divorcee in a social circle of smug marrieds.  Either way, hanging out with a group of twenty somethings may not bring you the friends you seek.   When looking for friends – we not only want to share interests – but values and life experiences.  We know our members well and many share stories similar to my own. Like attracts like right?  Social Circle is full of great, friendly professionals, aged thirty plus who are just as keen to meet you.

Still wonder if it is for you?

You can reason with yourself, mull it over, and ponder the pros and cons all you want.  Its not getting you off the sofa and out there. If you want to see Social Circle for yourself, meet other members and hear about their experiences, and see how events are organised then come along!  You can attend an event for free

Is it a bad idea to date someone at work?

Is dating someone at work a bad idea? Oh just where do I begin..

Is dating someone at work a bad idea? Oh just where do I begin..

A friend of mine needed an urgent catch up over coffee. She has just started a new job and one of bosses seems to be giving her a lot of attention.  “There is real chemistry there. Is it a bad idea to date someone at work?” I drew my palm away from my forehead and looked at her. “ I get it. When you are in your forties – and spending your life in the office – then feelings can develop.  But in my experience, dating a colleague is a bad idea.

I saw her smile drip and her heart sink.

I know yours has too.  

You wouldn’t be reading this blog unless you have a crush and were wondering whether to take it further.

I feel it is only right I declare my interests here.

I am very aware that people meet at work and live happily ever after.  My parents met at work and have just celebrated their ruby anniversary despite a considerable age difference.  

But as a HR professional, I have had to help employers deal with the inevitable mess. In many cases it has involved one party moving into a different role, or in some cases, out of the company completely.

I have also dated people at work over the years.  My single status should you something.

So let me break down the risk factor.

Absolute No-Go.  The Boss.

This goes both ways, I will add.

My friend had developed the classic crush on her boss – I will add he is married.  She dreams of her fairy-tale romance. I had to be harsh. As a new member of staff, if things turn sour I can guarantee she will be the one at risk of receiving her P45.   Even if things go well between then, gossip will mean that any well deserved promotion will be tainted by people saying she slept to the top.

She worked hard for her career and this role.  

It is not worth it.

Even if you are both single, a difference in seniority can cause all sorts of problems. If you are a senior member of staff, then avoid dating junior staff.  I have known plenty of people claim sexual harassment against their bosses because they have felt unable to ward off unwanted advances.

The only way it is slightly forgivable is if the ‘boss’ concerned is responsible for a completely different department, and in a different building, or preferably in another part of the country.

Absolute No-Go.  The Married colleague.

When marriages go wrong, it is natural to turn to colleagues for support.  Hell – some of my best friends are former colleagues. Sometimes those friendships, especially fuelled by alcohol at the the office do, turn into something more steamy.

But here is my considered professional opinion.

This is a f*cking terrible idea.

An affair with a married colleague is going to end – badly.  Maybe her husband is neglectful and the spark has gone. Maybe he is sleeping on the sofa whilst he sorts his own place out.

Not your problem.

In both these examples, at best neither of these people are ready for a fulfilling relationship. At worse they are spinning you a yarn.  If you are in it for the long haul you will end up hurt and have to continue working with them.

Maybe you want some casual fun too. Good for you. I am not changing my advice. Get on Tinder.  I have known plenty of people having to fend off angry wives at the gates of the office car park because she found the sexy texts you have been exchanging.

Your colleagues? It depends.

Classic lawyer speak. I know.

Whilst you may have found your prince or princess at work – the truth is many relationships fail even when you both have the best of intentions. Certainly, there is less risk if you are in different departments or even at the other end of the office.

I think we can all be clear on the possible fall out – it is why many companies have a policy against relationships at work.  Plus there is the gossip and comments from others. I will let this article spell it out for you.

The difficulty with romance at work is that your crush may be heavily influenced by something called ‘vicinity attraction’.  As in you start to catch feelings because you are spending hours a day with someone who shares your mutual hatred of the Monday morning meeting.  

Do you really have common values and interests?

All I can say is if you have a crush on someone – get to know them as friends first.

I dated an office hottie once. The kind of guy that caused other women to swoon when he walked into the room and all the men wanted to be his best friend.  Needless to say I was quite taken aback when he declared his interest in me.

So we went for a drink.  A drink lead to a few evenings together to feel out the possibility of something more.  He was a total gentleman.

But we had nothing in common outside of work.   

The truth is the best way to meet someone is to get out and enjoy your life by indulging your own interests.  Look to meet new people and expand your horizons. 39% of people meet their significant others through friends.

It truly is  best way to find your soulmate.

So book a few days off work and throw yourself into your hobbies and interests.

Did you find yourself daydreaming about your colleague now?

I didn’t think so.

3 Brilliant Ways to Meet New People.

Ready to Mingle? Find out the best ways to meet new people.

Ready to Mingle? Find out the best ways to meet new people.

 

I think most people know that expanding your social circle is key to finding fulfilling friendships and romantic relationships.  As a social guy, I am often asked for advice on how to meet new people. Of course, Social Circle was founded on the principle of bringing like-minded people together.  However, over the years I have learned that certain events make it even easier for people to get chatting and make new friends. So here are my top 3 activities to meet new people and make friends.

#1 Go for a Walk.

Walking is one of my favourite activities.  Whether it be a leisurely stroll around local woods or something more challenging, walking has several benefits.

  • it gets you out of the office and moving which contributes to your health and wellbeing.  
  • Fresh air and great views are great for mental health.
  • You can talk to other walkers at the same time!

There are loads of MeetUps and similar groups that focus on walking, although our members tell us they prefer the way we do things rather than going it alone in a crowd.  However, the fact is however you you do it, it gives you time to chat to other people and exchange details. This makes it a winning activity for meeting new people.

#2 Find your Foodie Heaven.

Lets face it, we are a nation of food lovers.

If you fancy yourself as a bit of a food snob then it is easy to find kindred spirits in Manchester.  Firstly, have you tried signing up to group cooking lessons?  It is a perfect way to meet people who are also refining their skills.  Foodie events like food tours of Manchester and taster evenings also give you a chance to mingle with other food lovers.  Finally, look for events at your favourite restaurants  – what better way to get to know people than sharing a meal?

Plus you can check for any disgusting habits before you take someone on a date.  Sloppy habits can be dealbreakers for some you know!

#3 Mingle All the Way.

If you are looking to meet new people then take the bull by the horns and get out there.  There is literally zero chance of you meeting new people if you are sat at home.

Maybe you can initiate a conversation with a random in a bar, but if that makes you nervous, then why not meet up with others as part of an organised night out?  

Just a reminder – meet and mingle parties are not all about dating – they can be a great way to let your hair down and meet new people in Manchester.  So if you are keen to expand your social circle then why not look for a few mingle events in the area? Maybe you will be lucky enough to join in the fun at one of Manchester’s hottest venues, totally free of charge (hint, hint)   If you have never been to a meet and mingle event – then we tell you what to expect here.

Of course, rather than searching for various events, you could just join us and chose from 100s of fun events each and every month. 

Manchester Singles: Do this one thing to find Love.

Manchester Singles? Finding love is simple

Manchester Singles? Finding love is simple

With Valentine’s Day approaching it is natural that many Manchester Singles start to turn their attention to finding their true love.  Everywhere you look there are matchmaking apps, adverts from dating gurus, and speed-dating events in Manchester. Yet for many a relationship still  proves elusive. So if you are looking for love- read on for a simple, but effective strategy.

Swipe Left on online dating.

The dating industry is booming, with apps such as Tinder and Happn bringing in a staggering £11.7bn to the UK economy alone. Yet swiping right seems to only bring in new ways of being heartbroken.  After hours of texting and screening out those ‘wanting fun, it can be a punch in the guts when the nice normal person who you had a date with seems to disappear off the face of the planet.

It is no surprise that people are feeling fatigued when considering dating.  Increasing numbers of Millennials and Gen Y are resolving to stay single. But what about those of us who still are hanging onto the hope to romance following the breakdown of a long term relationship or divorce?

Have you actually tried meeting new people?

We know you have been asked this a million times.  We could hear you eyes rolling.

Maybe you are already switched onto the idea that getting out and meeting new people is the best way to find a date.  Thomas Edwards, founder of The Professional Wingman, would agree.  

“The biggest advantage to meeting potential dates in real life is getting to experience their vibe right away, which is something no online dating platform can deliver,” “This increases your odds of making good choices on who to go on a date with. There’s no better way to gauge attraction and chemistry than to be physically present with someone.”

This is why various speed-dating events and singles nights are so popular.  Yet from our experience, these events are lacking. The combined time pressure, expectations and eyes on the rest of the room could quickly kill off any romance.  

Time to phone a friend?

It seems the secret to finding lasting love seems to be to ask a friend.

This traditional approach to love was the number one way to meet someone special in 2018.  39% people found their partners this way –  beating online dating and hanging out in bars combined.

But what if you have exhausted this option too?  

It is our friends who often introduce us to other singles when we say we are lonely.  For some this may have been successful, but you may also have had some cringe-worthy moments.

Good news Manchester Singles. The solution is oh so simple

You just need to expand your social circle.

Our advice is to start by joining in activities you enjoy.  Perhaps you like to go to the cinema, or even walking in the country (or both!). Either way, you are more likely to find new friends by connecting with like-minded people.  It even led our founder, Steve, to find his true love too.

To make it even easier to meet new people, we have organised a special mingle party for those who are single on Valentines day.  It is not a dating event. Just a chance to relax, meet and mingle with new people and find new friends at one of Manchester’s hottest venues.

25 Thoughts you have on a Santa Pub Crawl

Our lovely Social Circle ladies ready for the Santa Pub Crawl.

Our lovely Social Circle ladies ready for the Santa Pub Crawl.

The Santa Pub Crawl is one of the jewels in the Social Circle calendar.  Everyone loves it and we take bookings months in advance. So of course, Steve called me and told me to write a blog so new members knew what to expect . “It will be fun” he said “and you can do a funny blog like you did for the Mingle party. People loved that.”

Despite being a member and host for three years, I have previously shirked the pub crawls. There have been a myriad of excuses; ‘I will be tired after work’, ‘pub crawls are not my thing’ or my personal favourite; ‘ugh it will be really busy and there will be so many people around.’   Yes, the irony of wanting to meet new people and avoiding social interaction is not lost on me. But given I am a professional, I decided to don my Santa outfit and go undercover. Purely for journalistic purposes you realise.

So here the 25 thoughts you have on a Santa Pub Crawl and more.

On donning a Santa outfit.

The night I went undercover as Santa, in the name of journalism right?

The night I went undercover as Santa, in the name of journalism right?

*puts on Christmas music, places a mince pie on a plate and pours a glass of mulled wine to get in the mood*

1. I wonder if Christmas music is used to torture people in the same way Britney spears was?

 *Follows YouTube make up guide and perfects red smokey eyes with glitter.*

2. Wow. I look hot.  I wonder if I will get a kiss under the mistletoe.

*scoffs entire pack of Tesco’s finest mince pies*

 *Wriggles into Santa outfit and tightens belt one (1) hole.*

3. Oh God I can’t breathe.

4, *checks self in mirror*  How have my tits merged into a mono-boob?  

*downs rest of mulled wine.*

5. I don’t need my coat, it will just get in the way.

On using public transport.

 “Hey it’s  Mrs Claus!!  Are you out ho-ho-hoing tonight?”

6. Holy f*ck its cold.  

7.Why won’t anyone sit next to me?   

 Little girl, rather too loudly, Its Santa!  But she is a woman???

8.  Curses self for contributing to this 2018 snowflake debate of the year.

Just some of the Social Circle Santas taking Manchester by storm

Just some of the Social Circle Santas taking Manchester by storm

On getting into the festive spirit

9. Thank god.  I am not the only one.  

I make a beeline for the other Social Circle ladies at the Bar who are fortunately easy to spot.

10. OK just a small wine. Pace yourself.

*orders large glass of merlot*

 11. Why are there willy straws and blow up dolls on the table?

Steve tells us that there was nothing Christmassy in the pound shop.  We are not buying it.

Len arrives, in crisp collar under his santa suit.  Me:  “ Ha Ha you look like you are going to gift someone a pair of broken legs.”

12.  Why am I so awkward?

Richard tells us about his Santa hat which he bought off a dodgy bloke in a pub.  At the touch of a button it moves and plays a tune. It is a fun combination of festive and slightly pervy.

The ladies compliment my velvet red lipstick, which duly gets passed around for people to try.

A random passerby, approximately 30, presses his nose against the window and looks at us in the same way a 5 year old would look at a new puppy.  His girlfriend was not impressed and drags him away.

13. “How do you go to the toilet with Rudolfs head between your legs?”

Gemma decides to put on a blow up doll puppet show for those passing by the window.  

Traumatising those passing by the Portland Bar and Grill

Traumatising those passing by the Portland Bar and Grill

Santa Goes Singing

Steve leads the way to China town. A few of us are nearly  taken out by passing traffic in Manchester’s festive live action version of Grand Theft Auto.

Steve tries to take a picture.  A plastic willy is trying to escape from the Tesco carrier bag. Because every little helps.

We are shuffled past some bouncers up some steep stairs into a dimly lit smokey bar.

14. What is this place? Are we in a karaoke bar?

Sally and Steve in the Karaoke Bar.

Sally and Steve in the Karaoke Bar.

15. I am not drunk enough for this. *downs sourz shot*

A man in a flashing Christmas jumper takes to the stage, brimming with confidence as he winks at the ladies and lifts the mike as the words to ‘we will rock you’ flash onscreen. 

Sally leans into me.  “He looks full of himself but you know it’s going to be sh*t.”

16. His performance is, indeed, rather sh*t.

Steve bounces over. “I have signed us all up for a Christmas song.  They only had Mariah Carey. We will be on in a minute.”

17. I am not drunk enough for this. *downs further shot.*

*looks up lyrics to All I want for Christmas because goddammit I am a pro.*

All 15 of us cram onto the tiny stage and Steve hands someone a camera.

Feed the World comes up on screen.

18. I am not drunk enough for this.

Two verses later.

19. *grabs microphone*  FEED THE WORLD LET THEM KNOW ITS CHRISTMAS TIME

Takes pictures with Dave against the Manchester Bee.  These Santas are getting ready to Slay (Sleigh).

Sleighing it as Santa - despite monoboob concerns.

Sleighing it as Santa – despite monoboob concerns.

Steve lines us all up outside a massage parlour for a headcount.

20. Where’s Nigel?

Festive Fab-ness.

We found Nigel!

We found Nigel!

“Someone make Nigel festive.” Steve yells.  I have somehow been given responsibility for the bag of willies, dolls and Christmas hats.

  I hand Nigel a Santa Hat and promise him we won’t lose him this time.

 

21. O-M-G fab cafe!  Please be taking us to Fab Cafe?!?!

22. He is, he is taking us to Fab cafe. *squeals*

You been here before Heather? Someone asks.  I don’t respond as I am too busy running inside to see if they have made the Darlek festive.  I was not disappointed.

23. Minimum £5 spend on cards. Fek.  Orders a Guinness and a tonne of retro sweets.

24. Perhaps I can give these out to handsome men.

Looks around bar. Average age 20 and already visibility suffering an existentialist crisis brought on by the price of housing and avocados.

Gives haribo to boys in party who give to other santa-ettes.

*scoffs rest of sweets*

Annette tries to persuade everyone that Alice Cooper would be much more festive than the Smiths.  Everyone agrees. Except the DJ.

We love Fab Cafe.  Even if they didnt play Alice Cooper.

We love Fab Cafe. Even if they didnt play Alice Cooper.

25. Lines up for photos. Checks photos.  Ugh mono-boob strikes again.

“Where do you get your dress from?”

Tesco. Hence why I look like a bit Basic.” *laughs at own joke*

Suddenly feel tired. “Steve I got to go.”

“But we are going to ultimate Christmas power Ballads.  You know how you love that.” Steve protests.

“Last time I ended up breaking up a fight and snogging a 25 year old.”

“Exactly! You love it.”

I call it a night and say my goodbyes.  Annette asks why I am leaving.

“I am tired and old.”

“F*ck off I am older than you.”

Off they went into the O2 Ritz to have a grand old time singing their little hearts out and bouncing around on the dancefloor.  

Founder Steve with Resident Host and Blogger, Heather.

Founder Steve with Resident Host and Blogger, Heather.

But this Santa had to be home to wrap her presents and write her list of the naughty things those social circle Santa’s got up to on their night of debauchery.

Merry Christmas from everyone at Social Circle!!

An Open Letter to Britain’s Loneliest Woman

Emily Fox, 32, describes herself as Britain's Loneliest Woman. (c) Caters

Emily Fox, 32, describes herself as Britain’s Loneliest Woman. (c) Caters

Yesterday I read about Emily Fox, a 32 year old single mum who has dubbed herself Britain’s Loneliest Woman.  The message that it is not just the elderly that suffer from loneliness resonated with many people across the world.  My heart broke when I read her story, so I wanted to write an open letter to her, and anyone else who may feel exactly the same.

Dear Emily.

It takes great courage to admit that you are lonely, and to reach out to people in order to make friends.

I know this, because I have been there too.

Just over 10 years ago, my marriage broke down and I moved halfway across the world from Australia to the UK.  A  father of two and in my thirties,  I didn’t know a single soul in Manchester. 

I could have easily isolated myself and simply gone about my routine.  

Get up, work, watch TV, have a drink, go to bed. Repeat.

Emily says shopping is the only chance she gets to interact with others. But it need not be that way  (c) Caters.

Emily says shopping is the only chance she gets to interact with others. But it need not be that way (c) Caters.

I know many people that shut out their loneliness by doing the same thing.

But I didn’t.  Instead I decided that I was being given a clean slate to find myself and build a dream life.

I know it can be difficult socialising when you have children.

Family comes first in my book. You have three beautiful children, and dedicate your time to them, but there are still lots of things you can do.

You are not the first parent to crave adult conversation, and you will not be the last.

 Family fun days, inviting other parents out for a coffee, or organising a walk in the park with dogs and children will enhance your life and theirs. Even when you are doing the weekly shop, go with someone and chat over the groceries.

Reaching out is the first step.

I know since sharing your story, lots of people have reached out to connect with you.  So your courage in speaking up is already leading you down the path to fulfilling friendships.

Social Media is great for finding like-minded individuals.  Personally, I find that fulfilling friendships are formed from meeting in person. There is something really special when you find a connection with someone who laughs with you and shares your passion in life.

I found great friends  (and my dream career) by reaching out to others.

I found great friends (and my dream career) by reaching out to others.

I put an advert up inviting other professionals to join me for a drink.

“What if no one showed up?”  But they did.  Men. Women. Every single one of them just like you and I.  Craving connection and friendship with others.

My new friends and I went from our weekly Friday night at the pub, to going abseiling in wales to going on holiday together.  I loved every minute.

It was how I founded Social Circle.  Now I have my dream career helping people, just like you, meet new people and find new friends.  I even found the love of my life this way.

Finding friends need not be difficult.  You just have to know where to look.

Finding friends need not be difficult. You just have to know where to look.

It is important to carve out time in your diary for you.

I know you say you don’t have much support, but it is out there. Whether it is an hour or two, use your family, willing friends or a childminder to give you a much-needed couple of hours break from the kids.  Use that time to try out new activities and do the things you have always wanted to do. Don’t feel guilty (or let anyone make you feel that way). Taking time for you is important and benefits the whole family.

Always wanted to paint? Look for art workshops and PopUp painting in your area.

Want to travel?  Learn a language of a country you want to visit.

I promise you will inevitably start making friends with people who share your passion.   

Do you fancy letting your hair down and going out for a drink with a few adults?   There are plenty of ways you can achieve. Start looking for groups like Social Circle – or do what I did. Start your own.

I wish you the best of luck Emily, now is the time for a glorious new beginning filled with friendship and fun.

Lots of Love.

Steve x

25 Thoughts you have when you attend a Mingle Party.

 

Ever wondered what a Mingle Party is like?

Ever wondered what a Mingle Party is like?

 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

  1. 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.

Social Circle Members Pete and Angela discuss travels with Host Ruth

Social Circle Members Pete and Angela discuss travels with Host Ruth.

On Arrival

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.*

Aida, Pauline and Vanessa were only too happy to talk friendship and getting the most out of life.

Aida, Pauline and Vanessa were only too happy to talk friendship and getting the most out of life.

 

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.

Mingle Party 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*

Pauline, Nicola, Aida and Heather discuss life, love and everything over a glass (or three) of bubbly.

Pauline, Nicola, Aida and Heather discuss life, love and everything over a glass (or three) of bubbly.

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.

Three ladies who should have met at a Pilates class, but instead met at the Mingle Party. Must be Fate.

Three ladies who should have met at a Pilates class, but instead met at the Mingle Party. 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*

Founder Steve with Social Circle Member Vanessa.

Founder Steve swoops in for a photo.

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.

These three lucky ladies won a bottle of Champagne in the Moshi Monster Meet Up challenge.

These three lucky ladies won a bottle of Champagne in the Moshi Monster Meet Up challenge.

 

 

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.