Once upon a time, I packed up my college life and moved to Washington, D.C. right after graduation. I found myself surrounded by a giant social web that included college friends, co-workers of college friends, old friends of college friends, you get the idea…everyone had a connection.
We were all within about two degrees of separation, at best.
When we decided to have Greenlight Card’s first meetup in Washington, D.C., I instantly fell into my old ways and checked in with a college friend to find out where we should have our DC Single meetup.
She connected me to a great place, Co Co. Sala, which happens to be run by a Duke grad. (Yes, that’s where I went to school and apparently Duke grads still flock to D.C. after graduation.) The Duke connection came through once again…Co Co. Sala was trendy but also warm and comfortable, a perfect spot.
As our Greenlight Card posse ordered drinks and wondered how many people would show up, our first meetup member arrived. She was bubbly and sweet. She kept making allusions to “middle age, “ but she certainly didn’t seem “older” (as she characterized herself) and she planned to go salsa dancing after our meetup. Add fun and energetic to her stand-out qualities.
Next, more people started arriving—many solo, some with a friend (wingman?) in tow. What struck me was how diverse the group was and yet how well the group mingled and mixed. Different ages, ethnicities, and job categories. Some living in D.C., some passing through. Some meetup veterans and some meetup virgins (as we were). Some online daters and some online dating haters.
In short—this was a different D.C. experience for me and finding myself in the midst of a nice mix of strangers was refreshing and fun.
At the meetup, we gave everyone their own set of Greenlight Cards. We talked about what a challenge it can be to meet someone. And we told them about our hope that more people will take a break from their digital devices and experience real-life (offline!) chemisry–and our hope that having Greenlight Cards will empower them to let someone know when they’re interested.
We found the meetup to be a low-key way to meet new people you wouldn’t otherwise meet while following your normal, everyday patterns. Less stressful than a typical singles bar scene. More potential than a night out with friends.
There was one bit of excitement–a dating coach who came for the meetup criticized one young man’s body language. We thought that was sort of rude. The advice wasn’t requested—nor, as it turned out, was it required.
Later, we saw the dating coach leaving after someone accidentally spilled a drink down the front of his shirt. (Karma, perhaps?). So he wasn’t around to see the young man with supposedly deficient body language skills leaving with a sweet girl, also there for the meetup. I guess his interesting story—he was in town for the Marine Corps Marathon—and his down-to-earth manner trumped his “closed stance.”
Have you been to a meetup? What’s your favorite way to meet new people?