8 November 2011

9 Essential Social Events Etiquette for Singles

Many articles have been written on dating, few define the acceptable social graces of attending a single’s event. Here, Lydia shares some practical networking tips.

Be friendly
Keep an open mind, relax, smile and have eye contact. Tell yourself it is an event that gives you a chance to be social and have fun meeting more people of the opposite sex and varied interests/ background.

Always take a lighter side of things and appreciate their efforts to be humorous and, witty. Not everyone shares the same sense of humour. Be gracious to participants who are shy and slower to open up to people. A lady friend ever confided in me that a rude guy walked out of her before she could finish her sentence during a speed-dating. She was so affected that she was unable to attend single events for almost a year.

Don't be hasty to judge against others because of gender differences in communication.

Be aware of proper dining and networking etiquette by eating slowly and enjoying the conversation. The focus should be on the people, not on the food or getting drunk.

Be kind even though that person may not appeal to you, their friends might and people do talk.

Show an interest in others
Great conversationalists are set apart by their ability to make any conversational partner feel like the only person in the room. Everyone likes to feel special and people, even very shy people, like to talk about themselves, so let them and show a genuine interest in what they are saying. In our fast-paced society, taking the time to show an interest in another person is a rare and valued commodity. Maintain friendly eye contact. Show sincerity in knowing them as a person. When you promise to call then, please do so. Why promise something you don't intend to do and risk having bad reputation as someone without integrity?

Conversation topics
Heavy topics like marriage, past relationships, income, religion, politics, complaints or distasteful jokes (sexist, racist, religious, etc.) should be avoided as it might scare the person away on the first meeting. Keep the conversation light on hobbies, food, movies, music or upcoming events. Be conscious of ‘showing off’ and dominate the conversation as it may come across as being arrogant and self-centred. Try not to ‘win’ or get the upper hand at each statement the other just said. It is not a debate.

Dress right for the occasion
Check out with the organizers on the dress code for the event. When you turn up dressed appropriately, it shows that you care enough to make the effort to impress. It also reflects that you respect the occasion, the people attending the event and yourself! Do turn up on clean and pressed clothes. Personal hygiene is also very important. Greasy and untidy hair is definitely out. Ladies do put on some light makeup.

Don't overdress or dress too revealingly as you may project the wrong image. Social events featured in Wow-Her.com are for people who are serious about making friends, exploring possibility of relationship and hopefully marriage.

Establish connections
Learn the art of making small talk, establish some connections so that your new found friends has a deeper impression of you when you contact them again. For example, you met Lady A during an event and both of you share the love of scuba diving, so when you sms / email her to meet for the first date, do mention that you are the guy who enjoys scuba diving as much as she does. Give them something to remember you by. We meet about 20 to 40 people per event. Not everyone has a super memory to remember everyone.

You may meet someone that captures your heart so much that you want to make him or her yours. To prevent competition, you decide to spend the rest of the event talking to her only. However he or she may not share the same sentiments. Be gracious enough to let him or her interact with others too. Being possessive does not reflect well on you.

Same goes for being punctual, it creates the right impression that you respect others enough not to make them wait. If you happen to be late due to circumstances beyond your control (e.g. bad traffic conditions), do apologize to the organizer and the participants for delaying the start the activities. As organizers, we need the cooperation of everyone before we can efficiently facilitate the lined-up programmes on the event.

At the end of the social event, the guys may offer to send the ladies home. Some ladies may not be comfortable to let him know where they stay. In this case, respect her privacy. Offer to walk her to the bus-stop or taxi stand instead. She will be grateful that you respect her decision and care for her safety too.

Follow Up
After the event, you may want to contact people whom you wish to get to know better and explore possibilities of friendship or even a relationship. The social event is just a platform to meet singles, subsequent friendship can be only forged by staying in contact. Asking a person to meet up for a second time just means that you would like to get to know the person better. It does not necessarily mean a steady relationship has been agreed to. A firm relationship takes time to develop. So relax and enjoy dating different people.

There are cases when you felt obliged to give your email address to another participant during an event as everyone else was exchanging contacts. If the person makes the sincere effort to contact you but they are not exactly your type; how then do you handle the matter?

How do you decline a date? Gracefully. Just say politely “No thank you, I am not interested.” If they persist, then you can ignore them. No matter how incompatible you are, you should reply to their emails or sms. It is just basic courtesy. Moreover, it reflects on whether or not you have class and refinement. I have received feedback from many guys that they felt upset and rejected by ladies who did not bother to reply and they gave up on dating women. My advice for these guys is not to take a failed encounter as a permanent setback.

Attending singles activities can be very enjoyable and enriching now that you know the do's and don'ts. Have courage to keep meeting people from all walks of life and enjoy the fellowship of your new-found friends! ~ Lydia Gan