According to the handy dandy GTJ calendar, there are quite a few events coming up, aren’t there? I know I’ll be at the Sixth in the City Shabbat and the Purim Bash in the next couple of weeks, and I have no doubt that many people reading this are also planning to shake their tuchuses at an event or two.
If you’re single, these events can not only serve to give you a taste of Judaism and the Shabbat or holiday spirit, but they might also serve to give you a taste of the finest kosher meat in town… and I’m not talking about your bubbe’s brisket! It’s important, though, when trying to meet people at religious events (or large parties in general, regardless of the affiliation), not to creep someone out when your real intention is to do just the opposite: turn that person on.
Here are a few examples of people not to be:
This person waits silently until you take a breath in the middle of a conversation about your dog or take a swig of your Cabernet Sauvignon to pounce on you and go in for the kill, in the form of dominating your attention.
This person, oblivious to the surroundings and the discussion already in progress, will simply charge into the conversation, not worrying who or what is in his or her path.
This person “swims” around the event, talking to no one and silently stalking everyone.
Much like the shark, this person doesn’t talk to anyone all night. Instead, he or she simply sticks to the wall, observing but not actually entering any conversations.
Let’s say someone catches your eye. We’ll call her a 5’1 woman with curly brown hair, hazel eyes, and freckles. You really want to talk to her, but she’s engaged in a pretty in-depth conversation. (You know this because her hands are flailing around.) Rather than taking your social cues from Sea World or the zoo, your best bet is to simply be social with everyone.
If the brunette beauty is all the way across the room, it’s no big deal. Simply chat with someone who looks interesting near you, male or female. This gesture does two things: 1) Makes you look friendly and inclusive (and perhaps you might really enjoy the conversation) and 2) Warms you up before you get to talk to your new crush. Before long, you will have made your way across the room without pouncing, charging, stalking, or cowering. Instead, you will have been that nice, normal person who knows how to converse with anyone. And when your time comes to talk with the target of your affection, you will have already talked to so many people that you won’t appear to be trying too hard. This sounds much better than creepily watching her for two hours until she finally disengaged from her conversation to use the restroom, doesn’t it?
As a side note, if you’re looking to end a conversation for some reason, don’t simply walk away when you’re done. Politely say something like, “I see someone over there I want to say hi to.” And assuming you’re taking this article’s advice, that “someone” could be anyone!
So relax, be social, have a great time, and when you’re ready to talk to someone of interest, act like you grew up in a normal household and not the zoo.
Erika Ettin is the Founder of A Little Nudge, where she helps people stand out from the online dating crowd and have a rewarding experience. An archive of all of Erika’s columns is also available. Want to connect with Erika? Join her newsletter for updates and tips.