Over the weekend, a friend and I attended our first ever networking event.
What is a networking event? It’s a party where you meet new people. We signed up for it using the Meetup app, and paid $10 for the entrance fee which includes a drink (either wine, beer, or cola).
Why did we do it? We just wanted to do something we had never done before and we both realized that we should try and expand our network.
Okay, so it’s kind of a singles thing, but it’s not a too in-your-face singles event like speed dating, for example. This event is also open for people who want to make new friends and not just find dates, so it’s less intimidating.
It still was not easy, though. Even though I’m a chatty person, I have never been good at just going up to strangers and talking to them, and that’s basically all you’re expected to do here.
My friend and I split up the moment we entered, and I joined around 2 or 3 small groups which kept breaking up when people said “It’s nice to meet you, but I should go mingle” which everyone knows is polite talk for “I don’t find you interesting, so I’m gonna go find someone who is.”
At one point I got tired and decided to just sit down in one corner and surf the internet. Bah, this whole thing is too awkward and takes too much effort! I thought.
But I forced myself to stand up and talk to another group of people because this was what I had come here for.
It was right after that group when I managed to flag someone who was walking around, and we ended up forming a group of 5.
One of them suggested going outside, where it was quieter, and we had a very lively conversation that never stopped till it was 11pm and we had to leave.
Now onto the title of this post. One of the guys was a divorced man with a couple of kids. When we asked him about his ex wife, he said that they had been married 19 years when she told him that she was a lesbian and they split up. They’re still on friendly terms now, because of their kids, and she now has a wife of my own.
“Oh my gosh, you’re like Ross Geller! I didn’t know this happened in real life!” I commented.
I’m sure there are a lot of them out there but I’ve just never met them before because I keep on hanging out with the same people. See, this is the reason why I need to expand my network.
That night I talked to an American, British, Indian, and German and learned a lot of interesting stories that I never would have if I had just stayed at home or went out with the same sets of friends.
It was a really fun experience, one that I’d love to do again. Tune in next time for another story… a real life Phoebe Buffay, maybe?
P.S. Meetup app has groups not only for Singapore, but worldwide. So if you’re an expat who wants to make new friends or a single person who wants to meet new people in person and not through a dating app, you might want to check it out.