Thursday, 27 January 2011

Report from an Organised Social last Saturday

Further to my previous post, Saturday's organised social, which I invited my friend to, came and went quickly. As mentioned, this was no ordinary organised social, it was special as it was one of the group's occassional 'big' ones they put on, and this time I had my friend with me.

Naturally I am excited a few days before the event but become nervous on the day and more so as each hour passes. My friend kindly picked me up and gave me a lift to the event, and I was totally ready for it with everythnig I needed for the night with me including my preparatory notes in my pocket for how I would approach people. One reason I get nervous is that I don't know how the set-up in the room is going to be i.e. how many people standing, how many sitting, will there be chairs and tables, a settee, who's going to be there when I arrive, what will the opening scene look like etc, all these things impact upon the social dynamics of the event.

We arrived at around 8:30pm when the event was getting underway. The event was simply a large mingling session in a large pub, just people talking to anynoe they wished to, no structure. Everyone was given a name badge on arrival. When I saw and then walked into the main hall, I was nervous, I recognised a few faces but not the majority, and I almost felt like a little boy again, thinking back to days when I saw adults socialising when I was growing up and not feeling 'good' enough to join in (due to my age and Asperger's). I needed to compose myself and digest the place before going ahead and socialising, and there after getting our drinks there was a settee we sat on for a few minutes to digest the atmosphere. I spent most of my time then going up and approaching people, some I knew, many whom I didn't know.

How Did the Socialising Go?

I think I can say I pulled it off this time, and my friend, who was socialising separately for most of the time but privately observing me, agreed. I successfully managed to approach several people, however in such a busy environment it was very hard to hold down any quality conversations of any substance with new people, it was more of a case of "Hello, it's busy in here today how are you finding it...?" and just introducing ourselves. It occurred to me that, whilst these organised socials are a fantastic idea, as they enable you to go and approach people and make friends without climbing through loads of hoops (joining a class etc) beforehand, and there's very little cliquiness, (which I can say from experience is one of my pet hates, it has proven to be an real obstacle towards developing friendships with people of my generation), it is nonetheless very diffcult, though not impossible, to approach people you know nothing about. Knowing just one or two small things (i.e. with one person that night whom I hadn't met but seen in a few photos on facebook) can make the process a whole lot easier.

I also find that after preparing my notes, the sheer numbers of people in attendence make it very hard to recall you notes on approaching people, and you can never do what you may be intending to do, as there is so much to take in. You just have to do you best. Another interesting observation is that in a very crowded set-up, it can make it much less easy for you to determine which girls you fancy. The sheer numbers of people mean that your mind cannoty think straight about who you find most attractive.

It was great having my friend there as it enable me to find out someone else's observations of the night, which was very interesting. My friend was a little unsure of the event at first but was pleasantly suprised and really enjoyed the evening.

All in all it was a great event. It wasn't a long night, we both decided to leave at about 10:30pm. The only downside is that it was hard to sleep the following night!.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Demonstrating My Personality - An Exciting Night Ahead!

I was meaning to do a post on here last week but I just ended up being caught up with other things and putting it off, one day after another. Blogging regularly is cetrainly a discipline!

Tonight, in a few hours I have one of the most exciting social occassions on for a long time, although I am also rather nervous. I am going to my first organised social tonight for, in effect, six months. It is a big monster mingle with 100+ guests. However the difference being is that this time guests are allowed to bring along a friend, and I have one very good friend coming along with me. The timing seems to be perfect.

I was thinking the other week, the reason why I like a good night out is that they can, in the right circumstances, give me an opportunity to demonstrate aspects of my personality that otherwise tend to lay dorment. I have discovered that the people who I am most attracted to socially are those who interact with you in such a way that enables you to bring out other aspects of your personality for which there are limited opportunities to demonstrate, perhaps including elements thatb you didn't realise existed!

Preparing for the Night

With such an exciting occassion, I have been today doing my perparatory homework, brainstorming things I could say to people, questions and conversation topic. I have jotted down a list of things I could ask people, especially attractive girls, i.e. holidays, what did you do new years eve etc. I have also re-read the notes I took at a meeting I went to in the Summer about talking to women (see earlier post) and taken a note of these and hopefully applying them. And I have also considered what difficulties may arise in the evening and have tried to prepare for them, i.e. awkwward questions for which the answer may open up a whole new can of worms.

Going with my friend is a novality for me. In one sense it definitely makes it more relaxed, as this friend understands me totally and appreciates me for who I am. What I'm looking forward to most is being able to introduce my friend to other people I know at the event, and finding out what he thinks of them. That will be very interesting. However it also makes me nervous, because I am having to juggle mingling with a loads of lesser-known people with interacting with him, which can be stressful. But I do feel more confident these days, and hopefully if the dynamics go ni my favour, it will be a fantastic night.

There should be many attractive girls there. I am not going out this night for the purposes of finding a girlfriend, but I definitely am looking forward to mixing and mingling with girls and I'm prepared to experiment a bit in my conversations. I have learnt over recent years that the people who come out with off the wall comments and say what they think of you in a nice way are the ones that get on well socially, as opposed to those that always play safe. I hope to experiment a bit tonight and be bold and confident.

I am nervous right now, but this is one social occassion I definitely cannot wait for!

Saturday, 8 January 2011

She's Back on the Scene?

Well tonght my friend Maria along with her best friend from the organised socials are going out to such an event, for the first time since the Summer. While I was quite excited to discover this on the website, it has not tempted me to go back this time. The reason is partly because I am slightly nervous about meeting her again, having e-mailed her a personalised Christmas card, wondering what she's thinking, although I still very much want to see her again just as much. More to the point, in going along tonight there is a danger she might think the reason why I am out is because of her and she might become suspicious of me - a low risk perhaps, but real nonetheless.

However with it looking likely that she's coming back on the scene for a while I may well go to another organised social sooner than I wood have done otherwise, there's a big one in two weeks time I might go to. If she sees me again at her second or third organised social in this season, I think it will be much less likely that she will think I'm following after her and the 'co-incidence' of us both rejoining at similar times will seem more plausable, especially as it seems that January is when a lot of new member come upon board. Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Time for a Laugh

Here's a little funny video I've made to express my sense of humour. Please watch and enjoy.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

The Problems with Internet Dating

Since 2003 I have been trying to do 2 things. Firstly, see if there was any way I could find a girlfriend direct. Secondly, try to get into a social life generally, and one which might enable me to find a girlfriend. Although my social life has improved, and indeed some might say I have an excellent social life, it has not really developed in such a way to enable me to meet many suitable girls.

My Online Dating Histroy

In trying to find a girlfriend direct, I have attempted quite a bit to find a girl on the internet, thats often been the only way I thought I could find someone. To the best of my memory, I tried a bit of online dating soon after I moved into my flat in around early 2004, I gave it a break in around 2005-2007, looking instead to work on a social life and work on developing friendships, hoping that I would find somebody eventually in that way. Then at the beginning in 2008 I signed onto a free online dating site. I sent loads of messages to girls, but hardly recieved any reply.

I joined another site in April 2009. This time I did get some replies to messages. Most of the time though, it amounted to just two or three exchanges of messages and dried up thereafter. I however get chatting to one girl who I almost got round to meeting, until suddenly another man from the site came on the scene, and she's now engaged. And I did even, initially through this site, eventually end up having a date with one girl who comes from my hometown. However we didn't really click and without there being many local girls on the site, there would be a vast amuont of hoops to go through before meeting up.

There were one or two girls I had hopes for but again it dried up eventually or they found boyfriends before I could get through all the hoops involved in meeting them. Recently I've signed onto a couple of other sites, sent loads of messages to girls but barely recieved any kind of reply.

So the basic problem I find with Internet dating is that girls can ignore you easily without being rude. I've tried it for three years and after sending dozens, if not over 100 messages to girls, it becomes very disheartening almost knowing you won't get a reply.

Why I Don't Think Internet Dating Suits Me

I must mention that I do always put on a good photograph on these sites, and one good friend has kindly taken a few for me and given me some tips on this. And I think carefully about what I say in my profile. But I think here lies the cruz of the problem.

I think my problem with Internet dating is that unlike in the real world where people first meet you and gradually get to know about you, your interests, hobbies etc over time, on Internet dating sites you are supposed to explain everything about yourself all at once before meeting anyone. Whilst I try to include those things about me that will most likely attract girls and deliberately leave some things out, the problem may be is that girls can read the lines all too well, and I might come across as a rather boring person.

A case in point might be that of my favourite movies or TV programmes. Now generally speaking, I am not that interested in films or dramas, or in any kind of fiction. Sure there are some I've really enjoyed and I can get into them if I can relate to the character (i.e. The Waterboy as I could relate to the main character). And I am always happy to watch a film when socialising with others, and would be very happy to take a girl out to the pictures! However when I am on my own, winding down at the end of the day, I'll norally wind down to news, current affairs, discussion and documentaries, and most of my videos are factual ones about an issue I am interested in. I am also not really into sport either, and I spend a lot of time thinking, analysing, speculating, working things out, I can spend hours on end like that, which might make be appear like someone who doesn't do a lot. I am also very much interested in political issues too, but not very much up with popular culture these days. These may seem like small things but they may reflect on a dating profile, even if they can only be detected by reading between the lines.

I would hope when I meet a girl in real life, that she would get to like me and appreciate me for who I am and the qualities I have, and then when she finds out about my interests or my lack of knowledge about certain things, she'd think 'oh well' as i might have won her over in another way. But on the internet she'll get to see everything about me before she decides to meet me, and she may well read between the lines and think there's something a bit strange about me, and decide she's not interested before I have any chance of wooing her (if I really am able to woo anyone)

That's just my thoughts. Really hoping for another means to find a woman this year, otherwise I'll keep plodding on with online dating.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Social hopes for 2011: Finding a viable means to meet single girls

I have many hopes for 2011. Besides social ambitions my hopes include a change of career, into something that suits me better, and to continue to do some freelance writing that I have started on another website this year, which is totally unrelated to anything I put out on this blog. I also hope to continue with this blog, now it seems like I've successfully ironed out any technical issues I've had in terms of getting it to look how I want.

However my social hopes and ambitions in 2011 are as follows: I would like to find a girlfriend this year, but perhaps more importantly than finding 'the one' is that I really want to be able to meet more young, single women in their 20s and have a viable means of doing that. I really want to get into the type of social life whereby I am able to meet or introduce myself to new and different single girls more regularly, and be able to go on a few dates, as if going on a date is no big deal. I am sure there are girls who would happily date me and like me for who I am, and I'm certain they'll be girls who would happily be in  relationship with me.

The frustrating thing is that I can walk into the town centre every weekend and see many attractive girls around, shopping etc. However when it comes to places where I can more easily meet new people, the young single girls aren't there. I'm turning 29 this year and it may sound silly but I feel I'm getting old, not really old but I worry if I'm going to start to look too old for a 20-25 year old to be interested in me in a few years time, and I really want a girl who is fresh as such, no previous marriage, no kids, because otherwise I feel I have missed the best of her and I don't want my late social development to mean that I have to miss out on the best of a girl in that sense. Ideally I would like to meet a girl who is say five to ten years younger than me and at her peak physically when we meet.

Fortunately in recent months I've been able to discuss these issues openly with a few friends. But I would like to make clear a scenario that I want to avoid. Suppose I get into my 40's, losing hair, greying, getting a few wrinkles, not looking so good as I used to. I see all these veyr attractive 20 something girls around and they would consider me too old. Still not had a girlfriend. People may then say to me in responce "well you've had your chance what have you been doing all these years" even when today they say "oh don't worry you'll find someone' yet not being able to provide a viable means to do so. In the worst case scenario I want to be able to honestly respond to that saying "I tried very hard for years, did everything I could, and still got nowhere." I know there are girls out there who would happily give me a chance but I need to find a way that I can find them, ask them out etc. I don't want to find myself knowing there would be someone suitable for me but not being able to meet them because of not being in a suitable social circle etc.

So my social aim for 2011, whilst I am still young is to get into a social circle where I can meet more single girls, enjoy some good female company, be able to ask them out of dates, and be fully 'in with a dating scene. Achiving that might involve a bit of brainstorming to begin with, but there are signs of hope.