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Why singles events in NYC need a major overhaul

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One of my dating resolutions this year was to declare a moratorium on going to singles events. A recent experience at one was a big reminder of the many reasons why.

A good friend asked me to join her at a singles mixer hosted by Click Mixers. The venue (Pranna in NYC’s Flatiron District) and price point ($20) were great. The crowd that turned up?

Not so much.

Simply put, the event was a perfect microcosm of what makes dating in New York so frustrating. Women far outnumbered the men. We were also the ones, by and large, who were clearly expected to do the heavy lifting.

Over and over again, women approached men as they either looked at their phones or stood idly by waiting for that to happen. Though everyone received a list of (admittedly cheesy) icebreaker questions, it was only the women in attendance who were fast and furiously working the room with it.

My friend wryly observed that the entire scene felt like a repeat of awkward high school dances. This was actually worse. At least in high school, guys eventually stepped up to the plate and took some initiative. Yes, times have changed, women feel empowered to make the first move and independently minded, etc. etc. But at what cost? Has all of this progress come at the expense of good old fashioned romance?

As Savvy Auntie Founder Melanie Notkin writes in her fantastic memoir Otherhood, men mistakenly assume that our more equal footing in the workplace means we’ve somehow lost our femininity when it comes to dating and relationships. News flash—we haven’t. We still want you to plan a first date (maybe even a second one too). We still need to be courted (instead of being asked from day one, ‘what do you want to do tonight?’). All of the rewritten rules haven't changed that.

As for singles mixers, here's another pet peeve: no free cocktails. Considering how much work it takes to mingle these days, $20 should at the very least cover a shot of liquid courage.

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