Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Dear Dating Coach,

Purim is a fun time for a single! Parties to go to, and lots of events to choose from! It’s a chance to let loose and step out of our comfort zone, and it helps us to meet people we typically might not interact with. But there is no screening process for these parties, and some of the people there make me uncomfortable. With an open bar at every celebration, the night gets wild, and I’m never sure if I am making progress with my attendance, or wasting my time. Is it still worth going?

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Party Pooper

 

Dear Party,

A friend of ours decided to spontaneously spend the day at the beach – The sun! The water! A postcard life! Although she was already in her car, she made a sharp U-turn and drove to distant beach, excited to relax under the clear sky. She got there feeling fabulously free, moved by the sight of the sparkling blue ocean and bright sun.

The sand, while expansive, was painfully hot and uncomfortable without a blanket to rest on. The ocean cooled her off, until she was blue and shivering without a towel. Her throat, parched without a bottle of water, made it hard to talk, and her skin turned bright pink without any sunscreen. Suddenly her spontaneity felt foolish and impulsive. Perhaps there is something to planning and preparedness, she thought as she stepped sans slippers on a jelly fish.

Thank you for your question. While Purim can be a wonderful time for singles, with many events catered to them, it can also feel overwhelming and disjointed. You want to take advantage of the opportunity to meet new people, but you don’t want to waste your time or put yourself into an uncomfortable position. It’s true that it is difficult to implement real oversight over who attends an event or how they behave once they arrive. Furthermore, with many singles going to more than one party, they may be arriving with more than you bargained for.

While I encourage singles to attend events any time of the year where other singles are present, you must be prepared.

 

Two By Two

There is always safety in numbers. Travel with a friend or two and agree to look out for one another and to travel back to your homes together at the end of the evening. This will still allow you to make connections or meet people through the night but will add a layer of protection should the evening become unruly in any way. Let this be someone you trust, one who will also stop you from behaving badly or drinking more than you should, and you can reciprocate.

 

Drop and Roll

As a rule, after you accept a drink from a bartender at the bar you can enjoy it while it is in your hand or in your direct sightline. If you put the drink down or turn away, leave it and move on to another. While we always want to believe and trust in our fellow partygoers, since we simply cannot vouch for everyone in attendance, always err on the side of caution.

 

Read the Room

Give an event a fair chance. Go with purpose and good intentions. If, however, after a while you see that the other people there are not similarly focused, you can leave. This way, you allow yourself the opportunity to make connections while not wasting your precious time if others are not like-minded. Go with hope and positivity, with room for an exit strategy. Being prepared is vital at events so you can expand your social network with safety and success.

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Henni Halberstam is a Dating and Marriage Coach whose expert advice will help you navigate dating and relationships in order to ensure a successful marriage. You can contact her at hennihalberstam@gmail.com to schedule a phone session.