I’ve had a lot of exposure to a singles group lately, which I don’t attend, but have friends who do. I won’t mention the name of this group, but if you’re close to the situation, you can probably figure it out. I actually attended this group for a brief stint several years ago, but never connected with anyone there. I never thought the environment was truly very friendly.
The problem with singles groups is that whatever the group hopes to accomplish, the ultimate reason most people are there is to meet someone to date/marry. Whatever spiritual, outward-focused goals the group may have, the members have an overriding selfish goal for being there.
If the attendees were truly there for worship, then they would go to the normal church service. But they’re there to meet potential mates.
I noticed that the dynamics are different for the men and women who attend. The women, while still inwardly competing with one another, find strength in numbers. They huddle and form strong friendships with the other single women. This makes them a large pack and actually less approachable — which is ironic, because I assume they want to be approached.
The men, on the other hand, view all the other men as competition and want nothing to do with building close friendships with any of them. Depending on how desperate they are, they may give a token pleasantry to the other guys if cornered into a conversation, but some will be downright rude to you, if they see you as worthy competition.
Social times at these meetings closely resemble a situation in wildlife, where the lions (men) cirlce a pack of gazelles (women), in search of their prey. Since the women have formed these tight packs, it’s harder for the men to find a target. But when a gazelle breaks away from the pack, then several lions immediately descend on her.
I met several guys this weekend, who attend this group, and with one notable exception (a very friendly guy named Leo), most of the men seemed very reluctant to make my acquaintance. Instead of being greeted with a warm handshake, I was metaphorically peed upon by the “dominant” males.
Now I’m the last person to compete over a woman, and when I find myself in those situations, I’m totally content to walk away and wait to cross paths with another person not wrapped up in such dynamics. But I’m still fascinated to see such primitive behavior on display within modern day interactions.
I’ve concluded this weekend that it’s good that I’m not involved in this group and will stop going to their social functions.
It’s not that I’m not looking to meet my own potential mate. I would just like to do so while serving God in ministry. I don’t want to go to a meeting/event solely designed for the purpose of meeting someone. I want to meet someone through service — someone who shares my calling for evangelism and communication through new media. The only way I’m going to meet someone like that is by doing those things and seeing who I meet in the process.