This past Saturday night, the Jewish Journal held its first singles event and I was honored to be a part of it. By a part of it of course I mean this was my baby and I was thrilled with how the event turned out. It was the forward thinking of Rob Eshman and David Suissa that propelled the idea forward, and the support of Jay Firestone that made it all happen.
Over 100 LA area singles came together at the Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel for drinks and a little chat. Danielle Berrin moderated a conversation with myself, Seth Menachem and Elliot Steingart. We talked about sex, love, faith, hope, online dating, and in my case, going from jaded to bitter at the lack of good dates, and abundance of bad dates in Los Angeles.
The range of guests went from young people in their twenties, all the way to some lovely people in their seventies. It was really fascinating to see so many generations of people all united in their search for love. Whether your search is for something casual, serious, sexual, or happily ever after, no matter what your age, the road to love is the same. Difficult.
I was honestly touched by how many people there read my blogs and asked questions about things I have written about. Writing is very solitary so it was lovely to hear my work had resonated with people. A highlight of the night was meeting women who had dated some of the same men I have written about while chronicling my dating life. Hilarious.
I am painfully honest in this blog. I have written about my sex life, lack of a sex life, good dates, bad dates, being lonely, and the profound joys and difficulties of being a single mother. My stories matter to me and it was nice to see that they matter to other people too. Dating sucks, but our event showed me that singles do not. I met some great people.
There was a man in his late twenties who told me he was new to dating, socially awkward, and a virgin. He was the sweetest man and I’d like him to meet a very special girl because he was darling. I met a man in his sixties who felt the need to tell me just had sex with a woman in her forties and he was quite remarkable in bed. Two opposite sides of the dating spectrum.
There were equal numbers of men and women, old and young, and in the end we are all feeling the same frustrations. There were Jews of all levels of observation, as well as non-Jews. If my dating preference is to only date Jewish men then surely I can understand why women of all faiths would want to date a Jew. Jewish men rock, so I get the attraction.
The Jewish community is small, and I think we all get locked into our temples, or circles of friends, and once we exhaust the dating options there, we find ourselves dating online. Meeting someone at an event like we had this weekend was so much nicer than dating online. You see someone in person and there is a comfort in knowing they are looking for something.
Online, people hide behind their stories. In person, there is an honesty that is refreshing. Stepping outside of you own community, into the Jewish community at large, is really a great thing, and that will be my hope for the next event, and there will be a next one. Our goal will be to unite the Jewish community of singles beyond our own inner circles.
This was not your typical singles event. There was mingling and exchanging of numbers, but there was also an open forum to talk about being single and that will be expanded for our next event. People want to not only hear about your experiences, but also share their own. There are a lot of single people in LA, and the more we know, the smaller the world becomes.
I met a lot of people that told me they have someone for me to meet which is fabulous. Going to a singles event is not always going to result in meeting someone, but could end with you meeting someone who is going to help you meet someone. I learned a lot from our singles event experiment and I cannot wait for the next bigger and better go round.
When I left the hotel at 11:20 there were couples in the hotel bar having drinks, people sitting in the lobby chatting, and that was the fun part. They say it takes a village to raise a child, and this weekend we learned that it takes a community to find your beshert. You never know who will know the person that you will be your next great love.
Thank you to everyone who came out for our event. It was a pleasure to meet you all and I appreciate your feedback on how to make the event better. Being single sucks, but knowing you are not in it alone makes it better. I am not a fan of online dating but I will continue to do it because as long as I do, it means I have hope, and hope keeps bitterness at bay.
To the Israeli man who arrived late because he got lost, I think you are lovely and regret not giving you my number. To the lady in her late fifties who told me she wanted me to dance at her wedding, I can’t wait. To everyone who got dressed up on a Saturday night to come and hang out with us, thank you for coming and for reminding me to keep the faith.
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