Stuck for a way to meet a man? Then sign up to Meddlers of Honour, pronto! Laura Millar did, and has never looked back…
It seemed almost too easy; ‘come out to this bar tonight,’ said my friend Amy*, ‘there’s going to be loads of single men there. In fact all the men there will be single. All you have to do is talk to them.’ This was on a random Thursday afternoon at work, in March 2009. By then I’d been single for over two years, had tried internet dating (liars and conmen) as well as speed dating (weirdos and married people), and had got to the point where I was hoping men would try and chat me up on the Tube, but to no avail. The industry I work in is traditionally a straight, single man-free zone, and the last regular conversation I’d had with an actual bloke was when I went to buy my paper in the mornings. So I was out of practice on the flirting front.
The concept sounded too good to be true, but here it was: there was this dating night, it was called Meddlers of Honour, and it did just what it said on the tin – tickets were sold to single men and women, the event happened in a Soho bar, one night per month, and when you got there, all you had to do was chat to people. After all, they were all there for the same reason. It was sheer, utter genius. No more worrying about whether the bloke you’d just spent fifteen minutes trying to chat up actually had a girlfriend, or was gay, or married; no, everyone was fair game, which made the process of pulling a hell of a lot easier.
There was an added twist to proceedings: in amongst the crowd were people wearing large coloured ‘M’s round their necks. They were known as ‘Meddlers’, and their role was largely to be ice-breakers. So if you spotted a bloke you fancied at the bar, but weren’t sure about approaching him as you had no idea if he preferred blondes or brunettes, you could rope in a Meddler to go and suss him out. Sometimes they roamed around trying to introduce groups of people to each other, or just went up to people who looked a bit lost to explain the concept to them properly and reassure them it’s all meant to be a bit of a laugh.
Well, by the end of the first night, after having chatted to about seven blokes, and snogging one, I was hooked. And applied to be a Meddler, figuring that a) they got first dibs on all the hottest looking men, and b) the power of their ‘M’ acted a bit like a shield, meaning they had no fear when it came to talking to other people (as I can sometimes – pre-five glasses of rose – bit a tiny bit shy). The organiser, Helen, just wanted to make sure I was chatty and friendly, but I think I managed to convince her.
Being a Meddler was as much fun as being a non-Meddler, anyway. Everyone pitches in, gets involved, gets chatting, gets drinking, gets on the dancefloor, and then gets snogging. The mix of people ranges from 20s to early 40s, with jobs from media to finance, from the arts to the civil service, so there’s something for everyone. Along the way a couple of friends of mine met guys who they’re still seeing now, or had a few short term flings, or the occasional ego-boost snog. I went every month with a few female friends, as it was just an incredibly fun night out. I had my share of snogs and short term flings too, but just six months ago I met a bit of a keeper. It was his second time at the event – I’d actually got talking to him the month before – and this time we chatted a lot more. By the end of the night, numbers were swapped, a date was arranged, and the rest is history. I’ve hung up my big coloured ‘M’ for the time being; but it’s good to know Meddlers is there, just in case…
For more info, visit www.meddlersofhonour.com.
by Laura Millar