Speed Dating is a fun way to meet the man or woman of our dreams, but can it help us find more than a lover? As most of us desire romantic love and partnership, many of us have a burning desire for something else outside of romance. Something deep, passionate and covered in raw, unadulterated loyalty. That’s right – a Mom Friend Forever (MFF).
Preferably an MFF who shares our same sense of humor about diaper blowouts in public, but that’s not a requirement.
Speed Dating for moms is a real thing popping up all over the country and women seem to be loving it. Founder Robin Hieatt says she started a speed dating event for moms called Moms Matched after growing tired of awkward attempts at connecting with other moms at play dates and parks.
I feel her pain. Awkward interactions are the worst. Rejection sucks. I can already feel the hot sweats coming on envisioning myself trying to approach a bunch of ladies at the park who seem to be having fun, only to have them give me a few fake smiles and then close up their circle like a BFF fortress. Suddenly I’d get 8th grade lunchroom flashbacks, grab my child mid-slide and zoom off in my car like I’m ridin’ dirty with the cops hot on my trail.
But do we really need to make new friends in the same way we seek romantic relationships? I can see myself in front of a woman I just met with a list of deal breaker questions: “If my toddler is a strong-willed nightmare, will you A) quietly judge me, B) pour me another glass of wine, commiserate and laugh at my tales of woe or C) act concerned and then suggest I lather both my baby and I down with essential oils? Pick wisely, we only have 30 seconds.”
Do I really need timed sessions of quick interviews to find someone to hang out with me?
Where has this been all our life?! As technology connects us more and more through our computers and gadgets, we can often become disconnected with the people sitting right next to us in PTA meetings or park benches. That doesn’t make our growing use of social media a negative, but it can have an impact on how we create (or struggle creating) friendships within the world around us.
Some of us are blessed with a tribe. Some of us have grown distant from our tribe. Some of us are lonely as hell, simply because we’re at a different stage of life than our most beloved friends. We grow, we evolve, we move across the country. Lonely happens.
Where it may have been totally natural for our moms to drop a pie off to the new neighbors next door, this type of “Howdy neighbor” mentality has been in slow decline. Now it seems our neighbor is more apt to call CPS on us when our kids play in the backyard while we cook dinner than come over for coffee and keep an eye on them while we hop to the corner store for some milk.
Sometimes our desire to have connections with other women causes us to spend time with people who don’t jive with our personalities, share our values or support our parenting choices. It could be they’re a little weird, passive aggressive or vaguebook on Facebook until we just can’t anymore! Or maybe they’re great people, but they just don’t quite click.
The playground is a jungle out there.
Remaining friendly, cordial and compassionate with people we don’t have a lot in common with is a part of life and being a faithful member of any community, but we need friends we can be our true selves around. People who support us, our parenting styles, and most importantly, laugh at our incredible jokes. Without that connection at a soul level, we can feel our loneliest and most isolated when we’re surrounded by herds of “friends.”
Soulmates aren’t just for romantic lovers, you know.
For many mothers, particularly stay at home moms who may not have as many opportunities to interact with other adults as often, that feeling of loneliness can really spiral when you realize you haven’t had an adult interaction with anyone other than your spouse for days and you’re still wearing the wrinkled pajamas and high bun to prove it.
That’s why I love this idea of “Speed Dating” for moms to connect with other local women in an environment that’s light and fun. Motherhood is universal, but it’s deeply personal and most of us just want someone else who can make us laugh in times of misery, celebrate our joys and let us cry in a judgment free zone. It seems easy enough, but it’s a lot harder to find than we’d like to think.
If we can meet other women who want to connect just as much as we do, why not go for it? There isn’t much to lose, and who knows, maybe there’s a soulmate to gain.
The only thing I haven’t figured out yet is what happens if you go to one of these meet-ups and no one really wants to be friends with you. Do you get an extra bottle of wine? A free counseling session? A box of donuts to eat on the car ride home?
Not that I think it could happen, of course, I just like to have solid backup plans when I’m feeling a touch vulnerable.More On