Setting the Right Expectations: Lessons Learned from Back to School Party

Posted: 09/23/2011 by Singlefied in Dating, How To
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

We here had Singlefied.com had another successful theme party in NYC last Thursday, this time it was “Back to School.”  Thanks to everyone who came out!  As an added bonus, all Singlefied readers will receive one month free from my favorite dating site, HowAboutWe.com (as recently discovered by one of my favorite bloggers, Simone Grant) – just enter the code FallDating.

While parties are meant to be fun, there’s always a lesson to be learned from Singlefied parties.  This time?  Setting the right expectations.

Because word travels fast, our Singlefied parties have reached beyond the core readership, expanding into social circles unfamiliar with the blog and myself.  I understand that there are qualms about attending any social event, especially if they’re “singles” related.  However, we are adults and should be able to handle most social situations, right?  So, you would understand my surprise when I received this email, “Got my reservations about singles events as it is almost always disappointing in terms of balance (and talent). What’s your feel on this for your party?”

Unfortunately, I feel that this is the mindset of a lot of you out there, not just in terms of parties, but also reservations about getting yourself out there in general.  I kind of want to hug you and slap you at the same time.  I want to hug you because you obviously have the desire to put yourself out there and meet someone.  But I want to slap you because wake up buddy, your expectations are all fucked up.

And if your expectations are negative from the get-go, you’re doomed to have a bad time.

Setting the right expectations is the key to making any social outing a success.  YOU CAN ONLY EXPECT OUTCOMES THAT ARE WITHIN YOUR CONTROL.  For example:

“I expect to…”

But remember, you can NOT expect outcomes that are out of your control, such as the environment and who will be in attendance.  See, if you set expectations on anything out of your control, you’re pretty much guaranteed to be disappointed.  In the aforementioned email I received, this guy already set a negative expectation on the ratio of “talent” present at the party.  He was setting himself up for a disappointing night because 1) he couldn’t control who was going to be there, 2) he had projected his previous negative experiences onto this event, and 3) he had an arbitrary ratio threshold (“the ratio was 1:1 and I wanted 2 girls for every guy = FAIL” or “the ratio started at 2:1 but by 11pm, it was flipped = FAIL”).  There was just no winning with this guy.

So, when you’re out this weekend, set the right expectations and know that the least you can do is have a good time!

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Comments
  1. pk says:

    My best friend from college and I used to refer to “Expectations” as the “E” word, as if it’s a bad word that indubitably ushers in failure in social/romantic situations. I still struggle with it to this day (the complete flip side of having no expectations can be a doozy as well, i.e. going into situations indifferently because you don’t expect anything to happen), but your post was very well-put, and a good reminder for all of us to remain positive, even amidst the most dire of circumstances.

    • Singlefied says:

      And you know what, sometimes it’s hard to maintain positivity, especially if you find yourself in a social situation where 3 of your ex-girlfriends show up with their annoying friends. But guess what? There’s always an exit, so get the hell out of dodge from a bad situation. I think sometimes we (humans) like to put ourselves in negative situations so we can play the “victim” later. But we gotta empower ourselves more to remove ourselves from that bad social environment as needed!

  2. Datingisms says:

    […] can only expect outcomes that are within your control.  If you’re having a bad time, you take the blame. Like this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

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