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Match.com now has events for members called Stir. You may have seen them advertised on TV. It sounds like a fun idea, a bar full of people who you know for sure are single. No second guessing or looking for the tan line of the wedding ring on the finger.  Everyone should be open and ready to mingle! My girlfriend and I were both on Match, saw this event and decided to check it out.

This event was held in Channelside area of Tampa at a posh bar. We decided to have appetizers and a drink across the street prior to venturing over. Arriving about 30-45 minutes after it started, it was still fairly sparse. As we did a quick lap around, it became apparent that most of these men are on Match for a reason. We grabbed a beer, stood in the center and felt eyes burning holes all over my body. It was an adult version of a bad high school prom scene.  Most people join a dating website because they are busy in their life and are sick of the bar scenes. Other people join dating sites because they have no social skills to actually approach women. This obviously seemed to be the latter going on at this event. Take a bunch of guys that don’t know how to approach a woman out from behind their computers, throw them in a bar and guess what, they still don’t know how to approach a woman!

We stood there beer in hand and all the men slowly walked around us like lions circling their prey wondering which one was going to pounce on the fresh meat first. Unfortunately none of them seemed to have the skill set to do so. So we stood there all eyes staring at us feeling completely awkward.  As the night got later, more people did arrive. Most of the guys were still not anyone I was interested in. There were only two that seemed like a possibility the entire night.You could tell they had it all going on. Good looking, charismatic, not really even dressed up, yet had this magnetic pull to them. I was actually intrigued in possibly getting to know one of them, but after observing them, I realized every other woman in the place wanted to get to know them too.

My girlfriend had been chatting with a guy from Match.com prior to the event. They had a date scheduled for the following day. When she brought up his profile on her phone, I recognized him right away. He had contacted me on two different sites before. I never responded because he had the creep factor just from his photos. She told him earlier that day she was going to the Stir event, I figured that was a bad idea. It was. He showed up about 15 minutes after our conversation and stood in the corner behind us just staring at her. It was bluntly obvious he recognized her because he followed us wherever we went, yet wouldn’t approach her, just stood a few feet away at all times. We eventually spoke to a few guys at the event and once we did, he made his move, if you call it that. He swooped over out of nowhere.  Then stuck his face right into hers as if he was going in for a kiss, but pulled back without missing a step and disappeared into the crowd. After that, we decided to chalk the night up to one big disappointment. The next day my girlfriend canceled her date with the stalker. He responded with, “Did you attend the Stir event last night?” She decided not to respond to that email.

My opinion of the Stir event from Match.com is: if it’s free, sure why not? There will be different kinds of people at different events. Some events are pricey though. I myself wouldn’t pay to attend one of these. Some of my other friends attended various Stir events and had similar experiences.

Tara Richter

Tara Richter is an Internet Dating Coach in Tampa Bay. She is the author of “The Dating Jungle Series” and an Internet TV Show Host.