Singles Salons – Meet IRL With Purpose

In a recent poll conducted on Instagram, we polled The Salon Host community about how they prefer to date…

Not surprising, meeting in real life (IRL) was the preferred means of finding new potential partners.

The COVID lockdowns may have either killed our dating lives or at least forced us online as the exclusive means of meeting, and it seems like the pendulum is swinging back in favored of old-fashioned means of meeting new romantic partners as documented by major media outlets at the end of last year.

As writer Jason Parham wrote in Wired, “After a decade of swiping left and sliding into DMs, many people are now longing for a simplification of the dating pool.”

Newsweek reporter Suzanne Blake similarly noted that, “While dating apps offered one of singles’ only choices during the pandemic when in-person dating environments were stripped from the ground up, singles might be looking for more genuine connections based on something deeper than your view of someone’s photographs.”

So how can you, as The Salon Host of your community, help facilitate that opportunity to simplify deeper interpersonal connection?

Surely you know who in your community is single and looking to mingle with like-minded folks, why not get together with them and plan a topical, immersive evening where there’s a built in conversation to bring people together?

Key Ingredients Include:

Vibes, of course. You’ll want comfortable places to sit, suitable music that isn’t too loud, sexy lighting (candles, please, and no bright overhead or heaven forbid fluoresent lighting) and a great group of guests.

And less could be more on the guest list front, it’s better to have a small group of curated people than too many just for the sake of having more.

You’ll also want a comfortable setting that makes guests feel at home, which is why we always recommend hosting in yours or a friend’s home.

As for the salon topic,

something of immediate interest around a current event or something timeless like personal well-being or modes of artistic expression are great places to start. Having something to talk about breaks the ice.

Stay away from controversial or too-serious topics, we want to open people’s hearts and minds not weigh them down or give them something to argue about.

Pacing is also important.

If you stack the salon with so much programming guests don’t have time to mingle then there won’t be an opportunity for new connections to be forged. We recommend having moment of focus to bring guests together with plenty of breathing room to let them strike up their own conversations.

Food and drink are also essential, breaking bread as a means of getting to know someone new is hard-wired into human beings. If you’re not keen to cook or cater, get guests involved by hosting a potluck salon.

Of course you’ll want to get intel in advance on what everyone is bringing to make sure there’s a balanced menu. And hopefully there’s a Trader Joes nearby if you have some gaps to fill!

Introductions are always appreciated…

You can take so much guesswork out of the equation as a host by simply making introductions to those who don’t know each other, particularly if you know they should meet.

Sharing personal information about each guest during the introduction is also quite helpful when it comes to setting the stage for new connections. We all have a social mask we unconsciously put on around new people ,and you can help your guests drop the masks more effectively by making a thoughtful introduction.

Co-hosting is key.

The perfect co-host will help with logistics, setting the vibe and curating the perfect guest list, salon programming agenda and menu.

The perfect co-host will be able to both bring friends and friends of friends into the salon. It’s also the perfect way to get to know folks you’re curious about but haven’t gotten to know yet.

And how about a little live music?

Surely you know a musician in your community who is keen to perform, and nothing sets the mood like a well-curated performance that both sets a sexy vibe and gives guests something else to talk about.

A killer playlist is also essential. Asking guests for musical recommendations is also a great way to engage them ahead of the salon, so feel free to outsource playlist-curation to a trusted party!

So what are you waiting for?

Your friends aren’t getting any younger and neither are you!

Stepping up as a host bringing your community together to create new connections is one of the greatest gifts you can ever offer.

And if you’re still feeling unsure about the mechanics of hosting a proper salon, we’ve curated the ultimate guide to becoming The Salon Host you wish to see in the world.

From recipes for guest list alchemy to topic selection and logistics management, it’s all right here in our How To Host Guide.