It was August, it was raining and it was the first Christian festival I'd attended on my own.
I have to say I approached it with a little trepidation but mostly excitement. I was looking forward to meeting some new people and also the prospect of having the freedom to choose whatever seminar or venue I wanted without feeling obliged to fit in with other people's agendas or incessant tea drinking habits.
I also had an idea that it might be a good place to meet lovely single Christians... surely among thousands of Christians from across the country there must be some semi normal, semi good looking, semi interesting guys?
Well I didn’t meet a single man over 25 years old all week –
Despite being smiley, and charming and networking and all those things that dating blogs recommend.
(Side note: I feel like the church generally should be more concerned about this... where are all the single men over 25?? But that's for another blog...)
Don't feel like you're doing something wrong if you've also had this experience - it's very difficult to meet other single people in big crowds of Christians because they're mostly married! Since this festival I've been to others and a ton of different church events and I've had similar experiences.
The one slightly serious point I want to make in this blog is - don't feel despondent if you've just been to a festival and you didn't meet anyone - even though on paper it might seem like a good place to meet someone; festivals and conferences are a nightmare for romancing - so don't worry about it!
Soooo anyway here are my top tips for finding those single men/ women at Christian festivals and events – (please note these are not tried and tested and I cannot predict the embarrassment or distress that may be caused by following this advice)
1. Bring a very large complicated tent which you will need lots of help erecting – that way you can cause a scene while everyone in your village helps to put it up and ascertains that you have arrived alone.
2. Leave at home as much crucial camping equipment as possible (torches, stove, mallet etc) so you will be forced to constantly ask strangers camping nearby for assistance and engage them in conversation.
3.When raising hands in worship ensure left hand is clearly visible to all around you – if you like it you can put a ring on it.
4.Do not hold other people’s children/ babies – you’ll give the impression of being happily married (still follow this rule if you’re a single mum/ dad – you have enough obstacles to romance without other people’s kids getting in the way!)
5.Never spend time with groups of people where it looks like you are part of a couple – ie if you’re a lady don’t hang out with one girl and two guys (unless one of the guys happens to be single and you like them)
6.Gate crash your way into seminars for single leaders – that’s where the best quality singles can be found
7.Volunteer on the phone charging stand – that way you can see everyone’s wallpaper and easily figure out if they’re single, (and potentially key your number in before you hand it back)
8.Cruise market areas and show particular interest in stands that the most attractive people are manning – even if it’s an organisation completely irrelevant to you (I spent a long time considering Bible courses in Bristol – not practical for a single mum who lives in Nottingham)
And most importantly remember that whatever anyone says festivals are not easy places to meet people - but that doesn't mean you wont have an awesome time, God won't do some amazing things and you won't make some brilliant new friends.