Wow, that's a loaded subject for someone who ran about 1,000 social tennis mixers in the past 10 years. No, we're not talking about singles tennis here. Yours truly is convinced there are few better opportunities in life to meet other singles than on the tennis court. I believe I wrote this in an earlier post already, but in my opinion there are no upsides to trying to meet available singles during social tennis mixers. Consider this: You'll see the potential dating candidate.....
..... with fewer clothes on than normal
..... in a friendly, relaxed, outdoors atmosphere
..... see how he / she moves, walks, talks
..... observe how they handle stress situations
..... watch how they treat their partners and opponents
..... and thus find out about their character and integrity
How can you ever see all those flaws and other character traits just by meeting someone in a restaurant for lunch? Honestly, people. If you have troubles understanding that, just go to any social tennis mixer and start observing people through the eyes of a single person looking for dates.
I can remember lots of single men and women coming to my social tennis mixers during the years, hoping to meet their match. Some were successful, some were not, it all depended on their expectations and attitude. My rule was always as the Leader of the group to never ever date anyone playing with the Tennis Network in San Diego - no exception! That rule served me well for many years for obvious reasons. You can compare it a little with dating amongst co-workers in an office. Generally not a good idea.
There was only one time when I bent that rule a little. I was dating a woman who turned out she had played tennis when she was 30 years younger and wanted to get back into it. Sooner or later, she wanted to play with the Network and I was in a big dilemma. Finally I broke down and the trouble started. Not only did she absolutely dislike to see me surrounded by other female players, but she revealed some nasty character traits to me AND my fellow club members. Quite embarrassing seeing my friends question my decisions and choices when it came to dating women.
I never forget...
...that good looking Russian woman G., who I think was looking for a Green Card holder, heehee. She was a party girl and brought with her the best Vodka I have ever had. G. had no interest in improving her tennis beyond advanced beginner, which proved to be a major handicap for her. After about a year she moved on and is probably partying at a tennis club near you.
... that older British chap, D. Delightful accent, charming dancer and singer (remember "Gay Caballero"?), fantastic tennis player with a little nasty side criticizing partners and throwing racquets. Life of every party, walks in the best circles of Rancho Santa Fe and La Costa. I always enjoyed his company and liked to see his various companions and hear his exciting dating stories. I actually miss his company quite a bit after moving to LA.
... K. was the strangest fellow to ever show up in a tennis group. Insisted he was an advanced player, but couldn't return one ball. Did not want to listen to any advice, tried to always explain why he knew it better. We had a member/guest party at his house one night and he got on everybody's nerves with computer tech talk. When he went downstairs and didn't come up for a while, an otherwise very quiet female member of our group, a 8 times Emmy Award winning TV producer and great tennis player, remarked "I hope he went down and shot himself". K. didn't improve at all and after a while absolutely no one wanted to play with him anymore. Also, no one wanted to go out with him, since he was not able to listen to what other people had to say. After about a year he finally faded away. No one misses him. I think he's quite a lonely man, wandering from tennis club to tennis club in search of ....hmmm?
... C. was a tennis playing real estate agent I met on match.com and had one weird lunch date with. She was one inch taller than me and complained about my height or lack thereof. Then she decided to drink me under the table and started to swear when she saw I didn't wanna play that game. After an agonizing hour and 4 beers later (my one and her three), I tried to make it clear that I didn't see a good match for the two of us. She continued to swear, called me a coward and told me I probably couldn't even play tennis very well, either. I've had enough but she kept calling me and challenged me for a set of singles. I knew there was only one way to shut her up and prevent her from coming to the network's mixers. We met on a Saturday morning at her club in Poway. It took me less than 20 minutes to win that set 6-0 and tell her to never bother me again. That worked.
The couples that really found each other are great success stories for social tennis networks. And we had those also. Like L+S who were the sweetest couple, made for each other. We had great fun playing tennis and partying with them. They got married a year or so later, had a baby, and lived happily ever after. I played tennis with them on a visit to San Diego not too long ago, and am proud that the tennis network had a hand in them finding each other.
I'm similarly proud for L+M, two tennis players who found each other as members of the network rather late in life. A delightful couple and real good players. Took them a while, but they got married a few months ago. You see them on and off the court and you know this is another match made in heaven.
My buddy B. met his girlfriend J. in the Network, as well. Super people, good players, always ready for fun, party animals. I think they are having so much fun together for years now, marriage is not important to them. Gotta respect that, especially since both had been married before. What's the rush?
Yesterday my best friend S. invited me to his wedding in July. He met his match M. on eHarmony. Wow, that was a great surprise, although not unexpected. She plays tennis, too, and somehow my tennis playing friends have a good hand in finding partners for life. I'll be there for the wedding, buddy, nothing can prevent me from coming. And I'll bring my girlfriend and tennis racquets, ok? I heard that resort has 23 tennis courts... And thanks for asking me to leave the tux at home. Appreciate that in the desert in July.
Here are some useful web sites for tennis minded singles:
You can also find me and my writings and rantings on the following Social Media sites:
http://www.twitter.com/MrTennis I am MrTennis on Twitter and run a daily #NTRP Trivia there
http://www.facebook.com I am Rich Neher on Facebook. Check out my group "California Social Tennis Network"
http://www.linkedin.com I am Richard Neher on LinkedIn. Check out my group NTRP and its lively discussions