It’s holiday time again, which for me means lots of parties to go to … solo. My first instinct is usually to try to snag a pal to bring with me to party crash, but recently, I was invited to a party where the host explicitly instructed guests not to bring a plus one. I was dreading showing up there, thinking it would be uncomfortable, but once I arrived, I embraced it and ended up having a great time. After I deftly extricated myself from a dull conversation with an awkward woman with a neck twitch, I hit it off with a group of dudes with nerdy glasses who shared my love of stupid dance moves. Needless to say, I have a new appreciation for going to parties alone. After the jump, some tips for making the best of a stag situation. Add your suggestions in the comments.
- Wear something that you feel really hot in. Walk in like you’re the guest of honor. Even if you’re not, people will be drawn to you. If you’re the more shy, humble type, wear an accessory or item of clothing that’s a conversation starter. Something glittery, funky or vintage will do. That big, purple flower in your hair will most likely get a compliment and then you can start a conversation from there.
- Make a beeline for the bar and play bartender. The woman pouring the drinks is always popular. Or if you’re a klutz like me, ask a good-looking man to pour you a stiff one. How could he say no?
- Everyone eats! So you will automatically have something in common with the all the people hovering around the buffet. Nothing like a little baked brie to get the convo flowing. Sometimes I’ll even reference the fact that I’m there solo in case any hungry peeps are looking for a comrade.
- Mingle around until you find “your people.” You may have to have a few starter conversations (see above, woman with neck twitch), but eventually you’ll find a person or a group of people you click with. “How do you two/three/etc. know each other?” is a good opening line for barging into a circle of strangers. Or if you like the bolder approach, “What were we talking about?” is a good one. Sounds obnoxious, but it works seamlessly. I always find it’s easiest to strike up conversations with girls in smaller groups or other solos. I’ve never gone wrong by complimenting a woman’s shoes/dress/jewelry and asking where it’s from. If all else fails, stand next to the window and look interested in something happening outside. Usually, the other person alone in the room will come up to you and start talking.
- Get set up. If the host denied you a plus one, have them make up for it by introducing you to a cute single of the male variety. They have pre-approved all guests, so there must be at least one hottie you’d hit it off with.
- Have a “party trick.” Maybe you’re a photographer, a palm reader, or a bad dancer. If so, use it! Bring a camera and go around telling people you’ve volunteered to take party pics for the host and then introduce yourself and snap away. Set up shop in the corner and offer to read guests’ palms. Or start dancing! People will join you if the music is good or laugh with you if your moves are cheesy. Works like a charm.