“Do any of you drink Jack and Coca-Cola right now,” Jesús Valdez shouted at two women who were sipping cocktails during the crowded single mixer at American Whiskey, a bar in midtown Manhattan. They were not, and Mr. Valdez let out a sigh of frustration.
He was playing Chaotic Bingo, a game in which guests were given a sheet of paper with 25 traits they had to find in another person, including someone who had sex this month and someone you wanted to kiss later. The first person to turn five across received one free year of Tinder Platinum.
Mr. Valdes, 34, a professor from Staten Island, said he had already met some people he was interested in, including someone who was “distinguished,” but that it was early and he still wanted to mingle.
“I told her I had to keep my options open,” he said. She said, “I understand.”
This was one of the many features of the Chaotic Singles Party, a monthly event in which singles are invited to come meet other singles, but only if they bring one of their Tinder matches, who doesn’t know, as one of their own.
With over 300 tickets sold, the bar was already buzzing with guests shortly after the party kicked off at 9pm on a Friday. The romantic candidates wearing white name tags across their chests sipped drinks and almost shrieked in conversation while pop music blasted through the speakers and light from eight wall-mounted TVs lit up the space with baseball and basketball games.
Godfrey Butler, 26, an IT field technician who lives in the Bronx, arrived alone after spotting the event on Eventbrite two days ago. “I was trying to be a brave soldier,” he said, adding that dating was a “tough patch.”
“I haven’t been on dating apps this year, but maybe I should join,” he added. “I think it’s best to meet people in person.”
The party was hosted by Cassidy Davis, who has come out of her difficult time with dating in Los Angeles. On Valentine’s Day in 2022, she asks her single friends to invite random guys from dating apps to her house for a party. At the last minute, she also invites 65 men from Tinder.
“Like Six Guys, differently, they were like, Is this an organ harvesting scam?” She said. “And I was like, Who hurt you? Not like any babe, not me. But the fun came through and it was a really fun party.”
I uploaded the party to TikTok and it quickly went viral. Using that momentum, she rented a venue in Los Angeles and threw the same party two weeks later. Five hundred people showed up. After receiving a flurry of news coverage, she has been throwing parties every month ever since.
Now and in partnership with Tinder, she’s taken her party on the road with a one-on-one summer series to celebrate her “uncuffing” season, and has hosted five parties in Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago.
Parties offer the convenience of using dating apps — the solace that more people are seeking in a variety of ways. Instead of swiping, people try speed dating, post personal ads around their neighbourhoods, seek help from a matchmaker or just take a break from dating all together.
This year Tinder got its start The first global commercial campaign To celebrate the “possibilities” offered by the app, which has become known as a forum for easy sex and hookup. The company has hosted real-life initiatives in the past, such as Matching singles with adoptable dogs To attract pet lovers or Partnership with Lyft To gift your match on a trip to your date, but this is the first time you’ve teamed up with a personal singles mixer.
Revealing their presence at one-on-one events is one way Tinder is trying to get people out of the house and on dates again, said Sheldon Bachchan, a Tinder spokesperson.
“We’re always trying to bridge the gap between online and offline dating, so we thought this collaboration was cool and a great way to do it,” said Bachchan.
Back at the party, Davis starts a game called Musical Cheers. “It’s like musical chairs,” she said, “but with alcohol.” Guests moved around the room while the music was playing, and when it stopped, they shouted glasses with the person in front of them, then answered a “messy question.”
Two guests were standing close together when the music stopped and Davis shared the first question: “Why did your last relationship end?”
“My last relationship ended because my ex-wife thought she wanted to get back together with her baby daddy,” said one of the guests, Michael, who declined to give his last name for privacy reasons.
Michael said he understood it was weird that he was already in a singles mixer days later, but added that things had “felt” for a while.
Gayle Gantt and Donaleh Jones They showed up to the event together but were only meeting for the first time after they both had canceled just hours earlier.
“I was swiping like I do and an ad for the party popped up on Tinder. If you buy tickets to this event, I’ll give you a kiss,” said Gant, who is heterosexual. “And I decided to go with this guy and then he canceled it two hours before we were supposed to meet.”
Determined to go, Gant buys their own ticket. Since it came with a plus one, they went to gay dating app Lex and asked if anyone wanted to come to the party. Jones, who also had a cancellation date for it that night, said yes.
When asked if they had feelings for each other, Gant smiled and said, “It will be decided.” “We’ll see,” said Jones, who is also heterosexual, with a smirk.
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