The Art Of Conversation

“When I was out on the dating scene, when I went to speed dating, the first question I’d always ask was what radio station they listened to”, a friend told me a couple of years ago. She’s been married and with a young daughter for close to a decade, but she knows what it’s like to be a forty-something on the singles scene in Sydney.

And so do I. I’ve been single most of my life, most significantly, for about fifteen years now. After my breakup with Damien, there have been various dates over the years, but nothing serious, really. Though I have lots of friends, I’m probably also a bit of a “loner” in many respects, and I don’t feel like I “need” to be in a relationship. I’ve tried online dating a couple of times, and I always felt like it was either about either getting together for an instant shag, or being “auditioned” for the role of “partner”. I’m sure, one day, something will happen in this space.

But yeah, getting back to the radio station question. She went on to explain the answer to the question told her a lot about their world view, and the music they like. “You can weed out a lot of dickheads by asking them what radio station they listen to”, my friend told me. “It makes sense”, I told some people tonight, “that if you like the same radio station, you’ll probably get on together”.

Tonight, 702 ABC Sydney held a “singles night”, organised by the team, and supported by the Wendy Harmer Morning Show. The idea came out of a talkback call, and it obviously resonated with the station’s audience, as around 1000 people asked if they could attend.

So tonight at the Art Gallery of NSW, there was an evening designed to get the station’s listeners to meet each other. I spoke to a woman in her late 30s/early 40s, who had lost her husband to a heart attack only three years ago. I also chatted to a bloke who had been working in the outback for many years, and was now looking for a relationship.

These stories touched me, because I could totally understand what it was like to return to the dating scene after a break. You lack confidence. You think you’re the only person in this position. And yet tonight, there was a lot of love in the room, as people looked out for others, went over to that person standing by themselves, and invited them over for a chat.

A beautiful night. Lots of great conversations and a dance at the end.