SEATTLE — It's the latest way to find love in the Pacific Northwest.
And ‘The Not-Creepy Gathering for People who are Single and Want to Fall in Love' has the best. Name. Ever.
"Thank you, it took me a while to find the right title,” laughs Jenna Bean Veatch, a Bellingham area dancer who created the Not-Creepy Gathering. She was working on a dance performance that would connect people and had an epiphany that it might work better to just connect them with a meet up that would provide an alternative to virtual meeting spaces like Tinder and Match.com.
“I think we are made to connect with one another. And I also think that as devices replace our face to face interaction, we are losing those skills,” says Veatch.
The two-hour gathering has a no-host bar, posters with prompts to get attendees thinking about what they love, and what they want. And then Veatch takes the stage and guides the crowd of some 50 singles with a combination of comedy and coaxing. She asks them to do things like talk to perfect strangers for a timed 60 seconds, and write a ‘damn good’ love letter to themselves, then exchange it with others in the room. People arrive looking nervous. Eventually, everyone is talking, laughing, and chatting like old friends.
“It's really geared towards creating a space in which people feel safe enough to be a little bit vulnerable, in the interest of making way for genuine connection,” says Veatch.
Morgan Deegan, who recently moved to Seattle from LA, came to meet new people:
“I've tried some of those speed dating things but they haven't been all that great, this looks like it'll be a lot better,” says Deegan.
This is Shannon Lubetich’s second Not-Creepy Gathering, and she made a connection on her first:
"I did - I got a match through an email and have been on a few dates."
The gathering welcomes anyone and isn’t just for love matches.
“I know people who have met people at these events who have become really great friends. Or roommates. Or business contacts. Or European travel buddies,” says Veatch. “And the first Not Creepy baby was born a few months ago. That has also happened!”
Veatch’s favorite thing about these gatherings? The electricity in the room that has nothing to do with electronics as people trade screen to screen for face to face. “I love the feeling of not knowing what's going to happen but knowing that something's going to happen. We're in this space of possibility. And that's really exciting.”
The next Not Creepy Gathering is scheduled for Feb. 15, 2019, in Seattle's Fremont neighborhood and tickets are still available.