People are always asking me “where can I meet a great guy or girl?” and lamenting how hard it can be to meet new, quality people. My answer: anywhere and everywhere is a great place to meet someone if you (1) put yourself in the right mindset, (2) make sure you are looking and feeling your best when you walk out the door, and (3) put out warm, welcoming energy. Don’t believe me? A close friend of mine just moved in with her boyfriend who she met on a warm summer afternoon strolling down the sidewalk wearing a cute dress and a smile.
Unfortunately, when people think about making a concerted effort to meet someone they immediately target the most obvious places to go – trendy bars, the gym, etc. But chances are those venues are not yielding anything of consequence. Why? Because even though quality people do go to bars, people are typically lacking a quality point of reference there (the intellectual or physical stimuli helpful in creating a bond is absent and there is no way to know if you have anything in common with the person standing next to you). Of course, the gym provides the physical aspect that a bar does not, but how many married couples do you know who met at the gym?… still thinking? Meeting someone at the gym sounds great in theory, but with everyone’s little iPod singing in their ears, it’s nearly impossible to strike up a conversation.
So, why not exercise some CREATIVITY in your efforts to meet “the One”? Being a little more strategic in how you go about it, might in fact yield sizable results. One of the easiest ways to get started? Using the benefits of modern technology to your dating advantage. Now please know, I’m not just referring to online dating – that is one way to fool yourself into thinking you are being proactive about your love life when you’re not. No, I am talking about getting online and seeing what groups out there appeal to people just like you with similar interests and then actually getting out there.
Do you feel most alive when you’re outdoors? Instead of doing a solitary run in the park, why not join a running or hiking group and see who you meet? Like to play trivia games but none of your friends care who invented the Q-Tip? (For the curious: Leo Gerstenzang in 1923 observing his wife wrapping a piece of cotton on the end of a toothpick). Why not find out which restaurant is hosting a Trivial Pursuit night and see what other trivia buffs you meet?
You can’t find any groups that excite you? Then maybe it’s time to create a group of your own.* Is there an activity that has always interested you but you haven’t found the time to pursue it? Getting a group together is your first step in taking that “someday I’d like to….” off your to do list, while also increasing your chances of meeting a like-minded person while you’re at it.
Maybe this sounds like obvious advice, but it’s about actually doing it. You know who you are going to see at so-and-so’s party next weekend, or who you are going to talk to at the charity event you go to every year (because you know almost half the Facebook guest list). There are a lot of other people in the city out there that don’t go to the events you go to. Who are these people and where do they go?
Time to get out and be proactive. But even if you don’t meet your Prince or Princess Charming right away, don’t get discouraged – after all, you haven’t stopped going to bars or the gym right? And at a minimum, all of your extra curricular activities make you a more interesting date whenever or wherever you end up bumping into Mr. or Mrs. Right!