It’s a sad fact of life that once you hit a certain age, meeting new people becomes incredibly difficult. Remember the good old school days, when you had scores of peers your own age at your disposal? If only meeting people today were as easy as starting a new class.
Well, it turns out that it just might be. But meeting new people is impossible if you stay in the same old routine. Everyone has told you that meeting your mate can happen anywhere, but why not be a little more unconventional and try something new?
1. The Dog Park
Much more than a man (or woman’s) best friend, ol’ Roy can also act as a mate magnet. He’s a cute conversation starter, and you can socialize with other responsible dog owners as he gets some exercise. You already share something in common, so why not discuss dog food options or how to get your four-legged friend to stop chasing his tail?
Research confirms that pet owners lead healthier and longer lives, which is an encouraging indication that someone you meet at the dog park is active and caring. So while your pooch is mingling with other furry friends, practice mingling yourself.
2. Seminars and Classes
Maybe you won’t find many men in knitting class, but think of something else you’ve always wanted to learn and then do it! Take a class in woodworking, cooking or dancing, or attend a seminar on financial planning or buying your first home. The local adult annex, community college and neighborhood park services usually offer a wide range of classes, from wine appreciation to yoga. Even if you don’t snag Mr. or Ms. Right during the drawing class, at least you will have learned something new at the end of the eight weeks.
The hassle of the airports’ 3-3-1 policy and long screening lines are things you must endure to get to your travel destination. Surprisingly, if you look up from the carry-on conveyor and shoe removal process, you can very likely commiserate over something with an attractive traveler. While you’re waiting for your flight to take off, strike up a conversation with the person sitting next to you. If the conversation is strained or there is just no chance for any kind of connection, it’s easy to wiggle out by plugging in your iPod or laptop and getting to work.
4. On the Field
Sports are a great way to stay active and have fun doing it. Community sports often support co-ed teams that require a certain male-to-female ratio. Try out your neighborhood softball team, running club, volleyball team or any other group activity that gets you in gear. You are sure to see your teammates at least once a week, often enough to get to know them and spend some quality time. Sweating doesn’t sound like fun? You can still meet others as a fan in stadiums big and small. Head for the local kids’ soccer field or your city’s baseball diamond to meet single parents and other fans like you.
5. At your Place
Need a reason to party? Forget going to a party…why not host a singles’ night at your place? Invite all your friends and have each one invite two or three single friends. Someone at the party knows the guy or gal that you have been eyeing and may be able to make introductions. Further, go to every party you are invited to. Graciously accept the invites to your co-worker’s music gig on Tuesday night, or your cousin’s clambake at the beach this weekend. Say yes even if you are tired or shy. Everyone can benefit from a change in scenery, making new friends and quite possibly meeting some potential dates.
6. The Farmer’s Market
The open-air shopping marketplace of a farmer’s market is a people-watching fest, plus you get to mingle with the locals. Many farmer’s markets have live music or performers that make for great conversation starters. Meander over to the blood orange samples, raw honey or fresh kettle corn and smile at the stranger with his or her own eco-friendly jute bag.
7. Around Town
Pick up a copy of the newspaper and check out what’s happening around town. You’re sure to discover that there’s some kind of “meet-up” every night of the week catering to people of all sorts of tastes. Check out a wine tasting, a reading from a published author or an open-mic night at a café. There’s a big world (with lots of single people) just waiting for you if you’re willing to make the effort.
The dog park, the outdoor market or the airport are places you would normally visit in everyday life. These meeting hubs provide you and your fellow patrons with something in common, or at least shared interests. So what if you don’t meet a new friend each time you have a party or take a class? You can still have fun getting active or trying something new.