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Ten Great Ways to Meet Compatible Singles
You'd rather stay home with a good book?
A night out with the guys is all you can handle now?
Dating has begun to feel like work--all hustle and stress with no end in sight?
Do any of the above sound at all familiar?
When I talk to singles about their greatest relationship issues and needs , the problem of meeting the "right" people always comes up. It seems that almost everyone is acquainted with the bar scene or the blind date, and more recently, online dating. While these have all led to successful matches, they are not the only options, and for many who have tried them--the results have been disappointing and left individuals with the belief that they will NEVER meet anyone, EVER.
If you are one of these people, I recommend that you not give up quite yet. The world is a big place and there are opportunities and new adventures all around you. All that is required is an open mind, a willingness to take (calculated and thought out) risks, and a spirit of adventure. It is also important to remember that if you keep doing what you have always done--you will keep getting the same outcomes. In other words, it's time for some new approaches. The first step is to come up with a list of "dating leads," that are tailored to your interests, local availability and access, and that are realistic and doable.
In order to help you take this first step, the following are all great ways to meet like-minded people. They also have the added bonus of opening up new social and professional networks for you to explore, connect with and, perhaps find love and more through- in the not too distant future.
Sports- Do you have an interest in softball, volleyball, tennis or golf? Or perhaps you are more into the extreme ones like scuba diving, rock climbing, caving, white water rafting, and marathons. Whatever your passion is- "Google" it. Find out what is available in your area and make some calls or send some emails. Then, get a budget together for the time and money it will take- and decide which one (s) is best for you at this particular time in your life. As the season moves towards summer--the world will come alive with single wanting to play, and looking for others who share their leisure interests and/or passions.
Local political campaigns- Do you have an interest in politics on any level? Would you like to be more involved in your community and the larger world around you? Campaigns are always looking for talent. Whatever your area of expertise or interest, this is a great way to get your feet wet, learn something new and meet all kinds of people you would otherwise not come into contact with. Get involved and who knows what great new experiences could be in store for you.
Professional associations- It seems there are associations that represent every field of work and every profession out there. Many of these are very active and looking for people to be involved on many levels, from minimal participation to taking a position of high ranking leadership. They also hold meeting, host receptions and other get togethers, and offer a lot of opportunity to meet people who share your work or vocational/business interests and goals.
Hosting neighborhood get togethers like wine tasting events, potlucks and cookouts. Too often I have heard singles talk about the low number of parties, dinners, and other events that they get invited to. Why wait for someone else to do this? If you are a bit shy or inexperienced, find a co-host and/or begin with something simple and small. Ask your single friends to invite their single friends. Wine and cheese, dessert and coffee or arranging an after work happy hour are all easy for people to fit into their schedule and require less work on your part.
Volunteering for a cause you are passionate about. This is an option that is available everywhere. Every organization, from the local animal shelter to the neighborhood schools, parks, homeless shelters and private, non-profits are all looking for good people willing to give a little time and caring. Wouldn't it be nice to meet a good and caring (and attractive) single person of the opposite sex this spring?
Book stores and coffee houses, if you like books and java. I may be married, but I pay attention to the what and who in my environment. Bookstores and coffee house are frequented by intelligent, single (and often alone) people. Check one of these out this weekend. If you see Mr/Ms Interesting- notice what they are looking at or reading and ask them a question about the book/author. If no one interesting is there at the time you arrive--hang out for a while and enjoy a cup of coffee and/or a good read.
Niche websites for singles. You name it- it is out there. Love animals? Check out the animal lovers site. Vegetarian? Yup, there is a site especially for you, too. If you are unfamiliar with any of these, go online and try a variety of different key words that describe your particular lifestyle/interest and see what comes up.
Cooking classes if you are a man, golf lessons if you are a woman. Many cities, towns, counties around the country (world) have inexpensive classes for adults that cover a wide range if interests and skill levels. Consider checking them out, especially if something is offered that you have always wanted to learn more about. Even if no one of real interest from the opposite sex shows up--you still could learn to make that killer souffle for your next singles gathering.
Participating in charitable events in your community. Every good cause has fundraisers. They are often a nice dress-up affair, with great food, an auction and lots of (interesting) people from your local community. Ask around and maybe you will have someplace (soon) to wear that little black dress that has been hanging quietly in the corner of your closet.
On the metro, in the line at the deli, at your local grocery store. Check out my article that discusses this in detail on: http://consum-mate.com/article.php?id=40&catid=9
Through friends who have lots of nice friends. This one is always a winner. You can never have enough friends and you can never have enough friends with nice, cute friends.
These should help to get your creative juices flowing and help you to come up with a great list and some specific plans of your own. Once you have the where and when figured out, it's time to look and the "how" of your meeting and connections with others. Go to: http://consum-mate.com/article.php?id=31&catid=28 for help with emotional intelligence and dating.
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Toni Coleman, LCSW
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