When you’re single, it doesn’t have to be so hard to meet people.
At one point when I was single, I was always trying to figure out ways to meet people. I always wished I had ideas about easy, everyday places to meet. Often, I tried too hard at events that were meant to put people together romantically—speed dating, blind dates and more. I wanted a meet-cute like you saw in romantic comedies.
Here are 10 everyday places to meet people.
1. The grocery store
Next time you’re hurriedly rushing through the store, look up as you’re reaching for that piece of produce. You never know who may be grabbing an apple across the aisle who may be your future boyfriend or girlfriend. If you’re short, it’s fun to scope out a cute man or woman taller than you to coyly ask to grab an item on the top shelf.
2. A friend’s birthday party
I’ll be honest, sometimes in your 30s you are just too tired to be social on weekends. I know I find myself occasionally saying no to invitations just because I’d rather stay home and be cozy. Next time a friend invites you out to another friend’s birthday party go for it! You’ll never know who you’ll end up meeting.
3. At the gym
I know there’s always someone or something happening at the gym. When I was single, I never had the nerve to speak to anyone to commiserate about it! I often will text a friend about ridiculousness like a woman walking on the treadmill barefoot. Next time, joke around with the guy or girl at the wipes station.
4. At the dog park
If you always bring a book or are constantly looking at your phone while letting Fido run around, put down the phone. Wander over to that cute guy leaning against a tree laughing at his dog tumbling after a tennis ball. Bonding over pets is a great way to get to know someone.
5. Get to know your neighbors
How often do you smile and say a polite hello to your neighbors but never actually engage in conversation? One of my favorite things to do is get to know those who live on my floor. If you’re single, it’s a great way to get to know their friends and widen your social circle even more.
6. Host a party
One of my favorite things to do is entertain. My boyfriend and I love to tell people they are welcome to invite a guest. That way any friends who are single and looking have the opportunity to meet new people.
7. Work at your local coffeehouse
If you have a flexible job and can work remotely once or twice a week, head to your neighborhood coffeehouse for work. When I worked in an office, I used to leave my cube during some afternoons to work at the Starbucks down the block. While I did meet a lot of people, unfortunately no one resulted in a date. However, you never know who you may meet with your same taste in lattes that could turn into something more.
8. Eat dinner out alone
I get it, it can be super intimidating to go to a restaurant alone. I’ve done it a couple times in my life and it was one of the most freeing feelings I ever experienced. Striking up a conversation with your waiter or waitress or the person next to you at the bar could lead to deeper relationships.
9. Take a class
If you’ve ever wanted to learn a new skill, sign up for a class in your neighborhood. The year I turned 26, I vowed to learn some skills I always wanted to try—and finally get my driver’s license. I tried tennis, golf and driving lessons and quickly figured out I was terrible at all three. I did end up getting my license by 27 and meeting lots of new people in the process, so I still consider it a win-win situation.
If you’re passionate about a political candidate, get on their website and learn how to get involved. Meeting other like-minded people gives you a good chance of a successful relationship if things were to end up steamy later on, especially if your candidate wins their election.
Single and trying to meet someone new? Here are 10 everyday places to get inspired to make that connection.