July 21, 2016
Sure—everyone wants that perfect “meet-cute.” You sit down next to each other on the airplane. Sparks fly. You talk the whole time about deep topics. You look into each other’s eyes. You exchange information. The rest is history.
While that’s all fine and lovely and good, is it realistic? I don’t think so. We all have that one friend who it’s happened to, so we think that’s the norm. “Well, my friend Sandy met her husband on the Amtrak train to NY, so I’ve been taking the train more.” Or “Jeffrey made eyes at Chris over the frozen food section, and they’ve been eating ice cream together ever since.” It’s nice, it’s sweet… and it’s a one-off experience. We remember these stories.
I went to Cornell for college. Cornell is known for many things—its academics, its food, its beautiful campus, its cold weather… and its suicides. Very unfortunately, suicides at Cornell are a little more memorable because some people jump off a bridge into one of Ithaca’s many gorges. Sad, indeed, but common? No. Cornell does not have an above-average suicide rate. The misperception of a high rate was attributed to the public nature of these tragic events. Just as you remember these horrific stories, while uncommon, you also remember the best of your friends’ dating stories and the worst. (Sorry for such a morbid example!)
For these reasons, it’s important to make sure you’re putting yourself out there in the right way. I want to share the three main categories of meeting people. They are, of course, not mutually exclusive.
- The first is the random that we talked about: the airplane, Starbucks, the top of the Eiffel Tower. You get the picture. These are unpredictable. You don’t know if people are single. And even if they are, you don’t know if they are looking to meet someone. The chance of meeting someone randomly is small. Don’t go into a random situation *expecting* to meet someone, or else you may be sorely disappointed. That said, do put your best foot forward (through your look and your attitude) when in these situations just in case. I’m not a complete naysayer, after all!
- The second is the club or group—a Meetup, a hiking group, a sports team, an art class. Just like with the random events, you have no idea who is available and who isn’t, so you can’t *expect* to meet someone. The purpose of this way of meeting people is to put yourself out there doing something you already enjoy. For example, if you hate fishing, don’t join a fishing group to meet someone because you’ll have a miserable time! But let’s say you love hiking. Join a hiking group. Whether you meet someone or not, you’ll be enjoying yourself doing something you love anyway. Meeting someone would be icing on the cake. Also, when you’re doing something you love, you’re more yourself, more in your element, which is a great way to attract people—friends and partners alike.
- The third are things targeted specifically for singles—online dating (of course!), speed dating, and singles mixers and events. Here, while maybe a little more contrived, you know that the other people are also looking and available. This is the smartest and most efficient way to put yourself out there. There’s always an element of chance, but you’re setting yourself up to have the best odds when you know that people have the same goals as you do—to meet someone. This is why I highly recommend online dating and other singles events. Might as well increase your odds!
So, let’s put it in action. I want you to scour your city’s event listings and sign up for one singles’ event. Maybe it’s a speed-dating, maybe it’s a happy hour geared towards singles, maybe it’s something else. Commit to putting yourself out there and giving yourself the best chances of meeting someone. Remember, though, that however you put yourself out there will still take time. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Don’t give up. Take breaks if you like, but don’t quit if it’s something you really want. The one place you won’t meet someone is on your couch!
If you need help finding events in your city, please feel free to reach out. Also, please write in the comments below any events you find that may interest other readers.