Five Ways to Meet Quality Men (and NO, the club is not one of them)

Posted on May 6, 2010

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The other day a friend of mine was gushing about a guy who finally asked her out. She is beyond elated-she’s had a crush on this guy forever. As she started describing how she was picturing her wedding, I stopped her mid-sentence and said what I say to all the women I love who are headed for a dating disaster:

STOP! Do NOT pass GO. Do NOT have sex. It’s time to start the Dating Program of Three!

“I’m not saying the Dating Program of Three is a bad idea,” was my friend’s response. “It’s just, well, it took so long for ONE guy to ask me out. How am I supposed to date three of them?”

Well, you can. In fact, you must if you want to keep your head on straight and not fall into the deadly dating patterns that have littered your past.

Here are five ways to find more quality men:

1. Find two groups or a classes centered around a topic that you are really interested in and where there will most likely be lots of guys.

First note that I did say a group that you would be interested in. Signing up for the local Home Depot weekend workshop is ONLY a good idea if you have some interest in, let’s say, laying down your own bathroom tiles. (Remember my philosophy: You MUST be true to yourself first). The chick lit book club is probably not the place where you’ll find a lot of guys. Here are some possible topics that interest women and men: finance, investing, extreme sports of some kind, extreme fitness events (like a triathlon), snowboarding or skiing, golfing, rock climbing, wine tasting, hiking, coed sports teams, kickboxing class. These days, there’s a meetup group for pretty much ANYTHING (see meetup.com). If you don’t find a group you like, you can always start one of your own.

2. Join a Singles Club.

A lot of churches and religious community centers have groups just for singles. There are also quite a few single’s adventure groups. These groups usually have some kind of activity for everyone to participate in. They’re a great option because the members aren’t placed in a high pressure, speed-dating kind of environment. There are some other perks to joining these groups as well. One of my friends actually met one of her best girlfriends in a singles outdoor hiking group. When I joined the Sierra Club several years ago (I happen to love hiking in the mountains) I had a date the next weekend.

3. Volunteer for a cause that you’re passionate about and where you know men will be present.

Pet rescue centers attract a lot of great, kind-hearted people. Walks/Runs to raise money for a cause usually have a  good men/women distribution. Volunteermatch can set you up with some local places who need volunteers. I bonded quite a bit with a cute guy (the guy who’s now my husband) when we both volunteered for Habitat for Humanity.If you don’t find a place you like online, you can call around to your favorite non-profits; they are almost ALWAYS looking for extra help. A great plus about volunteering is that not only will you increase your chances of meeting quality men, you’ll also increase your chances of meeting quality people. I’ve met some of the most amazing and inspiring people by volunteering.

4. Try Online Dating

If you groaned, I’m sorry to break this to you. Many, many people have met their significant others online. I will say, however, that there really is an art to dating online. AND yes, you DO have to be careful, like you do in any situation where you are meeting strangers. But if you use your common sense and just give yourself some time to figure it all out, you’ll soon develop a system for weeding out guys who are bad news. (A funny friend of mine says that she refuses to go out with anyone who posts a profile picture where he has his shirt off. I would agree). Online dating work can be a fun way to meet a lot of men quickly.  In future posts, I’ll talk more about how to maximize the online dating experience.

5. Go to new places and start talking to men.

As hard as it is, I would strongly advise you to start really stretching yourself outside of your comfort zone. That’s the only way you’re going to meet a lot of new men. If a colleague invites you to her pool party and you think it sounds like fun but you’re worried you won’t know anyone there, then by all means, just go! Start talking to guys in the grocery store. (Ladies, Whole Foods is ridiculous. I am married and I still get hit on when I go in there!) Visit a new coffee shop and say “hi” to a cute stranger. Go somewhere you haven’t been before and start making eye contact and saying hello. *Please trust your gut when talking to strangers. If you get a bad feeling from someone, it’s for a valid reason and you need to move on quickly!

And remember, these suggestions can work ONLY if you start actually doing them.

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