"You'll never meet anyone sitting on your couch," is my answer when people ask me how to meet single men and women. "How do I meet someone?" is probably the question I get asked most often on Divorced Girl Smiling.
I'm not surprised. I think it's human nature that we crave love and companionship. Even after broken heart (after broken heart after broken heart), we keep coming back for more. It's a thought that makes me smile because it's proof of people's hopeful spirit, romantic tendencies and passion to give and receive love.
So, where can you meet single men and women? I'm actually going to take bars out of this post, A. because the latest reader who asked me where to meet someone said "I'm not a fan of meeting men in bars," and B. Because I'm not either.
Here are 26 places and ways to meet single men and women:
1. Through volunteer work.
2. Through your dog: walks, doggie parks, pet stores
3. At the Apple Store
4. At fundraising events.
5. Through your married friends.
6. Through your single friends.
7. On a blind date. (You must ask people you know to set you up)
8. At a live music venue (this doesn't count as a bar in my opinion)
9. At professional sporting events.
10. On-line dating sites.
11. Social media outlets: LinkedIn, facebook, twitter, Cyber Dust
12. At the gym.
13. Jogging trails
14. Car wash places
15. Business functions
16. Through work (some say that's a no-no but I disagree.)
18. Playing tennis
19. Through business networking groups.
20. Meetup groups
21. Matchmaking services
22. Running errands.
23. Hate to say it, but it's true: Starbucks
24. Outdoor street festivals.
25. Through your kids (other parents.)
26. Through your divorce attorney or other professionals (dentist, doctor, accountant, etc.) but you have to ask!
Here are three rules I live by that I think will increase your chances to meet single men and women:
1. Stop saying "no" to set ups and social events. Just say yes to everything. Your odds of meeting someone go way up when you actually leave your house!
2. Network: Ask friends and family and acquaintances to introduce you to people. Treat meeting someone like a job.
3. Having platonic friendships can lead to love. I can't stand when two people go out on a date and just because there was no spark, they say good-bye forever. They are both missing out on having just another friend in life. Platonic friends can only enrich your life, and lead to a better social life which will offer you more fun and the possibility of meeting the man or woman of your dreams.
In closing, I want to say one more thing. I'm not saying don't go to bars. Bars are fun and talking to people is harmless and can actually lead to friendships, as well. But, the red flag associated with bars is possible excessive drinking, which can lead to bad decisions and judgment.
Jackie Pilossoph is the author of her blog, Divorced Girl Smiling, and the comedic divorce novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase. She also writes feature stories, along with the weekly dating and relationships column, Love Essentially" for Chicago Tribune Media Group local publications. Pilossoph lives in Chicago. Oh, and she's divorced.