I don’t know about you, but the 21 years I spent in school kept me in an easily accessible dating pool. It was easy to meet people, notably, guys on sports teams, in classes, or doing plays.
Every year provided me with new candidates and once I got to college the amount of prospects exponentially increased. Not only was I of legal age with more freedom and independence, I was put into situations where you had to meet new people.
Until I turned 21 and started going out to bars (legally), all of my boyfriends were guys I met in school or were friends of someone I knew from school. After college, I realized it became much harder to meet people.
I remember sophomore year of college, my older, already-graduated friend said to me: “It’s really hard to meet people after college.” It never hit me how true that was until I graduated and found myself no longer part of a group.
What happens if you move somewhere new after graduation or don’t keep in touch with your college friends? Your links to potential dates drastically decreases. Even just making new friends and networking is much more difficult.
So how do you meet new people when you no longer have the container of college and organized activities? Read on, my cyber friends, and find out.
While not the best place to catch a winner, the bar scene is definitely a place where a lot of people hang out. Notice, I didn’t write nightclub. If you’re looking for a good time and just want to have fun, then by all means, you can definitely find similarly minded people there. However, the likelihood of anything substantial developing is small.
Going to a wine bar (if you like wine) or a brewery (if you like beer) are great places to find people with similar interests that are probably in your age bracket. You can bond over the craft beer and learn about each other’s lives.
What if you don’t drink or have other interests? Don’t fret, there are other options.
I already mentioned Meetups in my article I wrote about dating while in sobriety and meeting people outside of the bar scene. I’m also going to mention it here because I believe it’s a great platform for meeting new people who share the same interests.
Meetup.com is a free website you can use where you enter your location and pick topics of interest. It then shows you established groups that already meet or are trying to find people to meet in those categories.
When I lived in Italy I started my own Meetup for spirituality. I gathered a group of people who wanted to talk about spirituality and also practice speaking English. It helped me meet people I never would have known otherwise and gave me networking connections, as well. I reached out to a woman from that Meetup years later for some career advice.
You never know what your interactions could lead to. Whether you’re looking for love or just new friends, Meetups are a great way to get yourself out there. But they’re also not the only way.
Facebook has a lot of groups about things going on in various communities. You can always search events happening near your location and connect that way. You can join the group and be updated about new events such as concerts or local fairs that you would never know about on your own.
Similar to Meetups, the goal is to eventually get you to attend the group or event. You can find particular niche groups if you’re interested in something specific, like beach yoga.
By attending these events, you have a good shot of finding someone with whom you can connect with. Keep on the lookout for young professional groups for other people looking to network.
If you’re desperate to meet someone, yes, a dating app will provide you with plenty of fish. However, make sure you check out the reviews of the dating apps and be smart about it.
From my own experience, it seems that the unpaid apps are overused by people just looking for a distraction. If you really want to find substance, you’re better off signing up for a paid service. People who are investing their money are more likely willing to invest their time and effort.
I’ve used dating apps in foreign countries to meet new people and learn about the culture and local events. Just be careful and use common sense.
Lastly, and my favorite way to meet people, is through mutual friends. I don’t know how many times I’ve meet someone through another person. Whether it led to a relationship or a networking opportunity, this strategy is effective.
The reason why this is my favorite option is because you have already established a relationship with your friend (or general acquaintance). Your friend already knows you well (depending on the status and length of your friendship), and has an general understanding of what you’re looking for.
You’re basically doing the real-person version of an online dating profile. Your friend will then access their archives of people known and be able to match with you. Since your friend knows both you and their other friend, there is a better chance that they will find you a good match.
This is a good tactic if you’ve moved to a new location because of work. You can ask your favorite work colleague about their interests and out for lunch some time. You can quickly establish a rapport and reach out and ask if they know someone who fits your description.
Well, that’s it! I hope that this short-and-sweet (and not all inclusive) list gave you some ideas. Whether it’s dating or networking, you have to go out and meet people and provide value to the interaction. Remember, the more you put yourself out there (literally and figuratively), the better shot you have.