Good morning friends and welcome back to the blog!
The end of the week is when I get to talk about absolutely anything on the blog: typically in the form of a delightful listicle. Today is no different, as I have prepared a list of ways to MEET a special someone in the wild.
My first internship in college was managing the blog and social media for a wedding video company. I was in charge of blogging about each couple, from the start of their relationship to the actual wedding: I spent my days sifting through stories of couples meeting, falling in love, and promising their lives to one another. After a year of that job, I can tell you that people meet ALL kinds of ways.
The craziest story I read was about a couple who met when they were DRIVING. They shared a few flirtatious smiles from the passing lane until eventually, the (future) groom wrote his number on a piece of paper and stuck it to the driver's side window. The bride wrote it down and the rest is, as they say, history. Crazy right?
So for our blog today, I thought I would combine my personal anecdotes from life as well as some tried-and-true advice from matchmakers to provide you with a modern list of how to meet people IN THE WILD, and not on apps.
Why no apps you ask? Well, I was off the market before I ever downloaded a single app, so I'm simply never going to be your "go-to" online dating guru. But as far as making connections with people in person? Your girl has you COVERED.
1. Family friends
Never underestimate the power of a connection through family friends. I'm suggesting dating family friends OR allowing your family friends to set you up. There is a good chance that that guy your aunt has been dying to set you up with MIGHT be a good match.
Family friends often have a lot of shared history, connections, interests, and values. One of our best "couple" friends met when they were basically babies, and they are ACTUALLY perfect together. The next time your relative has a suggestion, consider taking them up on it!
We DO go to church to meet with God, but there's nothing wrong with being open to meeting a special someone. The great thing about meeting people at church is that you already have a good chance of shared values and beliefs. Throw in a built-in community support system and you've got a great foundation for a relationship!
Keep your heart in the right place, but don't balk at the idea of dating someone from church. Remain balanced.
This is another great way to meet people with shared beliefs and connections. College is how I met my husband! Well actually we met on a college trip to Israel, but it was still through college connections. College is a fantastic place to make connections because you are surrounded by a high concentration of single people who are also around the same age and stage in life.
Everyone is meeting new people, so it's not weird to strike up a conversation. Make connections in class, in the dining hall, at the gym, or honestly ANYWHERE. Be open to friendships, relationships, and connections in general. Don't take those 4 years for granted!
4. Work Networking
For my post-grad babies out there, I would encourage you to reconsider some of your connections through WORK. An acquaintance of mine met the love of her life when she took up a part-time night-gig at a Consumer's Energy telemarketing office. Romantic eh?
If you're in more of a career situation, it might be best to avoid overcomplicating your office dynamics, but don't be afraid to consider other connections. Think people you meet THROUGH work; a rival company, the cute guy from the next floor down, or a guy you met at a work function or networking event. Be considerate in this touchy area, but don't be afraid to develop feelings if the right (single) person pops up!
5. Be Open to a Public Approach
Many people meet each other in the ACTUAL wild. And no, I'm not talking about a bar exclusively.
My high school art teacher was famous for telling the story of how his daughter met her husband at a Meijer grocery store. Apparently he approached her saying that she looked AMAZING in her shorts, and "would she like to go to church with him and his mother?"
My art teacher's daughter must have been REALLY adventurous because she actually went and ended up falling in love with the guy! Now they have three kids and are all in a constant state of wedded bliss. Go figure.
This story always makes me laugh because it reminds me that we never know when we will meet an incredible person. You should be aware of real creeps, but don't be completely shut off to the nice guy saying hello at the library or the cute barista handing you your coffee: he could be your grocery-store-approaching-church-going future husband. You never know.
6. Flock Together with Good People
I heard this advice from a professional NYC matchmaker.
This might sound really weird, but I am suggesting that you identify people in your life who have attributes of the type of person you want to date, then try to tag along with them to a social engagement. Say your best friend's husband is a TOTAL stand-up guy: chances are that the fantastic husband has FANTASTIC single friends. Birds of a feather flock together!
Next time he heads out to see some buddies, ask if you and your BFF can tag along. Even better, find people who are more DISTANT connections. The thing about your best friend's husband is that you probably already know his friends. Branch out a little farther to tertiary contacts, think "friends-of-friends" and tag along with them. You will definitely meet new people.
7. Reconsider the People from Your Childhood
For my Christian Canadians out there who are finding it difficult to find someone who shares your beliefs, this one MIGHT be for you. I recently learned that a girl I went to high school with is now dating my second cousin, who is a little younger than us. Honestly I think it's an amazing story and points to the fact that once you graduate and grow up, a little bit of an age difference doesn't matter.
Even more, those guys you may have overlooked in high school are now adult men. Give them a chance! Reacquaint yourself with your brother's old high school friends or that younger guy who was in the play with you. It could be a match!
8. Establish Connections Through Mutual Hobbies
I hear this dating advice ALL the time, and I think it's because it's pretty sound! Try to establish connections through your hobbies or past time activities like the gym, a dance class, theatre, a running club, or a volunteer opportunity.
Be kind, open, and welcoming to the opportunity to meet people during your hobbies. Even better, pick up a hobby that the opposite sex enjoys: for example, men could join a ballroom dance class and women could join a cross fit gym or shooting range. The options are endless!
So this isn't an exhaustive list, but it's just a few ideas to get your brains sparking! If you have any more ideas, shoot me a DM.
Better yet, let me know how you and YOUR special someone met! I love a good love story.