Navigating city life can be quite challenging. Traffic, noise, high living costs, rampant germs, and long lines are all annoying realities of living in an urban area. Another common challenge is finding genuine relationships -both friendships and romance. The most common complaint I hear about living in a city is the horror of being single and trying to find a suitable mate. The first question I ask when someone who complains about the dating scene is, “where are you meeting these nightmare dates?” The answer, usually on Tinder or in a loud club, concludes exactly why their dates are terrifying.
My friends, Tinder and chaotic clubs/bars are not exactly the most conducive environments if you actually want to connect with someone. For one, as much as people want to think Tinder has turned into a viable platform for serious dating, it is still a notorious “hook-up” app. Also, catfishing! I recently found out someone created a fake Tinder account with my first name and a picture of me they presumably stole off Facebook. Not cool. Anyone can create a fake Facebook profile and lure you somewhere and that is downright creepy.
Second, rowdy bars and clubs are not good places for connecting with people because they’re just too loud and chaotic. Not to say that plenty of great people don’t meet friends and significant others in loud bars -it happens all the time- it’s just a little more difficult. They say people know within 5 minutes if they like one another, but how can you vet someone if you can’t even hear what they’re saying? If your intention is to meet people, try more lowkey bars and lounges where you can actually hear yourself think.
So, now that we’ve covered the perils of typical places that people try to meet one another (and often fail), let’s talk about the places that are actually conducive to lasting friendships and relationships.
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Meetup.com is a wonderful platform for discovering fun activities and finding people that share your interests. Whether you’re new to a city, looking for new friends, or a potential partner, Meetup has tons of activities and events for connecting with like-minded people. Many of the events are free or of nominal cost, so almost anyone on any budget can find an activity that suits their interests. www.meetup.com
Volunteering & Charity Causes
Volunteering and getting involved with meaningful causes is already a very rewarding experience. There’s nothing better than knowing you’re making a difference! The bonus is that you can come out of it with great friends as well. Some of my best friends have come from having common ground on charity causes and social issues. I even met my boyfriend at a charity event! Working together on issues that matter connects people in a very meaningful way. Not only is volunteering good for the soul, but you’re likely to meet some amazing people along the way who share similar passions. Event Brite is a good place to start to find local charities and events. VolunteerMatch.org is also an excellent platform for finding causes that interest you.
Fitness & Athletic Groups
Get in great shape and meet new people -it’s a win-win situation! You can try anything from boot camp classes to an amateur volleyball league. Sports and fitness is one of the most enjoyable, easy ways to meet new friends and stay in shape. Most cities have local sports leagues you can join or you can search deal sites like Groupon for affordable offers on group fitness classes.
Comedy Shows & Entertainment
Obviously if you meet them at a comedy show, it’s probably safe to say they have a pretty decent sense of humor. A major plus! Other entertainment mediums like plays, Broadway shows, and even some chill (less chaotic) concerts can be great places to meet people as well.
Of course, you’re there for work, and office dating is often prohibited, but networking events can be a great place to meet not just potential business contacts, but friends or a significant other. Because networking events are prefaced with the meet and greet attitude, walking up to someone you may be attracted to is much less intimidating. And if that person is already taken, no loss, because you now have a potential business contact!
Political groups, like charitable causes, tend to bring like-minded people together. Dating or making friends with someone who has the same political ideology as you is always going to be easier! Check out local meetups or organizations that bring your chosen political party together. At the very least you’ll become more informed and have some pretty interesting people to talk with!