Women are always asking me “where are all the single men?“
There are 124 million unmarried adults in the United States alone. While there is no way to measure precisely how many of those are straight, romantically unattached men, it is safe to say there are many millions who fall into that category. They are literally all around us, and yet most single women are at a loss as to where to meet them.
The key to maximizing your chances of meeting someone special wherever you find yourself is to keep your eyes open and your head up (smartphones down!). Be prepared to make eye contact, smile and say hello!
Half of the battle of spontaneously meeting a man as you go about your day is to be open to the possibility of it happening. Don’t think of all the reasons why meeting someone won’t happen - focus on the opportunities all around for it to happen for you!
Here are 101 places to do just that.
1. Airport lounges and waiting areas.
Take a break from your smartphone, laptop or book and strike up a conversation with a fellow traveler.
2. The DMV
Everyone (who has a driver’s license) ends up in line at the DMV at some point and everyone is bored. Brighten someone’s day!
3. Improvisation classes
Any group activity with the potential for discomfort/embarrassment/laughter will bond you. Guaranteed!
4. Driving ranges
Golf courses are a big investment of time and money. Driving ranges, on the other hand, are much easier, cheaper and tend to be more social.
5. Specialty retail stores
Hardware stores are famous for being pickup spots, but they’re not the only stores where men shop! Keep an eye out next time you’re picking up that new cell phone or shopping for glasses.
6. Crossfit and other high intensity classes
If you like each other after getting super sweaty and lifting heavy things, you just might have a future together.
7. Grocery stores
Strike up a conversation! Find out if those pretzels he’s buying are any good.
8. The mechanic
You’re both sitting there waiting for your oil change anyway - you might as well chat.
9. Commuter trains/buses
At the very least you have some geography (and work schedule) in common. Say hello!
10. Language classes
Asking an attractive guy to practice Spanish with you? Easiest “in” ever!
11. Dog parks
If you have a dog and he has a dog and your dogs like each other, you’re halfway there! Walking your dog (or him walking his) is another great way to meet men.
12. Yoga studios
Generally female-dominated, but that’s precisely why some men take up yoga to begin with. Partner yoga, anyone?
13. Networking events
Just because it’s about business doesn’t mean you can’t mix in some personal.
14. Movie theaters
If you are a solo moviegoer, you’ll spot the other solo moviegoers. Strike up a conversation while you’re choosing your movie or buying your popcorn.
15. Hotel bars/restaurants
Maybe he’s just visiting, but maybe not - and patrons tend to be chattier because there are so many solo diners.
16. Sporting events
You root for the same team! This is a great start. Or you (flirtatiously) trash talk his team. Love conquers all rivalries!
17. Halloweeen/costume parties
Pretty much any costume is an excellent conversation starter.
You’ve already seen each other in a bathing suit. Maybe he has some sunscreen you can borrow?
19. Community service days
Who doesn’t love a man committed to helping his community?
20. Alumni events
Talking about your alma mater is an easy icebreaker.
21. Bike tours
If you like cycling, this is an excellent, relaxing way to meet someone who does as well.
22. Walking tours
See a bit of the city and chat about what you come across!
23. Group vacations
If the idea of doing a trek up Machu Picchu appeals to both of you, you’re off to a great start.
24. Holiday parties
Mistletoe and eggnog - this is a recipe for romance!
25. Bar crawls
Unlike regular bar drinking, this is a group activity, and everyone is getting friendlier as the crawl progresses.
This is a great opportunity to practice eye contact!
27. Nail salons
More and more men are getting manicures and pedicures. Make them feel welcome by starting up a conversation!
28. Waiting rooms
The dentist, the vet... Nothing too high stress. You’re already sitting across from each other - might as well smile and say hello.
29. Newspaper/magazine stands
Take your time browsing, and pay attention to who else is browsing as well.
30. Wine tastings
If you enjoy wine, this is the perfect opportunity to have some wine and discuss having some wine with someone intriguing.
31. Cooking classes
It’s interactive, so it’s a great opportunity to mingle. “Cooking for 1” classes are best!
32. Partner dancing classes
So long as “singles” are welcome (which they almost always are), you will definitely meet someone new! And maybe someone special.
33. Museum tours/talks
If you enjoy art, or you’re interested in a particular exhibit, this is a great opportunity for you to meet someone likeminded in a small group setting.
34. Gallery openings
Many gallery openings are more about socializing than art, so it’s a good place to meet someone even if you don’t love the art.
35. “Friends and family” previews
If you’re invited to a preview of a new restaurant or bar in your community, go! You never know who the friends of friends will be, and people turn out in droves for these events.
36. Midnight movie screenings
If you are both big enough fans of [insert movie here] to attend a midnight screening, you just might get along!
37. Theater festivals.
For theater fans, this a great way to meet other fans who are interested in seeing the newest upcoming plays.
38. Street fairs
You’re strolling... you’re stopping here and browsing there... And so are lots of men. Just say hello!
39. Ski resorts
Whether you’re waiting for the lift, taking a snowboarding lesson or chilling in the lodge, there are plenty of men to talk to and interact with.
40. Rowing clubs
Even if you’ve never rowed before, chances are your city has a local rowing club and introductory rowing classes.
41. Sailing clubs
More of an investment of time, effort and money than rowing, but if you’re looking for a man who likes sailing... There you go!
42. Communal dining restaurants
It’s easy to interact with your fellow diners (and often encouraged) when you’re sitting side-by-side at a big table. Don’t be shy!
43. Running clubs/events
There are running clubs, “fun runs” and charity races for everyone from beginners to marathoners. Find one that suits you and make a new friend or two.
44. Theme parks
If you like theme parks, you can take advantage of all that time waiting in line and meet a man seeking the same thrills as you.
45. Car washes
You could always ask his opinion on car freshener scents.
46. Online business or social communities
If you belong to any online communities based on your work or your interests, be on the lookout for men who catch your eye and introduce yourself.
47. Community gardens
Most cities in the U.S. have public community gardens, and most of those gardens have events for the neighborhood. Who doesn’t want a man who grows his own tomatoes?
48. Farmer’s markets
Local residents milling about, sampling local breads and cheeses = perfect opportunity to be social in a casual setting.
Lots of people take dates to concerts, but depending on the act, many go with friends or even co-workers. It’s a relaxed environment to chat (and even dance) with an attractive stranger.
50. Open mic nights
The crowd is in it together, for better or for worse. Commiserate and/or cheer with anyone who catches your eye.
51. Boozy brunches
When people sign up for a bottomless mimosa brunch, they’re planning to get comfortable and be there for a while. That’s lots of time for flirtatious eye contact across your blueberry pancakes!
52. Sports bars
If you are a sports fan (even a casual one), a local sports bar is a great place to meet men, especially for a big game!
Have you ever considered honing your public speaking skills? Toastmasters brings together entrepreneurs, business executives and anyone else wanting to perfect that skill in a supportive environment.
54. Industry meetings
If you belong to any professional groups or associations, your local meetings are a good place to meet new people (including men)!
55. Local talks/readings
Social clubs, your local Y, museum, library or bookstore are just a few examples of places that will have talks and readings. Pick one with male appeal and go!
56. Adult education classes
These are available for everything from coding to photography. And they provide an excellent opportunity to connect with one of your classmates.
57. Adult fitness classes
Finally learn to swim, or box or rock climb. And meet a likeminded guy while you’re at it.
58. Volunteer organizations
Find a cause you care about and volunteer your time - you never know who else might be volunteering alongside you.
Purchasing a ticket to a local fundraiser or gala will put you in the same room as other philanthropic souls.
60. Local hikes
Explore your local park or mountain range in an organized group hike. Walking and talking - it’s a great way to get to know each other!
61. Winery tours
For the wine lovers out there - learn about winemaking in a beautiful setting - how romantic!
62. Food and drink festivals
The setting is casual and social and fun! Plus you get to eat and drink, which are activities that everyone enjoys.
63. Beer-making classes
Do you like beer? You know who else does? Men.
64. Music and art festivals
You could do a multi-day festival or a attend for one afternoon. Either way, there are lots of men to be found and the vibe is generally friendly and social.
65. Social media
It is happening more and more that offline relationships are beginning on social media platforms - if a photo, comment or post catches your eye, don’t be shy about reaching out to the user you’re interested in.
66. Animal shelters
Whether you are looking to adopt a pet, volunteer with pets or even take a pet education class, you’ll find other animal lovers here.
67. Religious and spiritual gatherings
Particularly if you would like to meet someone of the same faith or spiritual beliefs, services and also social events are great places to meet someone.
Yes, weddings are still a good place to meet men! It’s usually easy to identify the single ones because they’ll be seated at your table.
All you have to do is peruse the “Missed Connections” section of Craigslist to see how many men are pining after a woman he saw on the subway that morning.
70. School reunions
Who knows who will catch your eye all these years later?
You’re going to be there for awhile, so you might as well talk!
72. Coffee shops
This one is a no-brainer, but keeping your head up is key. Don’t be tempted by the free wi-fi to spend your entire visit on Facebook!
73. Shooting/Archery ranges
In case the idea of shooting things at a target appeals to you, you’ll find lots of men who think it’s fun too.
It’s easy to strike up a conversation about what’s on his current reading list.
75. School sports events
There are lots of single dads out there, and also dedicated uncles/godfathers/etc who are in attendance.
76. Co-working spaces
Want to meet an entrepreneur? Shared office spaces are filled with them, and they usually have networking and social events.
77. Cigar bars
As long as you don’t mind the smoke, even non-smokers can have a drink in these predominantly male hangouts.
78. Paintball courses
Organize a group of your friends and prepare for a fun battle.
79. Comic book expos
Be sure to wear a costume to make yourself extra approachable!
80. Co-ed sports leagues
Chances are your city or town has co-ed softball, soccer or even football leagues.
Lots of men love fast cars. And fast horses. If you do as well, this is a great place for you to meet them.
82. Tennis clubs
Doubles, single, love - tennis is all about relationships! No matter your skill level, there are lots of opportunities to mingle with other club members.
83. Bike shops
Check ‘em out - they’re filled with men!
84. Polo matches
Polo matches are elaborate events - with the wardrobe and socializing to match!
Yachts, sailing boats and rowing races are all great opportunities to meet fellow spectators.
86. Private clubs
If you join or score an invitation to a members-only club, you’ll find them to be an easy place to meet new people while enjoying the club’s facilities.
87. Baby showers
More and more couples are having co-ed baby showers, with the friends of the father-to-be in attendance!
88. University campuses
Even if you’re not a student, most campuses contain public spaces and public events, which are all great places to meet people. Even if your school days are far behind you, remember - students come in all ages, as do professors!
89. Public parks
Whether you’re exercising, lounging, taking a walk or attending an event, parks are relaxing spaces that attract a huge diversity of people.
90. House parties
Not only are you in a relaxed social setting, but you have in easy “in” to talk to anyone who has been invited to the same party.
91. Car shows
The biggest customer of car shows is men, so... you do the math!
92. Business/design/art expos
Your local convention center or event space will likely host a variety of expos. Find one that appeals to you and go with the intention of meeting a new guy.
93. Meetup groups
There are of course meetup.com groups for singles, but there are also meetup groups for every conceivable hobby and interest. Check out the ones that appeal to you!
94. Menswear departments/stores
Do you have a man in your life needing a gift? Ask the cute guy who’s also shopping for his opinion on that tie.
Whether it’s a carpool organized through your community or workplace, or a shared ride service, you never know who else might be hitching a ride that day.
96. Obstacle course type fitness events
Tough Mudders, Spartan Races and the like have huge male appeal - if you’re a fitness enthusiast (or are willing to train for an event), these are great places to meet men.
97. Happy hours
Choose your happy hours strategically - a college bar happy hour with $1 shots of tequila might or might not be your scene. If not, find one that caters to an older, after-work crowd.
98. The post office
Those lines are long! Go ahead and strike up a conversation with the man who looks interesting while you wait.
99. Live show tapings
If you’ve ever attended a live show taping, you know that there’s a lot of waiting around and the energy is high. The perfect combination to meet someone new!
Gyms are a classic pick-up spot, but the proliferation of smartphones keeps many people more focused on their screens during their workouts than anything else. Break the cycle! You can still make eye contact and smile while you’re listening to your favorite song.
101. Trivia nights
Chances are you have a local bar that hosts a weekly or a monthly trivia night. Come with a group or join an existing team and engage in a little friendly competition. Don’t forget to flirt!
(I originally posted this on The Huffington Post.)