How to Find a Great Guy

August 25, 2009

Singles Map

You’d like to meet someone new, someone who has real potential for a meaningful relationship. You know there are a million fish in the sea, but you keep coming across the same bottom feeders again and again. How do you meet a good guy?

I. Go where the good guys are.

Go west, young woman, go west!

Wow, is this a compelling graphic, or what? If I were twenty-something and single, I’d hightail it to LA. I know that’s not realistic for most of you, but even if you are not prepared to relocate, there is a strategic way to go about meeting new men.

It’s all about the touches.

Where are you spending your time? How much of your day is spent in places where you likely to meet someone new? The chances of your having a serious and rewarding relationship with the guy standing in front of you in line at the market are slim. The chances of  your having a serious and rewarding relationship with the guy standing next to you at the bar are practically non-existent. Go out, go all over the place. Maximize the number of human interactions you have each day. Roughly half of those will be with men.

Fly solo.

Leave your wingman at home sometimes. The best way to interact with anyone new is when you are alone and approachable. No one is going to make small talk with you on the subway if you’re gossiping with your girlfriend. Women who travel in packs do not attract men, they just intimidate them.

Be interesting.

If you like art, and you take the trouble to learn about it, and you go to a museum and stare at a painting you love, that is genuine. You never know who you will stand next to in front of that painting. If you don’t love art, are just on the make, and you pop into a gallery opening, you may attract someone, but you won’t have anything interesting to say. Pursue your own interests, and then pursue meeting people who share them.

Be strategic.

Be smart about where you spend your time. If you are a volunteer type of person, that’s great. But you are not going to meet many new people if you devote one night a week to being a Big Sister, admirable though that may be. You’re better off giving a weekend to Habitat for Humanity, where there will be hammers and paintbrushes. When I was single, I once agreed to do some volunteer work for the League of Women Voters. A worthy cause. I met a couple of dozen women, aged 40-60. If they’d set me up with their sons, that might have paid off, but as it was, I spent many hours of my time with women my mother’s age. Get involved with causes that draw interest in large numbers from both sexes.

Become a regular. Amanda Ford, in her article How to End a Dating Dry Spell, says that she has met men by going to her neighborhood Farmer’s Market every Sunday morning. If you go to the same coffee place every morning, pretty soon the crowd of regulars starts feeling a bit like a community. It’s much easier to approach someone if you’ve seen them around before.

II. Chat them up.

Be open.

A while back, the Frisky published The Four People I Fell in Love With Today. Amelia wrote that the best advice she’d ever received was to fall in love with four people every day. Before lunch one day, she fell for a coworker, Chicken Parm Dude, Matthew Fox and Barack Obama. I actually think celebrities should be off limits. You should have no problem finding four adorable guys to fall for right in your own life. OK, maybe you’re not going to marry Chicken Parm Dude, but there are many people with attractive qualities. Get used to looking for those. The point is, when you make an effort to communicate with others, sometimes you’ll find that there’s a spark. You’ll feel the vibe of chemistry. That kind of energy is a great starting point.

Be brave.

I recently suggested that you could make your life more interesting by doing something unexpected, like telling a guy he’s cute in the middle of the day. Steve Santagati, who wrote The MANual (and is the inspiration for the movie The Ugly Truth), tells this story:

“One of the sexiest things a woman ever did was come up to me, grab me by the front of my shirt like she was going to beat me up, and say, “You’re a biscuit.” Which in Capetown, South Africa, means you’re attractive. Then she walked away, giggling. Of course I went and found her.”

  • Take a chance. You have absolutely nothing to lose with a stranger.
  • Start conversations with people who intrigue you.
  • Smile at every single person you find attractive.

Be resilient.

Learn to shrug off rejection. It’s a numbers game. Amanda Ford says, “Embrace rejection. If you aren’t being rejected, you aren’t putting yourself out there enough.” I used to do a lot of acting, and the rule of thumb we always went by for auditions was 1 in 10. For every ten excellent auditions you give, expect to get one part. My acting teacher used to say, “You are not for all markets.” It’s the same principle at work here. Not everyone will love you, or even find you attractive. But if you don’t put yourself out there, no one will even have the opportunity to decide.

I’ll leave you with a list of examples of good places to meet new people. I hate cheesy, trite lists of places to meet men. I mean, really, I’m not going to the planetarium by myself. Nor am I signing up for a bachelor cooking class. Again, it’s all about being authentic, and pursuing your own interests.

Here are places where couples I know have actually met. Some of these were random encounters, but most occurred because the parties were regulars of certain spots or activities:

  • Running groups
  • Cycling clubs
  • Block parties
  • Social gatherings with friends, and friends of friends
  • Dog play group in park
  • Starbucks
  • Acting class
  • Concerts
  • Dry cleaners
  • Chorus

It’s really that simple. It’s all about the touches. You’ve got to get your hands on the ball as much as possible if you want to complete a pass.