The Best Places to Flirt and Score a Date

March 3, 2017

This is the second post in a series about Match’s 2016 Annual Singles Survey. You can find the first post here. 

library loveOne interesting part of the Match survey is not highlighted in their summary presentation. They asked respondents where they were most likely to flirt, and which of those locations actually led to dating someone.

Have you ever flirted with someone you met at your local ________?


Grocery Store31%
Coffee Shop18%
Sporting Event12%
Public Transit6%
Laundromat/Dry Cleaners5%

It’s not about alcohol or meat markets.

I expected bars and restaurants to top the list, where alcohol serves as a social lubricant. But I’m impressed by the amount of flirting going on at the supermarket! Maybe hunger is as important as thirst. 🙂

I’m surprised that the gym ranks sixth – although most women I know keep their heads down and don’t want to be ogled while they’re working out. Also, small studios have been replacing large gyms, and many of those tend to be heavily populated by one sex or the other.

Anwhere people gather is a good place to make eye contact.

Craiglist Missed Connections is proof that people do notice one another in public, even if they sometimes fail to flirt. Why not say good morning to that cute guy on the subway? I once got off the subway in New York and as I made my way up the stairs and onto the sidewalk a guy spoke to me. We walked for a bit and chatted, and he confessed that wasn’t even his stop. I was already with Mr. HUS by that time, but I had to give him credit. And he was cute. 😉

Being a regular helps.

Saying hello is much easier when you recognize someone in the same spot a few times. Whether you eat your lunch on a certain park bench, do your laundry at The Missing Sock, or work on your laptop at the same Starbucks, recognition is the first step to meeting someone new. It’s a way to un-miss a connection.

Go where your type hangs out.

If you’re a sports fan, you’ll feel more in your element at a ball game. (Just don’t spill your beer on his head.) If you’re a culture lover, try one of the many singles nights sponsored by art museums and galleries.

My personal favorite is the library. I absolute love libraries – the smell of books, the hush, the community hanging out there on a random afternoon. I usually work from there at least one day a week. I often see young people there too – I was occasionally tempted to ask some handsome young guy if he wanted to meet my daughter. (She would have been furious!)

Have you ever dated someone you met at your local ________?


Grocery Store8%
Coffee Shop6%
Sporting Event4%
Public Transit3%
Laundromat/Dry Cleaners2%

Bars have their place as a dating strategy.

Two-thirds of those who flirt with others in bars wind up dating them. That’s by far the best ratio of any locale. Restaurants come in second. Clearly being out at night with a drink in one’s hand livens up the mood and makes people feel more playful and more willing to take risks. The key is in choosing the right kind of venue, and filtering for the right kind of character.

Go shopping.

Seriously, you could do worse than lurk at the Whole Foods salad bar after work. Lots of action happening at the supermarket! The Mall is also a place where couples meet one another.

Being a regular still helps.

Whether it’s the gym or your local coffee shop, make a habit of being aware of your surroundings (and hot prospects) at your regular hangouts. It’s interesting that the gym ranks higher for dating than flirting – I think it reflects women not wanting to be cold approached, but being open to a conversation from someone they recognize (and find attractive).

Random encounters have potential.

A museum, NBA game, public transit or your local laundromat – you never know! Think of the charming “how we met” story you can tell your kids someday!


Keep in mind that these 5,500 respondents did not indicate a very high level of dating in general. That suggests that making a point to interact with attractive strangers has an outsized payoff. Flirt when you’re out and about – you have a good shot at scoring a date!

Do you go through life with blinders on, or do you see all of these spots as potential meeting places? What’s your best meet-cute story? Have you ever met someone in one of these locations? Have you ever had a Missed Connection and regretted not making something happen when you had the chance?

Let’s discuss!