How To Meet Men — And What To Say When You Do

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How To Get A Boyfriend: Where To Meet Men, Plus What To Say To Make Him Want You

In high school and college, it's much easier to meet people than it is later on. Once you enter the working world, the question of how to find love becomes a more complicated one to answer.

Where should you go to meet men?

While there are virtually endless ways and places where you can meet someone new, many women still see bars as the go-to place to look if they want to meet men. Unfortunately, however, that may not be the best choice. Too many people find themselves hooking up with someone who has drinking problems when they meet potential partners at bars.

And while singles events sound great, they often end up being frustrating and unpleasant experiences.

But if you really want to know how to get a boyfriend, there are some great places you may not have thought of yet, plus some smart ways to get "him" to notice you when you do meet.

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Before I delve further into the best ways for you to connect with new men, there are some safety guidelines you should follow.

Although you were probably taught not to talk to strangers as a child, if you went through life never talking to strangers, you would have a limited number of potential friends and potential people to date. So it's not surprising that most people are anxious about meeting new people. Anxiety is a healthy, normal emotion that in small doses helps keep us safe. It also helps us perform our best by keeping us on our toes!

The following of ways to meet men has a built-in safety mechanism: these activities all take place in public places and among groups of people.

If you arrive alone, make sure you have your own car or a safe way to get home on your own. It's not wise to be dependent on a stranger for a ride anywhere.

And although some of these activities may include the option of social drinking, none require you to drink alcohol. It's advisable to limit your alcohol consumption when meeting new men, as drinking could impair your judgment and leave you open to impulsive or dangerous behaviors.

Even if alcohol is served, restrict your consumption and refrain from going anywhere alone with anyone you meet there until you get to know them better.

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As a rule of thumb, pick activities from this list that interest you. The more you like the activity, the more likely you will meet men with interests similar to yours, which means, hopefully, you will find men there who will be compatible potential partners for you.

At some of these activities you may run into friends of your friends or friends of your family. At others, you'll be more likely to only meet strangers. Generally, gatherings with friends of your friends or family are better for meeting potential partners. This is because, if you already like someone, they'll probably know people you may like as well.

Without further ado, here are 21 great places to meet men if you want to find love (and get a boyfriend):

  1. Go stag to friends’ or family members’ weddings
  2. Introduce yourself to people at funerals, wakes or memorial services
  3. Mingle and talk to people at christenings, bar/bat mitzvahs, confirmations
  4. Take part in openings at museums or art galleries
  5. Take dance lessons
  6. Take sailing, white water rafting or SCUBA lessons
  7. Join group hikes
  8. Go on an organized cycling trip
  9. Attend a political rally
  10. Participate in a holiday event, supper, or other social event at a church, synagogue or other house of worship
  11. Enroll in college course or continuing education classes
  12. Attend friends’ or family members’ graduations or graduation parties
  13. Go to a coffee shop or restaurant that has live entertainment
  14. Get up and dance at music festivals or concerts
  15. Talk to men sitting next to you on airplanes
  16. Sign up for a tour
  17. Start volunteering for a cause
  18. Train with a group for a marathon to raise money for a cause you care about
  19. Go to a square or contra dance
  20. Start talking to men at your local health club or gym
  21. Participate in a book talk or book club at a library or book store

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Now that you have some potential places to go in order to meet someone new, it’s time to think about what to say when you when you find a guy you like.

It may seem difficult, but it's probably a lot easier than you think.

Here are four smart guidelines for talking to a man if you want him to want you.

1. Make them feel comfortable

First and foremost, remember everyone is somewhat anxious and uncomfortable meeting new people.

Do whatever you can to help others feel more comfortable, starting with smiling.

If you are at a wedding and don’t know many of the attendees, it’s OK to say something like, ”I love weddings, but it’s hard not knowing many people. My name is ________. I’m from Boston. I went to college with the bride. How are you connected to the newly married couple?”

2. Listen actively — then listen, listen and listen some more

Secondly, you may be surprised to learn that the best conversationalists are actually great listeners. Ask them something about their life, work and interests and then actively listen. If they mention something you enjoy or have a common interest in let them know. Ask an intelligent question and listen some more. If he works in a music company, find out what types of music he promotes or what facet of the industry he is involved in. By asking good questions and listening, you are letting him know you are paying attention, interested in him and what he does and that you have things in common. Ask. Listen. Ask. Listen. Repeat.

3. Let them know you are interested in similar activities

At a dance class or contra dance, ask how long they have been dancing. Ask where the best events take place. Find out who the best teachers are. You can ask what do they do when they are not dancing. You can find out if they live nearby or came from far away.

4. Be friendly with whomever you meet

Since none of the activities are singles events, you will not know if the men you meet are married or in a relationship, be careful not to be too forward or flirtatious. Just be yourself and be friendly. Even if they are attached, they have friends and family members who may be looking for partners. If they find you interesting, they may introduce you to them. The same is true when you meet and talk to women at these events, making new friends of either sex can lead to meeting new people who are also single and searching.

Now that you have a comprehensive list of activities and guidelines of what to say, it’s time to break out of your comfort zone and try a few activities.

Choose two or three. Go to at least one event a week. Talk to at least one or two new people at each event. If you don’t like an activity, try a different one or go to a different location for a similar activity. Learn from each outing and have fun in the process. It will get easier with practice!

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Dr. Barbara Lavi, PsyD is a licensed clinical psychologist, founder of ACTNowPsychotherapy and author of the bestselling book The Wake Up and Dream Challenge, which helps people reach for and accomplish their dreams. She sees clients in Weston, CT, and online.

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