On the Love Line – article in In Florida Magazine

It’s that time of year again, where we decide what we are going to do differently in the new year and what we’d like to improve. Many times, for singles, this means putting themselves out there more, in the hopes of meeting someone special and, perhaps, have their last first date ever. But many times, we don’t know how to go about doing it or are stuck in a rut. So to help you out, here are five great ways to meet new people.

Meet-up or Other Social Groups //

For those of you that don’t know about Meetup.com, it’s a place to find groups with similar interests in any selected location radius. No matter what it is that you like doing, there are others like you. There is everything in your area from Dragon Boat racing meet ups, women’s book club on the beach, pet lovers, poker players, and boaters. There are at least 300 different groups within a 25-mile radius of Jupiter. Get out there and meet some like-minded people!

Online //

I know that dating or meeting others online can get a bad rap sometimes, but it’s honestly a great way to connect with people that you might not connect with otherwise. You can try the typical dating websites like Match or JDate, which have millions of members. There are also plenty of niche dating sites like OurTime.com (dating over 50), CyclingSingles.com (bikes), or VeggieDate.com (for the vegetarians). Yes, you’ll meet some creeps or idiots, same as you would anywhere, but it gives you the advantage of being able to link people whose paths you wouldn’t normally cross. Try it, you never know where it might lead!

Friends & Family //

We hear this one all the time, but rarely do we actually utilize it the best way possible. Our friends and family are our best cheerleaders. They talk us up the best, and hide the worst. Also, just having another person rooting for you is like them meeting someone who is already vetted. Someone likes this person a lot, so let me give them a chance. Ask your friends and family directly. “Hey, I am hoping to meet more people in the new year. Do you have anyone that you think I’d get along with? If not, keep an eye out.” Then go with your friends, joining them on what they do and you’ll meet people you haven’t come across before.

Going Out Solo //

Personally, I love to go out solo. You can go anywhere you want and do anything you want. Plus, it kind of forces you to go interact with people as you don’t have a safety buffer of your friend to talk to. One of the things that I would do is to bring a book or crossword puzzle or cross stitch (yes, I cross stitch!) to a bar or restaurant or beach or whatnot. I would be happily reading or filling out my crossword when others would see me and ask about the book or other questions. Likewise, if you’re doing a crossword puzzle, it gives you a great reason to ask that cute stranger next to you, “Do you know what a 4-letter word for ‘strong attraction’ is?”

Volunteer //

Volunteering is a great way to meet good people. If you meet someone while volunteering, you already know a lot about them. They are selfless, they understand sacrifice, they want to make the world better, etc. These are great characteristics! Depending on what your own interests are, there are lots of opportunities around. Personally, I like to build things, so I like Habitat for Humanity. If you like to cook, I’m sure local places of worship will be holding meals for the unfortunate. Even if you are great at bookkeeping, most organizations NEED someone to help them with the books. Whatever your skill set, there are a plethora of ways to help in your community.

While ultimately meeting that special someone involves a little bit of luck, I have two phrases that I remember. “Luck favors the prepared mind,” and “Luck is the residue of design.” Basically, if you are out there, in play, bumping off all the other people out there, luck has a much better chance of finding you. And you never know, by this time next year, you may be telling your friends over drinks your own personal meet-cute!

Originally published in – InFlorida Magazine

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