It’s amazing how much high rents, job relocations, and personal finances can affect our social lives!
With so many people moving out of big expensive cities like New York, Los Angeles or San Francisco it’s hard to think about all the friends, family, and professional colleagues you might be leaving behind.
Especially if you’re a single person!
Staying in your current city and looking to get out and meet new people? NO SWEAT! The tips in this guide apply to you too.
In this guide, we’ll go over some tips for meeting new people. Depending on if your an introvert or extrovert it can be hard to get adjusted and start a new social life. If you’re really shy or not good naturally meeting new people, this can easily be overcome with practice and building up your confidence by taking action.
Check out this book if you need additional insight on building confidence, Fearless Social Confidence: Strategies to Conquer Insecurity
We’ll review where to meet people and the best types of places that encourage social interaction. This is especially important when you’re looking to make the first move. By meeting new people in a safe, responsible way, the possibilities for dating or hanging out with new friends is endless.
Other benefits of healthy social interaction include:
- Starting a relationship with that special someone
- Going on a date or hooking a friend up
- Growing your circle of friends
- Expanding your professional network
There are two ways to initiate social connections these days. In person, and you can meet new friends/people online with the many “meet me” and “online dating” apps that are out there. Such as Meetup.com or with online dating apps like Match.com, OkCupid, Tinder, Bumble, Happn, and Hinge.
Read on to discover the six tips to a more successful social life!
Tip #1: Learn How To Approach People
Approaching strangers and introducing yourself can be brutal. It takes a lot of confidence to approach a stranger and try to start a conversation! Worse, the more your approach fails, the less likely you’ll be to want to give it another try later.
Quick Tip: Approaching people doesn’t have to be brutal, but all social connections start with the approach. The sooner you master it, the better!
There are several techniques you can use to make introducing yourself a positive experience for both you and the strangers you approach.
Let’s review them below.
Don’t Overthink It
When you see someone you like in the bar or at a social activity, make your way over as soon as you get the inclination. Otherwise, you’ll give your mind the time and space to talk you out of it. Plus, you’ll get your nerves all worked up, and nothing makes an introduction more awkward than shaking hands with someone who has a head full of nervous thoughts. It will also show in your body language and when you speak.
Practice Makes Perfect
Very few people go to job interviews without first practicing answers to common questions. In an interview, you don’t want your response to the question, “Tell me about a time when you overcame a challenge,” to be “Umm. Let me think. Hmm.”
For the same reason, you’ll need to be prepared for introducing yourself to people. Practice small talk with friends—or alone if it’s too embarrassing. Think of questions you could ask people or interesting stories you could tell.
There are lots of advice videos on YouTube for how to make good small talk. I highly recommend you check them out. Just search for them!
Test the Waters
If you’re just not comfortable with the idea of introducing yourself to a complete stranger and dealing with the possible rejection, then test out their possible reception to you before you approach.
Do something simple like catching their eye across the room and smile or wave. If they smile or wave back—and look genuine doing it—it’s likely that they’re interested in having you approach.
On the other hand, if they ignore you, or if their response seems forced, they may not be interested in having you approach. There’s much more to human psychology for testing the waters with people. So much, in fact, some experts have seminars and sell books for it. Especially to people who are in sales. YouTube is a great resource to search for advice in this area too!
Be Sincere and Genuine
Some people try to earn interest when approaching people by showing off. They name-drop, show off their knowledge by correcting others or talk about how successful they’ve been in their careers. These approaches usually fail miserably because they’re ingenuine.
Everyone has flaws and exposing your flaws can endear people to you. Even the most beautiful person you’ve ever seen probably has several things he/she is extremely self-conscious about. When you approach someone, don’t try to be something you’re not. Don’t act like a salesperson either!
ALWAYS put your best foot forward, first impressions are everything!
Tip #2: Find Volunteer Opportunities
Volunteering your time has a variety of benefits: you get to help others who are in need, you get to meet new people, and you may even open the door to new career opportunities.
By volunteering some of your time to a worthwhile cause, you’ll have the opportunity to meet like-minded people and—hopefully—make new friends or even find a new date. You can also put the experience on your LinkedIn profile to attract employers and recruiters.
Did you know that 20% of managers acknowledge that they’ve hired candidates because of volunteering experience?
How do you find volunteer opportunities in your area? Let’s take a look at some easy ways to find opportunities.
The Non-Profit Organization’s Website
If you know the exact organization in your area that you’d like to volunteer for, you can usually find volunteering opportunities and information on the non-profit’s website. For example, the San Francisco SPCA has a “Get Involved” tab in its main navigation where interested volunteers can get more information about opportunities.
Most non-profits are largely dependent on volunteers, so they typically make it easy to find volunteering information on their websites. Look for words like “Get Involved,” “Volunteer,” or even “Donate,” to find more information.
VolunteerMatch is a volunteer opportunity database that promotes and aggregates a variety of opportunities in a location. Simply go to their site, enter your location, and specify an interest (or leave it blank to see all opportunities.) Then just view the available volunteering positions.
You can filter results by cause, local or virtual opportunities, and by age group. You can also get detailed information about the opportunity, such as:
- The number of hours for shifts
- The skills you’ll need
- Details about the organization
While some organizations will advertise volunteering opportunities in the local newspaper, other non-profits cannot justify the high cost of newspaper classifieds. This makes Craigslist an ideal place for advertising volunteer opportunities because posting the ad is free.
To find volunteer opportunities on Craigslist, head to the Craigslist homepage for your city/town, and look for the “volunteers” category under “community”:
Like everything on Craigslist, it’s important to use caution when providing personal information for posted volunteer opportunities. While many of the posts will be for legitimate opportunities, not even the volunteering section is without scammers.
A good practice might be to find an opportunity you’re interested in on Craigslist and then sign up to volunteer through the organization’s official website so you can evaluate the validity of the organization and opportunity.
Tip #3: How To Know If a Bar or Lounge Is a Good Place To Meet Someone
Bars and cocktail lounges get a bad rap when it comes to meeting people. Often, drinking establishments are frequented by people looking to engage in one-night stands and nothing more!
Also, impaired judgments get in the way of making a real connection with anyone. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve met and had an awesome conversation with. Then, the following day, they don’t even remember it!
Lounges, in my opinion, are much better than bars our loud dance clubs and can be great places to meet people.
Remember this simple rule! NOT every bar/club/lounge is right for meeting new people.
If you’re looking for a new date or to meet some new friends, there are specific ways to tell if the bar/club/lounge you’ve chosen for the night is great for meeting men or women.
Look For Signs Of A Great Place, they are:
It’s Not Too Loud To Have a Conversation
If you’re planning on meeting someone and making a connection beyond that night, you’re going to need to be able to have a conversation with them. This makes loud dancing clubs and bars with live music less ideal than smaller pool bars, outdoor lounges, and hole-in-the-wall joints. If you have to scream to order your drink, it’s probably not going to work out!
Men and Women Are Dancing
Some bars or nightclubs have areas that are quiet for talking and those that are louder for dancing. These can be great places to meet people because you can get together on the dance floor and have a good time, and then you can follow dancing up with conversation. If your not into dancing that’s OK too, just socialize in the areas that are off the dance floor. I would however highly encourage dancing; it’s a great way to break the ice with someone new.
The Setting Matches Your Interests
If you’re a hipster, you’re probably not going to have much luck meeting someone with similar interests at a nightclub. Likewise, if you’re painfully shy, you’ll have a hard time getting attention at a karaoke bar.
Many bars and lounges are known for the types of people they attract—some draw a literary crowd, some draw death metal enthusiasts, and some attract 21-year old college students. Look for one that you feel comfortable in, and you’ll likely find others who also feel comfortable in that environment. So keep an open mind!
It Has a Happy Hour
Happy hour can be a great time to meet people because people in relationships tend to go home after work, but singles like to go out and get drinks. People who are hanging out with coworkers may be relieved to talk to a stranger because they’re tired of talking to others who are complaining about work.
It’s typically a bad idea to bring up anything relating to work when you first meet someone. Especially anything negative. If someone asks you what you do for a living, give them a quick overview, then change the conversation to something more fun.
People You Like Follow The Establishment On Facebook
If you go to the bar/lounge/club’s page on Facebook, you’ll be able to see which people in your network of friends like it. If you have a large network of single friends and acquaintances, you can find out which bars they like.
Chances are, single people like bars on Facebook because they enjoy spending time there and find it easy to meet new people. You can also see if they bookmarked any favorite places on sites like Google Places or Yelp. But you’ll have to create a Yelp/Google account first and then reach out to them.
Tip #4: Online Dating Reviews: Top Sites for Men and Women
Online dating is big business, and it seems like every month there’s a new dating site released where you can go to look for the love of your life. In this section, we’re going to do a review of the various online dating sites.
The question is: are the new sites better for meeting people, or are you better off sticking with the more established sites? The answer really depends on what you’re looking for, and how long you’ve been in the online dating world.
Some of these sites—like Match—have hefty monthly fees, while others—like OKCupid or POF — are mostly free to use. These five sites are the longest-lasting and most established online dating sites, and the benefit to using these sites is their popularity. High traffic leads to more viewers of your profile, and more profiles to explore. It never hurts to try out these sites for 3 – 6 months but set your expectations low. For sites that charge money, I think Match is the best because they offer a Match Guarantee.
From what my readers tell me, the volume of web traffic does not tell the entire story. The following five newer dating site apps are the most popular for meeting men and women in just about every big city or town.
Happn: This dating app allows you to see profiles of people who you’ve crossed paths with over the course of the day. Having a drink at the bar and want to know if the hottie across the room is single? Check Happn and see if their profile shows up.
Coffee Meets Bagel: Rather than showing you hundreds of profiles of people with questionable compatibility, Coffee Meets Bagel shows you just a few relevant profiles each day. It’s a simple approach for those of you that don’t want to spend hours a day sorting through online dating profiles.
Tinder: Tinder really set the bar for online dating apps and was the first to have major success. It uses a swipe system where you can say “yes” or “no” to profiles to easily view profile pictures and decide whether to dig deeper or not instantly.
Bumble: Bumble is designed for women who are tired of receiving unwanted messages from men. It uses a swipe system like Tinder, but the major difference is that women have to send the first communication. Men cannot get in touch first.
Hinge: Hinge is unique and one of my favorite mobile dating apps. Its unique because it brands itself as the “Relationship App”. It gives you a one-page profile to quickly review, then you either “like” or “pass” on them. It’s totally worth checking out, and you’ll be able to do ten likes a day for free!
Finding the right online dating system for you may take time, and it’s good to explore all options. If you’re older or new to the dating scene, the dating sites with the most traffic may work best for you.
If you’re younger or are looking for a fresh take on online dating, you may have more success with the newer online dating sites or apps. Test out a few—they all have free trial options—and don’t be afraid to cancel and try something else if one site doesn’t work out in your favor.
Reddit users frequently will share their online experience with a particular dating site. As an example, check out the subreddit for OkCupid.
REMEMBER! A Good Photo Is A Must Have With Online Dating
Photo rating sites can be useful in helping you choose a more effective profile picture. This will encourage more responses and messages from users on your favorite online dating site.
For honest, constructive feedback, PhotoFeeler seems to be the best option. However, the best site for you will depend on your goal. If you just want to hear people talk about how attractive you are, sites like Reddit Rate Me and Rank My Photos may provide exactly what you’re looking for.
These rating sites can also help you with choosing photos for Social Media and even your LinkedIn!
Tip #5: Using Meetup.com to Socialize and Meet People
One great way to socialize and meet people is to join a group on Meetup.com. Meetup is a social networking site that allows organizers to form groups around interests, lifestyles, and career goals.
The groups are targeted to people in a specific city or area, and most offer regular meetings for members to gather and socialize, meet each other, or attend a presentation.
Joining a Meetup group and attending meetings is also an excellent way to network for business or career opportunities. Meetup groups in major cities usually have hundreds of groups that cater to different careers and business goals. For example, in the San Francisco Bay Area, you can join groups for data scientist-engineers, female coders, hiking, movies and many other types of interests.
Here are some important key points to take away from Meetups!
* Some groups will be centered around getting together to converse, network, and socialize. While others will be focused on learning and will feature classes, speakers, and presentations.
* While most Meetup events can offer networking opportunities, the social groups will provide more time and opportunity for meeting people. For the groups that are centered around presentations, many people will simply come to the session and leave afterward without spending very much time socializing.
* The type of group you join and events you attend should cater to your personality and interests. For example, if you’re more comfortable in large groups of people, choose events that have a lot of RSVPs. If you’re more introverted and enjoy one-on-one conversations, you may want to attend meetings with fewer RSVPs. Additionally, you’ll have the most luck finding new friends if you choose a group that’s very specific to your interests—you’ll instantly have something in common with everyone else!
* Meetup.com can certainly be used for dating, and all cities have many groups targeted to singles. However, keep in mind that Meetup.com isn’t designed to be a dating site, so don’t attend group meetings with the sole purpose of hitting on people. You probably won’t have a lot of luck! My best advice is to get to know people, then use good social interactions to see if there’s something more.
* Keep in mind that you may have to attend multiple meetups for multiple groups before you have any luck meeting someone you’re interested in. If you aren’t successful on your first try, don’t give up. Check out other groups and attend more events.
* A lot of people feel really anxious before attending their first Meetup.com event. You shouldn’t worry about being new to the group. Keep in mind that everyone in the group—even the organizer—is there because they want a safe (and public) way to meet new people.
* Most groups are very inviting to new members, and if you run across one that isn’t, it doesn’t mean that all Meetup groups are that way. Try out a variety of groups and meetings to expand your options and find the types of people and opportunities you’re looking for.
Tip #6: Best Activities for Meeting People All Year Long
When it’s freezing outside—or sweltering for that matter—it can be difficult to motivate yourself to leave the house. Of course, you could binge-watch Netflix every weekend until the weather is nicer, but you won’t meet anyone that way. And you probably won’t have much fun, either.
You need to get off the couch, be willing to brave the seasons, and make some new friends!
Winter can be particularly hard for meeting people because your friends have the same inclination to hibernate as you do, so it can be harder to talk your friends into hitting the town.
Sometimes the best way to meet people is by going somewhere alone, lots of people do it, myself included.
If you’re feeling inclined to make new friends or start a new relationship, here are some ways (places) you can meet people—regardless of the season.
Meeting People When It’s Warm Outside
In late spring, summer, and early fall, it can seem easier to meet people simply because everyone’s out and about in the world. You’ll find people relaxing on the beach, hiking in local parks, and dancing and drinking at concerts all over town.
While it’s possible to meet people when they’re just out in the world, approaching strangers that are hanging out with a group of friends can be intimidating and awkward.
The better way to meet people when it’s warm out is to participate in an interest-based activity. Consider a Meetup group and event like we talked about in the previous section. Especially, if you like riding bikes, hiking, rock climbing, or participating in sports. People are more likely to attend those events alone, and people who are alone will be looking for others to talk to.
As a bonus, you’ll have something in common instantly—whatever interest brought you both to the event.
If you own a dog, another good way to meet people is by taking your pooch to a local dog park. You and your pup can both make new friends this way because, again, you have something in common with everyone else there—you all love dogs.
Meeting People When It’s Cold Outside
It can seem harder to meet people in the winter when the freezing temperatures keep a lot of people holed up in their homes (except a warm place like Hawaii, Florida, or California.)
Plenty of people are willing to brave the cold to participate in indoor activities. If you’re tired of online dating and meeting people at bars when it’s cold out, then you’re in luck! There’s plenty of other ways to make new friends.
A lot of businesses and organizations have classes that start in late-fall or early winter. You can learn to draw, dance, cook or do just about anything you’re interested in learning.
These classes can be challenging to find, but if you’re willing to do some research online—check local business websites and Craigslist—you may be able to learn something new and make some new friends in the process.
People are likely to take classes alone, and you can talk to them about your shared interests that brought you both to the class. It’s similar to meeting people in college, but after you graduate.
Another great way to meet people when it’s cold out is to volunteer your time for a local charity. Homeless shelters often need more help when the weather is bad because more people stay there, and you can meet other kind-hearted individuals serving food at a soup kitchen or handing out blankets and coats.
The holidays also open a lot of new volunteer opportunities as organizations prepare gifts and food for the less fortunate to enjoy over the winter holidays. We discuss volunteering in more detail in an earlier section of this article.
I hope you had fun reading this guide. I have to admit, it was fun to write and it really makes you think just how important having a healthy social life is.
For some people, a lot of these points might seem obvious. For many, however, it’s something new for them to learn about.
As I’ve mentioned before in my other articles, having a prospering social life helps build connections for business, jobs, roommates, and for having fun.
All of which helps build up your overall financial well being!