9 Ways To Meet Your Next Potential Date

It takes a pretty active personality to try and date. But what are the best ways to meet someone to date? As much as we'd like for things to happen to us with minimal effort on our part, the truth is we often don't meet anybody unless we take the initiative ourselves. Unfortunately, when you truly become serious about finding someone to date, binge-watching and nights spent staying in your pajamas become few and far between, traded in for the chance to go meet a prospective match. And even if you're not leaving your couch – hello, online dating! – putting yourself out there even figuratively is still a major component of dating.

According to a 2015 Mic survey of 2,373 18- to 34-year-olds, more people met their current significant others through mutual friends than through any other methods, including online dating. That was followed by meeting out in a social setting.

If you think about it, you could meet your next S.O. just about anywhere. You may roll your eyes at the couple who shares their meeting over mutually grabbing for the last box of strawberries at Whole Foods. And as cliché and gag-inducing as their story may sound to you, that can totally be you. The trick is to be open to meeting someone just about anywhere, especially if you're not up for the online dating/dating app thing. Striking a convo up with a stranger or finally taking that yoga class you got that coupon for may just be the key to your next long-lasting relationship. But to give you some ideas, here are ways you can meet someone to possibly date.

1. Accept Your Friend's Invitations

If your friend invites you to a party at their coworker's house filled with people you may not know, great! That's an awesome opportunity to expand your social reach, and maybe get a number. Point is, make the leap and get out of your comfort zone. I like spending Friday nights in with a pizza as much as the next woman, but it's good to expand your horizons and meet new people.

2. Give The Whole Dating App/Site Thing A Shot

If you have yet to try out a dating app or site, the time is now. Whether you want to put in no effort or find someone who likes bacon as much as you do, the options are endless. And, taking the time to be honest about what you want, and actually searching for it could land you a string of dates that will probably prove less painful than you thought. And wouldn't it be funny to tell your future grandchildren about your love at first swipe?

3. Join A Class

If you're not into picking your next S.O. out of a room of drunken strangers at the bar, joining a class is the next best thing. Taking the time to enjoy a hobby will help to introduce you to people who have similar interests. And if you think about it, being in a class where you're both mutually painting a horrendous imitation of a beach landscape makes it a lot easier to strike up a conversation than approaching a rando whose had one too many.

4. Try Singles Mixers

If you join a dating site, chances are they'll have some singles mixers in your area. But if dating sites really aren't your thing and you still prefer to meet people IRL, there are plenty of speed dating/singles events that you can go to and mingle.

Don't know where to start? Google is always a great source, or check if your favorite watering hole ever hosts events like this. It's a bit unconventional, and you need a glass of wine in hand and your best friends by your to survive the sheer awkwardness of a bunch of singles in one room trying to make some sort of connection, but it could totally pay off. At least you know you're all on the same page.

5. Reach Out On Social Media

Clarification: I'm not saying to use Facebook as a means to stalk people who you've never met before. What I mean is, try reaching out to old friends on social media because you never know where it may lead. Yes, this is very much the way your mom uses Facebook, but why not reconnect with friends from high school or college? Try reconnecting with your old high school crush. They may have seemed out of your league then, but so much has changed since then.

6. Do Something You Wouldn't Normally Do

This should be something safe, and within reason aka don't jump off a cliff because your next bae may just be your bungee jumping instructor (but if that's your thing, totally go for it). It's always a good idea to step out of your comfort zone. Maybe that thing you wouldn't normally do is joining that language class, or letting your coworker fix you up with her best friend, but why not try? If you finally start stepping outside of your boundaries, it could not only help you meet someone you wouldn't normally have met, it will also make you more comfortable with the situation of dating itself, which is quite frankly the epitome of popping your comfort bubble. It couldn't hurt.

7. Strike Up A Convo On Your Commute

Any frequenter of the New York City subway system knows that trying to talk to a stranger goes against the unspoken commuting code, but who the f*ck cares? If you're both squished together for the next six stops, and he/she is incredibly cute, why not chat for a second? As long as you're not barreling across a crowded train or bus to try and get a seat next to someone your speed, you're really not “disturbing the peace” in any sort of way. And if they're giving you the eye too, they'll probably thank you for breaking the perpetual silence. So get off your phone, and start keeping your eyes open on your next trip to work.

8. Let People Fix You Up

Sure, it all depends how comfortable you are with the prospect of a blind date. Your aunt or friend from college may swear up and down that cutie from accounting is your type, and a complete sweetheart, but only you know whether your aunt or friend from college is a good source for a potential date. She may be right (which I'm sure she will make a semi-drunken speech about when you guys finally tie the knot) or it could be an absolute disaster. It's completely up to you, but if you're open to the idea of blind dates, you may as well give it a shot.

9. Keep Your Eyes Open

They say that when you're a writer, you always have to keep your eyes open for a story. Well, when you're a dater, you should always be keeping your eyes open for a datee. As I said, you could meet someone pretty much anywhere — just use the context you're in to start a conversation. That cute person at the farmer's market? They definitely enjoyed artisanal jams like you do, so talk to them about it! The intriguing stranger at the library? Ask them what they're reading! Yes, it's intimidating at first to try and talk to someone you don't know, and could potentially get turned down by, but you'll never know unless you try. And the more you do it, the easier it gets.

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