Peaceful dumplings know how to savor solitude–what’s more elegant than enjoying one’s own company? Having said that, summer is the prime time for striking up a new romance. With warmer weather and balmy nights, there stirs a sense of adventure, an openness of heart, and yearning for rambling conversations on someone else’s terrace while looking up at the stars a la Before Sunrise.
Now, I don’t want to date myself by saying this, but don’t try Tinder or Grouper unless you feel very, very compelled. If you already use them, no judgment–but think about how little work guys have to do to find you on Tinder. Whether it’s love or plain lust you’re looking for, it will be better when there is more work and effort involved. And my friends’ experiences with Grouper have ranged from disastrous to lukewarm (getting stuck with one boring date is bad enough; imagine how much worse when it’s him and his 2 friends).
Here are 6 ways to meet someone this summer that do not involve rating people on your iPhone.
1. Rooftop bars
Meeting someone at a bar is the American way. Nonetheless, many girl friends have told me that they find it impossible to meet guys at bars. To that my answer is always, where are you going? Going to a dive bar (hipster or non-hipster) is not going to cut it. This includes any establishment that is relaxed enough that men can wear T-shirts and play pool in groups. People go to dive bars to hang out with friends, not strike up intriguing conversations with mysterious strangers. Even if you don’t think you’ll fit in at a trendy rooftop bar in the swanky part of town, try it at least once. You will likely meet at least one other down-to-earth, lovably scruffy type who also never ever goes to Meatpacking.
2. Kickball / Softball / Soccer leagues
In many cities, there are co-ed sports leagues that meet once or twice a week for games. The benefits of this option are many fold: 1) you get intense, fun exercise outdoors, 2) anyone you meet will also be athletic and likely fun-loving, and 3) it’s so easy to talk to your teammate who saved your bad pass when you’re all drinking after a game. There are expectations for romance but very low pressure, and if anything you’ll make friends.
3. Book clubs
Maybe it’s just me, but I know at least 5 friends who belong to one or more book clubs. If the bar scene or the soccer field isn’t really your thing, try joining a book club. You may end up meeting someone who appreciates Nabokov as much as you do–how sexy is that?
4. Running groups
One of my most charmingly married friends met her husband through a running group. Opportunities abound for striking up conversations during warm-ups, long runs, cool-downs, etc. Don’t be afraid to compliment a cutie on his speed and ask for pointers about your stride–or better yet, pair up for a quad stretch! 🙂
In many cities, museums open late on certain evenings or host special social hours for young patrons. For instance, check out these dance parties at the American Museum of Natural History (complete with DJ and 21+ only; next one is on June 20). Here is a late night Summer Block Party at the Dallas Museum of Art (free and until midnight; June 20). You’ll be running into sophisticated but not stuffy art lovers.
Similar to #5–many cities host First Thursdays or similar art gallery walks with free wine and of course, art gazing. In NY area, there is of course Dumbo First Thursday–it’s very see-and-be-seen, but also laid back and mellow. Start a conversation over unusual art pieces (“Do you know if this is just a trash can or an installation piece??”), then grab some white wine and stroll along the Brooklyn Bridge Park, taking in the breeze and the magnificent view of Manhattan.
Did I miss anything, guys? What do you think about these ideas? Share!
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Photo: wakingphotolife via Flickr