I told myself I wasn’t going to go there – there being here – but the conversation has come up too many times to ignore. So by popular request, I am ashamed to introduce the most lame and clichéd series to hit this or any blog:
How Slash Where to Meet People to Date Slash Marry.
Somewhat proven advice that's not sure-fire or necessarily safe.
In other words – intentionally go without any other people to a bar and enjoy drinks sans the planned company of others. Sorry. The first time I told someone to do this they said, “what do you mean?!”
Here’s how and why it works:
- Pick a spot with a long bar you know will be fairly crowded with the type of people you like at a reasonable hour on a weeknight that people go out. I'd do Barrow Street Ale House. Thursday. 7pm. You get an after the happy hour crowd of people still drinking but not black out. So, the fun ones.
- Sit at the bar and order something respectable (read: not pink). Tip the bar tender well. If the first person who sidles up is a douche, you want the ‘tender in your corner. I can also pay off to strike up a convo with him/her. Could turn into group talk with the bar sitters. Huge move.
- Engage in some form of banal activity that prompts curiosity but not intimidation. I'd go pages of whatever side-writing I’m working on and a little notebook. I’m casually reading and jotting things down while maintaining a look of coy openness to the question, “what’s that you’re working on? Other options: weekly news magazine, movie script (www.imsdb.com), book with lots of pictures you just bought. Not options: sudoku, your blackberry, nailpolish.
- Set a time or drink limit and do not move. Your mantra: this is not weird. Think of the bar as a much-more-fun coffee shop. You would have no problem at all sitting alone at a Starbucks sipping coffee and reading the paper (if you would, get over it). The bar is like Starbucks but people get drunk, feel bold, and talk to each other. It does not matter why you are there alone and is not wrong that you are. But if someone wants to know what your story is, they can ask. Mission accomplished.
- You and your four best friends dressed up on a Friday night in a crowded, sweaty bar filled with a dime-a-dozen groups just like you is just bad odds. Dating is a numbers game. Put them in your favor.
- While this is not weird (keep saying it) people don’t traditionally do it thus when they do it's noted and interesting to people who respect confident, interesting people. These are the people you want to meet slash be.
- What do you have to lose? Right. We've been through this. The answer is: the cost of 1-3 beers, pride if you happen to run into an ex, and time if it doesn't work out. But remember - bars aren't just filled with people who might have date offers. They also feature people who offer jobs, apartments, or good advice. Hardly a waste.
Yes I realize this seems contrived. That’s because it is. There are lots of less contrived ways to meet people if you'd prefer. Popular examples include staring them down from across a party, winking at them from match.com, and telling your friends you really really want to meet them.