This is article #38 to be published on the Get The Guy blog from my brother Stephen. Steve helped co-write the Get The Guy book and is a wealth of knowledge on dating and relationships.
(Photo: Matthias Ripp)
Should you sign up to online dating to meet more men? What about singles events? Would you try speed dating?
I have a rule when it comes to these things: If it doesn’t sound fun, don’t bother.
Or to put it another way: Any action you take for your love life should also be something that also benefits your whole life.
So if huddling in a bar one afternoon to meet fifty people in rapid-fire succession sounds fun (and there’s no reason why it can’t be), go ahead. Find a cool, open-minded friend and make a game of it together.
But, if the idea of sitting through fifty games of musical chairs with strangers and exchanging trivial biographical résumés sounds like your vision of the eighth circle of hell, or is something you just feel have to do as a single person, chances are you won’t get much out of it.
Dating is one of those things that depends a great deal on your mindset. What your gut tells you matters. If nightclubs aren’t your thing and feel like a depressing waste of time, don’t trawl bars just to be out on the town.
The rule when it comes to meeting guys from now on should be as follows: either you meet guys while doing something fun, or find a way to make meeting guys fun.
Those are your two options.
But fun doesn’t have to mean it can’t challenge you, or that it won’t feel a little unusual at first (especially if you’re not used to meeting guys). Whether easy or difficult though, it’s imperative you find a way of making the experience something that excites you.
Because one thing is for sure: Whether it’s a diet, exercise, a career that demands more waking hours than is healthy, or meeting guys, if you don’t find a way to enjoy the process and make it fun, it’s guaranteed that you’ll eventually give up on it (or succumb to despair and severe mental fatigue!).
Why Your Love Life Isn’t Like The Economy
So how should you go about finding guys?
A big mistake I see many women make is treating their love life as though it were separate chunk of your life that exists in isolation to everything else they do. They talk about their love life as though it were an abstract object. There is their “life”, and then there is their “LOVE LIFE”. It’s as though their love life is like the weather, or the economy – something that exists in separation from one’s daily activity and which can only be observed and occasionally worried about, always affecting one’s life but never really under our control.
I think this has something with Matt talks about the stages of relationships (i.e. Find The Guy, Attract The Guy, Keep The Guy), people tend to have the most despair with the “Find” part. It sounds laborious, awkward, repetitive – it’s either too much like hard work, or feels like something completely out of out hands.
We tend to think the problem of a lack of readily available guys is like the weather and the economy; when things are tough you just have to buy an umbrella and keep sheltered, or take stock in the recession and pray for more abundant days.
But the state of your love life isn’t like the weather, whose seasons come and go no matter what you do. Your love life is more like the state of a new house you just moved into.
You can’t fix it all at once, but you can find ways every day to improve it piece-by-piece until it gets better and better, and eventually you have an ideal space for you and someone else to live in (though maintenance is still required afterwards of course!)
And like building the new house, it can either be a drudgery, or it can be this enticing, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be creative and enjoy every minute of the process.
The First Brick – Meeting Guys The Easy Way
Clearly, we have to begin at the beginning: meeting guys in your everyday life.
Now I’m not in any way against singles events, Tindr, online dating, or any other method of bringing more single guys to your attention. These are all good things, and I’m actually a strong champion of using all technological forms of communication to bring us one step closer to potentially exciting friends, lovers, or life partners.
But if you’re not also meeting guys in your everyday life, you are losing an enormous pool of guys that are right in front of you for no good reason. To lose the ability to make face-to-face introductions is like saying that now you’ve bought a WiiFit you no longer need to exercise outside, or play sport, or go to the gym. You could just use stay in and get fit in front of your TV, but you’re also missing out on so many other exciting, effective ways to achieve the same goal.
When you save all of your love life activity for one night a month when you go to a singles event, or you mistake a lonely evening of swiping on Tindr for having a social life, you end up missing out on the 30 other potential days in the week to meet and interact, flirt, chat, joke and arrange a date with the myriad of guys whose path you cross every single day.
See, most people’s problem isn’t that they lack proximity to good potential partners, it’s that they don’t take the opportunities in front of them.
If I’m single and not meeting anyone, it’s usually because I’m either (a) not getting out of the house enough and being a moody shut-in, (b) I’m not making the activities I enjoy sociable enough, or (c) I’m not taking enough small risks when I meet people in my everyday life (i.e. not flirting, not asking for a phone number, not making an effort to joke or even say ‘hi’ to someone I want to meet).
As an example of point (c), I remember walking down a hotel corridor while on holiday with a friend and seeing a girl walking past us in the opposite direction. Five seconds after we passed, the girl turned around and said: “Where are you guys headed tonight?”
It was so casual and unassuming that it felt like a natural question (plus it helped that we were in that ‘hotel holiday vibe’ where it’s acceptable to talk to other guests for no reason). Even though this woman could have walked right passed us, we ended up exchanging phone numbers and hanging out later that evening.
In fact, hotels are a great example of the opportunities around us all the time. In a hotel, you could spend the entire holiday alone nestled on a sun lounger shielded behind the twin barriers of a new paperback and your Dior sunglasses, or you can join a mass game of volleyball in the pool and meet ten new people to hang out with in one night. This is a choice we also face every single day, albeit in more subtle forms.
There’s a saying from the movie Ferris Bueller: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you can miss it”.
This is how I think most people are when it comes to their daily approach to finding love. They miss all the little opportunities, all the crucial chances to attract new people into their world – they let people disappear, telling themselves that at some later date they’ll take the risk they could have taken today.
But I know, it sounds easier said than done, right?
It’s easy to wax lyrical about meeting men on-the-fly until you actually have to start a conversation. That’s one way to look at it. But truthfully, this gets easier the more you do it. It’s incredible how just taking even 10% more risk in your daily life can bring you more fun and more experiences in a single month than most people have in a year.
What you’ll start finding is that whether interactions go the way you want them to or not, you’ll feel so much better for being the kind of person who can approach anyone (and your friends will think you have some kind of superpower!).
Just to recap a few important pieces of advice:
(1) Don’t do things you hate just to meet people – Chances are, if you’re feeling shitty, it’s going to be noticeable. And you’ll start to resent your love life. Either find a way to make it fun (i.e. because you’re going to learn about yourself, practice conversation, or because you can make it a game, or because you’re interested in other people), or don’t bother.
(2) Start conversations not because you have to, but because life becomes infinitely more fun when you do.
(3) Find a way to make the things you do love more sociable – This is the smartest and most enjoyable way to meet more like-minded people. It’s all well and good to follow your passions, but make sure you are finding ways to meet people who share them. This way, it’s win-win. You do something you love and meet others who love it too. If you struggle to make things more sociable, set yourself the challenge of talking to three new people everyday and then you’ll have to find a way to be in proximity to other people.
(4) Go for Low-Risk, Low-Investment conversation – make lots of small, low-pressure conversations everywhere and it will feel much easier to talk to strangers (e.g. “Which coffee is good here?” “Any books you would recommend?” “Where’s fun to go out in this part of town?”).
(5) Find friends who encourage your risk-taking side.
(6) Hotels are fun places if you jump in the pool now and then (or ask a question to the guys walking through the corridor).
There’s no reason why this should feel like a slog. This isn’t so much about trying harder as it is waking up to the opportunities that exist in every single day.
I’m certainly not saying women have to do all the work in meeting men. I’m saying that once you make finding the guy fun, it won’t feel like work at all.
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43 Replies to “The Smarter Way To Meet Guys (And Actually Enjoy It)”
I don’t have the greatest success really connecting with someone I just met, unless I’m at an event that I’m really passionate about. That said, it’s easier to meet women friends. When you’re friendly with guys you don’t know there is always this undercurrent. They’re either worried your really like them and they aren’t turned on by you, or they really have romantic interest in you and you’re just being friendly.
For me it’s just too early for me to be in a flirty place. Besides, if I’m at something to improve my life, I’m really into that topic. Hard for me to also put my focus on people (not just men) around me.
After two years of gradually becoming more friendly in everyday encounters, I’m going to focus on fun classes that I want to take. I just open up more and am more myself the second or third time I meet someone. I’m also more comfortable flirting then too. I know I miss some opportunities but that’s okay. Like you say, it has to be fun, not work.
But I did try it for two years! It’s okay and it’s nice to be nice to men and talk to them. I still do it. I smile more and don’t hesitate to ask cute men to reach things on high shelves at the supermarket. :-) But that sort of thing is just not a primary way for me to meet men. But that’s just me.
A good idea, enlisting cute men, you don’t want to go to those high shelves. I reached for the free range, organic, with the skin on, vastly more expensive chicken, on the top shelf of the supermarket only for the shelf to collapse. The cute guy shopping on the opposite side of the aisle was highly amused, but didn’t rush to my rescue. Now there’s a crazy test! As the chicken was cascading around me I was glad I’d just been to see my friend on the Chanel counter. If I was going to be buried in chicken I was at least looking and smelling beautiful!
Good luck finding a lovely man, like our adviser Stephen. Now there was a lucky girl who saw her chance and took it. Fair play!
Chicken cascading around you! LOL. Sometimes the cute guys (meaning cute to me, not always traditionally cute) are clueless. Sometimes guys are in another headspace despite the fact that I grew up thinking that guys thought about meeting women all. The. Time. But maybe not among the chicken!
Even if they are clueless, I’ve never had a man say no. Never. And even if it there are no sparks, I can see him preen a bit and feel manly for reaching the for the jam or something.
Thanks for that story, Kathryn! And be careful out there! :-)
Sounds like you’re on the right track A. Just keep finding ways to broaden out the social circle more and inject a hint of playfulness and flirtation in those first conversations. Most guys respond well to flirting as long as you don’t telegraph some obvious romantic interest or overly forward behaviour and scare him off.
I’ve got playful down. Men and I have a lot of fun. The flirty? Eh. It’s hard if I’m not really in an attraction headspace. I know some people are all the time, anywhere. I’m not. It’s either on or off. Or down low. But I’m learning to chill about it. If an attraction is meant to be, it’ll get there. If not, que sera, sera.
I’m having much more fun not trying to meet men and just do fun stuff and I hope that will work–eventually. :-)
“When you’re friendly with guys you don’t know there is always this undercurrent. They’re either worried your really like them and they aren’t turned on by you, or they really have romantic interest in you and you’re just being friendly.”
Totally agree!! There is always some sexual/gender politics going on when you meet men naturally or in a friendly space. Not to forget the inherent confusion that comes–was he flirting, was he not? Is he interested, is he not? Is he taken, is he not? was this a date or just “hanging out”. There are missed connections and the hints that failed to be taken and all sorts of games.
On the contrary, online dating makes it clear from the start that you’re here to DATE and the guy is single–although exceptions do occur. You can also screen guys beforehand–“non-smokers, occasional drinkers”..though of course people can lie.
But the good thing about this method is that you don’t get caught up in all this because you’re so busy enjoying yourself and meeting more and more new people–so it doesn’t matter.
It is *their* problem if they are confused or worried that you like them too much or if they like you more than a friend.
Detachment from results–that is what it brings you. No wonder people often say you will meet the One when you are not looking. Of course they don’t mean when you are not going out and doing nothing–just not overly focused on the results–which are rarely what you expect them to be.
Then eventually you could meet a straight- shooter who will rock your world.
Sometimes I believe repeated small interactions with people , especially while doing something fun can engender affection and perhaps romantic interest. We often believe or assume that romance is all about novelty and excitement and familiarity breeds contempt.
But I remember reading a research article on how these men felt romantic interest towards a woman when they saw her while crossing a dangerous bridge–the rush of excitement from the danger transferred over to feelings of infatuation because both were engaging similar parts of the brain and the body’s system (adrenaline).
Another study showed that we also tend to find people we see on a daily basis more and more attractive and likable over time. So familiarity can in fact breed love. Not to forget it helps build connections gradually and strengthens bonding.
So there is definitely something there!
The only problem is when someone doesn’t feel like socializing much or doesn’t have that many opportunities. Natural recluses and introverts have it a little tougher.
I agree with everything you said here, and generally with everything you and Matt say about meeting men in your book. When I read it, I was in San Francisco and could apply this advice and do a lot of small talk with anyone. It made me feel proud and great!
But then… I came back to Paris, where I live, and it doesn’t seem I can do anything like it here. I love this city but if you feel like talking to a stranger here, people will almost think you have a mental issue.
Like you said, I don’t want to do stuff I don’t like JUST to meet men, and so it includes going to nightclubs and try all these fake ways to meet people (like Tindr etc).
And about my passions: what I like to do most is singing and I never meet any straight men in my choir / musical classes… AN unfortunately I can’t afford to take other classes in other disciplines.
It might sound pessimistic but I feel like I’m out of ideas…
I think you can make things like Tindr fun if you just use them casually – the same with online dating. I find people in any city often say it’s difficult (i.e. London, New York) but the truth is no city is more difficult than any other. The most important thing is to find friends you enjoy going out with who will encourage your more sociable side – I’m not crazy about nightclubs but if I go with a great group of fun friends I always enjoy it because of the company.
All best Chloe,
“Any action you take for your love life should also be something that also benefits your whole life.” I couldn’t agree more . This is great philosophy .I’ve learned alot from you and still.
Thank you mr philosopher ;-)
THANK YOU STEPHEN .
Thanks Kooky, really appreciate it!
simply put….Love the journey! ;-)
Excellently put Marla! ;) x
Helpful as Always!Thanks
First of all tank you, I’m from Germany and i have found you on youtube and I need to tell you that you are great (and you look really good :) ). I always have this positve feeling when i hear or read stuff from you it makes me always feel better and I’m like: “Yeah I can do this”.
And sometimes when im on a date i remember some stuff from you and it work most of the time so you make my crazy love and dating life a lot easier.
Glad you enjoy our material! I’ll pass on the lovely words to Matt.
Lovely of you to say anon :) x
Thank you for the advice, Stephen! Great article…just what I needed to read. Up until not too long ago, I was doing things and going places I didn’t like only because I thought it would be better than not going out at all. My ulterior motive was always looking to meet a guy (yes, I would and still have a good time with my friends but deep down I always thinking about meeting someone). It definitely has been disappointing, and I don’t find going out drinking fun anymore. However my luck meeting SINGLE men has not been so great. I am a very pretty, confident, fun, and successful woman and have no problems being social and meeting people. But, I do live in a very sleazy city (Miami) and I just haven’t found the right man yet and am frankly tired of meeting men who aren’t available or just do not want to settle down. However,I’m moving to Madrid for work in a couple of weeks,so I hope to have more luck across the pond in that department and finally find the right guy for me ;) I guess I just shouldn’t give up, right?
I totally agree with you when it comes to integrating your love life into your everyday routine and making it more enjoyable. Since I picked up the Get The Guy book and starting reading your articles, I have made it my goal to have more conversations everywhere I go. Today you will find me talking to everyone while shopping, picking up groceries, coffee shops, concerts, and etc. A year ago that was not the case. When I first started approaching men with fun and flirty conversations I remembered being terrified and afraid to make a mistake. I found it hard to get started where I was so focused on income of the conversation, and I made too much like a chore. One year later I am a totally different person. Now I focus on making it a fun experience and adding value to people’s lives.
Congratulations on your 38th article for Get The Guy website. Before you know it, you will be writing your 50th article. I also read your book review on the book, “Zero to One” Very impressive!
Keep up good work
LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS!! This has come at a time when I’m so bored with online dating and generally getting fed up of “finding someone”. I can’t tell you how “forced” it feels. So thank you!
Personally, I would prefer to meet people more organically.
All the guys I have dated in the past, I have met in the most organic, natural, every-day, common ways. Online and other stilted forms of dating are just simply not working for me. Actually they feel like a lot of “work” rather that workable. Sure, there can be exceptions. There is no harm in keeping options such as online dating open but when it is the only way, it can get very very tiresome and feel unnatural.
My personal wish is to meet someone by happenstance or in some crazy way. I once went on a date with a guy whom I sat next to on a long flight. We chatted throughout the flight and then he asked me to dinner. We did not keep in touch but I can’t tell you how much fun it was. I love making friends while traveling or getting caught in some funny/bizarre circumstances. Why not a romantic partner?
You’re right. Now I will only do things that I find fun and be generally sociable. That way meeting guys doesn’t become an agenda in itself–which just puts unnecessary pressure. Hopefully, that will brighten things up a little. And even if I don’t meet anybody–which is what happens 99% of the time, I still have fun and make new friends–which happens 100% of the time.
The best things about Matthew’s and your approach is the focus is on getting a solid social life going in general and having fun. The romance being a by product of it rather than a goal in itself. This way, even when the romance goes out of the window, you still have a rocking social life where there are endless opportunities for many kinds of things in addition to new relationships and friendships.
Now, off to my new photography class!
This blog post is truly amazing! I have been putting these practices into life and met more men. However, I have also been accused by some people as a flirt or slut :/ which upsets me a bit
I really think this is easier said than done, at least for me…literally since my break up, i’ve joined a gym, done a 6 month course and am now taking painting and art classes and i can tell you, all the little conversations have got me nowhere. Well not nowhere, i made one cool friend, and alot of people to joke around with but none have asked me out and its mostly just interaction limited to the location.
so its fun while you are there, but nothing is established no real friendship or date.
Also i saw someone i thought was nice come in and spoke to the trainer and left. while he was talking i kept thinking, what non desperate way would Matt or Steve use to start a conversation, and I came up with nothing.
So steve it really is becoming a chore sigh….lol
but keep up the good work, i love reading your blogs!
I remember Matt saying that you should ask for help with something…
Like unscrewing the lid off of a new waterbottle, or how to put weightdisks on the weightpole, or how to lower the ab-workout-thing (That one I really do need help with!). Maybe something more complicated you can talk about, like how to get the crosstrainer to count calories or something… you know they have those programs and stuff.
I do this all the time. Start conversations with people, joke etc. It generally improves sociability but no dates. I guess the key is to enjoy it for its own sake and forget about dates altogether. It is just a way for leaving the door open–the one in a million chance that some stranger will ask you out.
Other options like online dating etc. are equally exhausting and even more boring because you don’t really *learn* anything from online dating…unlike a dance/painting class.
Hello Stephen, thank you for this article!
Well, I really like this idea to approach a guy casually. I started going to the gym again and after reading your article, felt like maybe I can try some of your tips there haha. So yesterday I saw a guy in that gym and I decided that next time whenever I see him I will just say hi. Seems like nothing and so simple but let’s see if he picks up a handkerchief :D … Hi plus smile – that’s my plan! Anyway, I have to say that after Matt’s videos and yours articles I feel like my single life is quite cool :D I’m not afraid to do cool stuff alone, get out of my comfort zone and just enjoy my time! I still have a problem with socializing but I think it’s more the culture thing… I’m Polish and Slavic people in general are not used to small talks, casual talks and smiling. We are strangers to strangers. Although when it comes to real friends, we are very true-blue. So that’s the thing :)
So thanks again, brothers!
All the best and lots lots of love,
Thanks Maria! Let me know how it goes at the gym! I think that culture doesn’t make the difference everyone believes it does. We English often perceive ourselves as unreceptive to conversation with strangers but when you approach people in the UK they are usually surprisingly friendly and receptive. I think in those cultures often you can have an advantage because it’s more unique for someone to approach out of the blue.
Stephen, it is a CHALLENGE to meet a man at 57 years old.
At the seminar, I asked Matthew and he told me to try rock climbing, boxing and to go there regularly to meet their friends. I’ve always introduced myself to men and love to make small talk with anyone, anywhere.
If, by chance, I see a man that’s attractive around my age, I deliberately will begin speaking with him. And find out he’s married. It truly is like finding a needle in a haystack. I could embrace rock climbing classes and a climb a little bit up the mountain;) I woud love to learn self defense like Karate, but, boxing appears to be the in thing for men. (Please know; I value my teeth and face.) Though it may sound cliche’, I look much younger than my age, have worked out since high school, practice yogo and meditation, make low budget movies (love to write), love art museums, etc. Laughing, playing and having fun are paramount!!! Can you please respond to my question: What options do you suggest for a woman my age? Thank you kindly for your response in advance!!!
Haven’t you answered your own question..?
>>practice yogo and meditation, make low budget movies (love to write), love art museums, etc. Laughing, playing and having fun are paramount!!!
So aren’t there yoga classes and weekend retreats where men go to? Or a similar class where you meet different folks? eg MeetUp.com has loads of events on, you’re bound to find something that matches your laughing, playing, having fun criteria. Movie groups, the arts, photography, entrepreneurship, travel, languages, depending on how big your city is, there’s lots of things on…
Dear Stephen, thank you for your tips. But I do have a serious problem and want to encourage you to address this topic. I really love my boyfriend, we are very, very happy, but the only problem is, I don’t really love his ‘social environment’. i’m a life lover, I am successful and career driven, but most of his (old) friends and his brothers don’t even have a job, they keep sitting around at home being lazy, smoking weed, playing computer games, watching soccer, they don’t have girlfriends… My friends are the complete opposite. I’m sorry to say that, but most of his friends are just not very inspiring. My boyfriend does this things sometimes, too, when he is hanging around with his friends, but he is also very interested in different things, he is a life lover as well, he has a job and is outgoing, he gets me, he’s just a great guy. So most of the time, we meet with my friends, because most of his friends are not very outgoing. So my question is, is there a real chance for a long term relationship with him? I’m worried because of the different backgrounds. Thank you for your help
Or maybe one of you ladies can help me :)
I don’t think it matters what his friends are like, nor what he does with his friends in his spare time (unless you have a particular problem with weed or video games, which I appreciate plenty of people do!). Seriously though, as long as this stuff doesn’t affect your relationship with him, and as long as it doesn’t drag him down to an unacceptable level (i.e. HE becomes lazy, loses his drive, I don’t think you have to worry. Many guys have friends who are nothing like them – and it’s no big deal if he likes to hang out with these guys to blow off steam. Just don’t pressure him and keep being a positive influence – if he’s truly driven, he’ll want to fight to stay at your level rather than his friends.
Hope that helps,
So, the advice is great as usual, but I feel like its impossible to make it happen in practice – I have no issue to talk to people I dont know, I never did. Yet that small talk and stuff barely gets me anywhere. I meet very few single men and I don’t really know where to go to meet more of those with whom we would share a similar “culture of being”.
It looks like anywhere I go its mostly 20something people or…women of my age (I’m 31) (and its not like I go to book clubs or yoga classes). Where did all the 30someting single men vanish? I do start to feel hopeless at times.
There are thirty something single guys EVERYWHERE, believe me. Contrary to popular belief, there isn’t a sudden drought of single people post-30. The only thing I can say is to perhaps gravitate towards other thirty year olds who share your values, and get to know their friends (which more than likely contain single guys). Using your broader social circle to get dates is one of the most effective ways I know of finding the guys you like.
Thanks for this article! Im from little ol’ New Zealand.. I am heading out
this weekend so will see how this all goes, after not venturing out for months after major knee surgery! Wish me luuuuck
Dangit, Stephen, this picture! It caught my eye because it says everything, EVERYTHING for me. International travel is one of my greatest passions in life. I have got to find a way to take this show on the road!
Warm greetings from Russia, St-Petersburg! Thank you for the great insight and fresh approach. Promis I’ll give it a good honest try to see how it works in frames of mentality and culture.
Hey Stephen! I read this article on my way to work this morning, and really enjoyed it. But after looking around and hearing stories from friends in the past year, I realized that sometimes it’s all about ‘fate’. What do I mean by that? Have you ever noticed that some people are just luckier in one area/aspect of life than others? It is not that they just do better on that or they want that more than anyone else does. They are simply lucky in that aspect! Use me as an example, I noticed that I am always better with school and job than romantic relationships. For the former, I do work very hard but at the same time, opportunities happen to always come my way. But with the latter, I worked on it too by taking chances with guys I was interested in, but it never turned out well – the guys I was attracted to were either taken or not ready for a relationship. Have you ever wanted something so bad but instead of you getting it, your friend who didn’t want it as much got it? This is the perfect analogy for my example – a friend of mine was indifferent about finding a relationship and doesn’t socialize much, and yet she’s had two bfs this year, when I’ve had none. I’ve always been told that I am an attractive girl, but I just have very shitty luck when it comes to finding a solid guy! And there are other sociable and decent looking girls I know that don’t get asked out much. That’s why I am really doubtful of this approach. But I will keep surrounding myself with people and maybe miracle will happen at some point?
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