July 19, 2010 | 9:10 pm
Posted by Merissa Nathan Gerson
Cliched as it may be, I’m reaching the age where my friends are
starting to couple off and have kids. I’m happy for them, really,
but it gets old to constantly be the one single person at dinner
parties. My remaining single friends have mostly moved away, and I
live in one of those cities where people are obsessed with their
careers. I want to make new single friends, but am not sure how to go
about it. Any suggestions?
-Single and Stuck
Hoowah, meeting single people is EASY. There is a simple process then tackle approach. Basicamente, you need to figure out what you love and what you love to do. This makes it way easier to make new friends. Three step plan: 1) Determine strongest interests 2) Find like-minded humans 3) Party hard.
Once you make single friends they usually have single friends and a new universe forms around you. It is way simple, you just have to be brave and you have to put yourself out there. One good resource: MeetUp.com.
Ten ways to meet new single friends:
1) Religious Epicenters. Think church mixers, Shabbat dinners, Buddhist Sanghas. Choose your poison. The religious singles scene provides instant community, frequent meals, and a bunch of events to lace your social life. Check out local Jewish and Christian community centers, if that’s your leaning. Chabad is an amazing resource for young Jewish people no matter where in the world you are. Shambhala centers nationwide offer a community for the Buddhist in you. And there is a church on every other street corner, so get to praying. Obviously, if you are Muslim, Sikh, Hari Krishna, Sufi, Agnostic, whatevs, there is a community for you.
2) Coffeeshops and Bookstores. This sounds cliché but if you want to make single friends, go to a coffeeshop or bookstore regularly and start talking to strangers. Just beware, though, that you pick your strangers wisely. Depending on the coffeeshop they house the wandering drug addict philosophers of our world, and while these people are intriguing, they may not be the singles crowd you seek.
3) Stitch N’ Bitch. Do you like knitting? There is a wave of stitch N’ bitch circles across the nation. These are basically amped up knitting circles for cutting edge humans. Not only will you make cool stuff, you will develop a community, stat.
This goes for all crafts. Look for sewing, quilting, model building circles. Take art classes, pottery classes, collage your old Cosmo, do whatever it takes to get those creative juices flowing in the company of others. Another good thing to do: work towards a goal like selling at a craft market, for example, Crafty Bastards in DC or, start selling online at Etsy. So easy. SO fun. Instant creative community. Other arts options: volunteer at a museum.
4) Volunteer. Doing volunteer work on a regular basis is a fantastic way to meet new single people while doing good for the world. Click here to find a place to put your skills. Even if you work a rigorous 9-5 you can make this happen on the weekend, regularly.
5) Work at your local Farmer’s Market. This might be the very best way to see a smattering of all the local singles, the health-conscious rosy-cheeked ones. Many markets let you volunteer on the weekends in exchange for produce. This way, you meet pretty healthy people and get prettier and healthier in the process.
6) Move Your Body. This is probably the easiest option. Join a kick-ball or softball or soccer league. I know in DC this is a crazy and active single’s scene, including a social life after the games. Check your city for its sports leagues. Also look for Hiking clubs and skiing, snowboarding, yoga, any type of recreational physical activity. Depending on your region, there should be a whole slue of options. Just go online and look for a local community.
Or, Dance class! Take tango or salsa or merengue or line dancing or contra dancing or samba dancing or hip hop or whatever. Dance class is the best way to make new friends. You are in a positive self-expressive environment where you meet people intimately, and if it’s a regular class, you see them all the time. Also try cooking classes.
7) The Bar Scene. Disclaimer: Alcohol can yield odd choices when seeking new people in life. Be cautious. If you choose this route, choose Karaoke. Karaoke can be awkward, but so can life. My friend’s dad goes alone and makes friends. Rock on. Sometimes singing in public like a fool is a friend magnet. Try this.
Hand-in-hand with karaoke is Happy-Hour. I am personally grossed out by happy hours everywhere. Don’t ask why, it is just a visceral reaction. But…these are good to go to, so I hear, with your work friends. Lots of drunk 9-5ers enjoying being single, or drunk and married, should yield some results. Alcohol, however, isn’t the ideal road to community building.
8/ Sexual Interest Groups. If you are looking for naughty singles, go to a BDSM meeting and meet your mate. Whatever tickles your fancy, search for a group of people with similar sexual prowess. Try a group like Black Rose or search for furries, fetishists, whatever it is that makes you tick. Again, though, beware. This scene might require some extra emotional self-protection. Not a vanilla avenue.
9) Music. Music is a good way to find friends. Join a band, go to concerts, find other people that like going to concerts. Start singing, attend open mic nights.
Open mic nights are fantastic for meeting new people, especially if you attend and perform, or witness the performances on a regular basis. Check your local arts section or alternative weekly for a long listing of Open Mic nights in every city. Again, this scene can be awkward, but awkward brings some sense of human truth which brings true friends.
10) Start Your Own Group. Whether it be a Spanish language lunch hour or a writing workshop at your kitchen table, put yourself out there and recruit a small group to pursue interests with. Masters of Warcraft fanatic? Start a competition. Join or start a book club.
Again, Craigslist or a local alternative weekly are great places to publicize your new group. Just be careful: some strangers are sketchy and always use precautions when bringing internet nobodies into your somebody life.
All in all, search for activities or locations that you can frequent on a consistent basis. Familiarity breaks the ice and builds groups and communities faster. Your interests are probably way broader than what I have listed. Every type of interest is represented in most cities, just use Google and Craigslist to find some buddies.
Be careful, though. Depending on what you love, your cohorts could be dangerous. Use your intuition when making new single friends: ie, if they give you a stomach ache when they talk, politely excuse yourself and exit. New friends should make you feel light, happy and smiley: not brooding, angsty, etc. Anything you enjoy doing will bring out the best in you, which, in turn, will attract a flock of bright new friends. Good Luck!
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