So here you are, in the midst of a crisis. The year is rapidly growing old, and you’re still single. In fact, you haven’t been near a woman in months, and not for lack of trying. You’ve tried every bar in the city, but somehow, you’re always coming up dry. It might be the women, it might be their boyfriends, it might be your new Dilbert tie. Or, it might be that the location has just gone stale.
Not that there’s anything wrong with the bar pick-up. It’s been around since the dawn of time. It’s a fairly easy fall-back plan. It’s tried, tested and true. But so is the missionary position, and you wouldn’t want that every day of the year.
Here’s the truth. Bar pick-ups are predictable. Anticipated. Expected. There’s nothing spontaneous about them. Women go to bars knowing very well that at least one man will try to pick them up, not necessarily because there’s a real attraction, but because the men are desperate. This can turn even the most naive, hopeful, looking-for-Mr-Right woman into a cynical, jaded, You’re-definitely-Mr-Wrong rejecter. This, of course, works out horribly for you. Even if you were Mr. Right, or Mr. Right Now, she’s already pegged you as a bar prowler.
But before you throw yourself off the nearest bar stool, let’s take an inventory check. You’re a decent human being, a reasonably attractive man. You’ve got a good personality, a strong sense of humour, and surely, somewhere in the world, there must be a woman who can appreciate that.
Here’s the problem – you’re looking in all the wrong places. One wrong place, really. Ditch the bars, at least for a while. Take a break from every cheesy pick-up line you’ve ever offered along with a free drink. You might just find that there are more unusual places to meet women.
The great thing about unusual locations is the element of surprise. No one’s expecting to meet a potential love interest in these places, and so you’re treated to a far more genuine person. No fake smiles, no layers of Halloween make-up, and no more useless attempts to buy her a drink. These pick-up places are risk-free. So why not at least give them a chance. If you’re going to keep one New Years resolution (yes there is still time to set things right!), it might as well be the one about meeting more women.
The transit bus/subway
Before you gag with disgust and run for your Toyota Camry, take a second to consider this. More and more people are beginning to pay attention to the environmental and economic benefits of riding the bus. What does this have to do with you? Think office commuters. Plenty of women will take the bus to work in the morning, especially if they live in an area where transit is accessible. They’ll be from a hundred different walks of life, so if you’re looking for someone with similar interests, you’ll have much better luck.
The benefits of transit connections to your dating life is the ability to get to know people on a gradual basis. It’s not a “now or never” approach if she’s on a bus. You can say hi one morning, comment on the weather the next, and before you know it, you’re making plans to get together after work. If things don’t work out, you can always take a different route – or take a different bus, ten minutes earlier.
Museums are a win-win situation in the dating world. While nobody goes to a museum specifically to meet somebody (except for you, now), many singles who frequent galleries are tired of superficial bar flings. They’re looking for something a little more meaningful, with someone a little more intelligent, and a little more interested in the world. Even if they are looking for a casual relationship, they want one with a man who can take part in a real conversation.
The trick here is not to convey a sense of purpose. You don’t want her to think that you came to the museum to pick her up. Stay a bit aloof. Not too much, but just enough to show that knowledge isn’t secondary to meeting women. Ask her opinion on an exhibit, express interest in her, and when you do ask her out, don’t be too suave or well-rehearsed. Remember, this is spontaneous.
Alright, alright, I know what you’re thinking. The supermarket hook-up isn’t so unusual. But, it’s rarely (if ever) done with any real talent. Here’s the first clue – avoid your mother’s supermarket. Steer cleer of anything that reeks of Sunday morning elderly shoppers. The key here is location, location, location. If there’s a supermarket in a trendy part of town, that should be your first stop. Everyone has to eat, after all, and all the beautiful women who frequent a certain part of the city probably live there, and shop there.
The best thing about a supermarket is the ability to learn a little bit about someone by watching what they buy. It also gives you a million easy conversation starters. (“Have you ever tried these things? Can you believe they make these? Ever wonder who buys this stuff?”) Here’s another clue. Timing is everything. Weekdays are bad, and weeknights are unpredictable. Try Saturday or Sunday afternoons. That gives all the Friday and Saturday night partiers a chance to recover, and will definitely make your options greater.
Women’s clothing stores
before you have a heart attack and keel over, sit down. Take a deep breath, and really consider the idea. Women’s clothing stores are a haven of attractive and fashionable women, conveniently gathered in one central location. The reason they’re off-limits to you? Men don’t visit these stores. The only ones who do are inevitably towed along with their girlfriend, or are stuck buying a dress two sizes two small for their girlfriend.
But what if you were shopping for someone else…say, your sister? The trick is neutrality. If you’re confident enough, you’ll have no problem confessing to a beautiful woman, “sorry to bug you, but I’m shopping for my sister, and I have no idea what she’d like. Would you wear this?” If all goes well, she’ll be charmed by your honesty (sshh!), and won’t think twice about the fact that she met you in a women’s clothing store.
So there you have it, a handful of alternative options to the tired old nightclub. Scope each location out on your own, if it looks promising, don’t be afraid to make the first move. You will most certainly find girls you’d never see at the single’s bar, and that may be exactly what you’re looking for.