• At some point in your single life, the usual skirt-chasing stomping grounds — bars, parties, the gym — start to lose their luster. But don’t worry, these locations represent only a fraction of the places you can encounter amazing women.
And really, you should be on the lookout for love everywhere you go. “Dating is a numbers game,” explains April Masini, author of Date Out of Your League and creator of http://www.askapril.com. “The more opportunities you give yourself to meet women — in places you hadn’t thought of before — the greater your chances of success.” With that in mind, here are 10 unusual spots where you just might run into the girl of your dreams. Be prepared.
1. At a boring work event
This scenario’s ripe for the smart fellow who knows how to make light of things. And yet, “don’t open with a complaint—it’s too negative,” cautions Lynn Harris, MSN.com’s Dating & Personals advice columnist and co-creator of http://www.breakupgirl.net. “Acknowledge the boring-ness in a positive way. Say, ‘Those are some impressive doodles,’ or ‘Are you looking forward to the Tuscan chicken wraps as much as I am?’” Use this sort of casual, non-threatening chit-chat as an opening to learning more about her. And you don’t have to try too hard to be clever. As Harris points out: “Even a boring line is still going to be less boring than the event.” It worked for Jason, 28, a London magazine writer. “I was late for some ski association press luncheon, but it turned out to be a good thing,” he says. “When I spotted a seat next to a cute editor, I threw my jacket on it. I cracked a few upbeat jokes and made sure to get her business card when it was over. We ended up dating for several months.”
2. On holiday
When women are away from their normal routine, it’s easier to woo them. “On holiday, women are focused on relaxation, not work and home tasks, so they’ll be more receptive to your advances,” observes Masini. Start with harmless, touristy questions about cool things to do while you’re there, and let the conversation flow. “Vacations are great because it’s easy to invite her out,” adds Harris. “Let’s say you’re both at a beach resort with friends. You can say, ‘Hey, you guys want to meet up later at the Ocean View?’ It’s much more casual than a date.” Also, don’t rule out the possibility that a fling could turn into something more. Chris, 33, an art director in Bolton, met Kristi while both were holidaying in Cancun. “We got each other’s phone numbers and emails, and we actually did keep in touch,” he says. “Ten months and 6,000 emails later, I moved to Somerset to be with her. We got married a year later.”
3. Playing sports
“Adult sports teams are great, because you automatically have something in common,” notes Harris. Most teams head to happy hour after games, giving you plenty of time to get things going as you converse about the sport. “After a game of Tennis, instead of a pick-up line, you can go with, ‘Where’d you learn to hit like that?’” Once you’re talking and drinking, it should be easy to mention you have two tickets to the upcoming tournament and invite her along. If you’re more of an individual sport kind of guy, bring some sunscreen along on your next bike ride, hike or jog, advises Masini. Then offer it to that hot-looking woman stretching on the side of the trail, and go from there.
4. Stuck in queue
queues give you a completely captive audience, especially when you’re somewhere inherently dull, like the bank or post office. That’s when a joke can instantly lighten the mood. “You could say, ‘Should we take bets on whether we’ll be home by Sunday to watch The Sopranos reruns?’ If she laughs and says, ‘Yeah, totally,’ keep going with it.” Other places are equally workable. “Women love to be asked for their advice, so ask them what film you should rent at Blockbuster or what they recommend at the bar.” says Masini. “You can get into a comparison/information-sharing conversation easily.” That and a sense of humor should be all the opening you need. “My little sister was a huge Backstreet Boys fan way back when,” says Charlie, 25, a Liverpool police officer. “I ended up in line behind a beautiful girl buying tickets for her niece. Of course, she didn’t believe I was there for my sister at first, but we did wind up meeting for dinner before the concert.”
5. At a community meeting
Attending gatherings of neighbourhood groups and city council meetings about recycling initiatives and proposed bike paths wins you automatic points by making you appear to be a concerned citizen—which, to many women, is pretty sexy. And because the issue is important to both of you, it lends itself to hanging out in the doorway afterwards and letting the conversation blossom. “You need to talk about the issue and you need to be sincerely interested in it, but you don’t have to be an expert,” says Harris. “If you don’t really know everything, you can ask a woman who’s there, ‘What’s your take? How’d you get involved?’ If she’s a cyclist, you have a whole other thing to talk about.” James, 32, a Washington, D.C., attorney, went to a meeting for a group opposing the building of a new mall. “I ended up talking to the group’s president,” he recalls. “We exchanged numbers so we could ‘discuss some things,’ and the next thing I knew, we were dating twice a week.”
6. In a hotel bar
“Many upscale hotels have a lounge area where women sip a drink waiting for a friend to arrive, a dinner reservation to be called, or luggage to be found,” suggests Masini. “It’s the perfect place to strike up a conversation with someone you find attractive.” A comment on her drink choice followed by some friendly travel talk (‘Where are you in from?’ ‘What brings you here?’) should get the ball rolling. Two tips: 1. Don’t look desperate—have work, phone messages to check, or reading material. 2. If you’re not staying at the hotel, have a darn good reason why you’re there.
7. At a political rally or protest
With so many key issues (think global warming, the upcoming election) coming to a head these days, rallies and protests aren’t uncommon. As with the community meeting, conversation about the issue is a great place to start. “If you’re both holding signs outside an animal-testing lab, you’re not going to walk up and say, ‘So what’s your favourite colour?’” notes Harris. “There’s a lot of passionate energy, so it’s a good time to chat and bond, and then maybe take it up a notch at the next sign-making meeting.” In other words, don’t go asking Miss Political on a date right away. Simply find out when the group’s getting together again, and say you hope to see her there. If she smiles, you just might have a new kind of social change to look forward to.
8. At the doctor’s or a hospital
Waiting rooms, lobbies and the hospital canteen are great places to meet fellow visitors because, really, everyone’s just killing time. What to do? If you’re lucky enough to be a guest on a maternity ward (the only area of the hospital filled with happy people) go to the nursery and look through the window at the babies—and the other women there! “Which one is your relative?” is a great opener, says Masini. It doesn’t matter whether or not you’re related to one of the newborns—women are often attracted to guys who simply like kids. Other medical situations offer opportunities, too. While waiting at the allergist’s, chat up that woman about the poor choice of reading material. Ask her if she knows the best place to get an espresso nearby. It could lead somewhere.
9. At the laundrettes
Laundrettes fit into that have-to-be-here-anyway category, making them a great spot to start conversations. But how? “Ask her advice,” says Masini. “Let her be the clothes-washing expert. ‘Is yellow a colour or a white?’” A magazine or book can be a potent ally; choose it wisely. “The Robb Report is for a guy on his way up the ladder—way up the ladder. A political autobiography says worldly, smart, and current.” If you’re feeling pretty comfortable with yourself, go ahead, pick the News of The World up off the stack. “Most women love gossip, and if you know a little — but not too much — she’ll like talking to you.”
10. On the street
Females can be a little wary on the pavement, but that doesn’t mean this environment’s hopeless. Keep an eye out for women you see regularly—that means they live in your area and may have noticed you, too. Then, when you find yourself on the same route, you can say something like, ‘I think I know you, but I can’t remember where from,’ says Masini. “And then you figure out that you both walk to the dry cleaners after work and bump into each other once a week.” As in other situations, playful comments about common experiences (dilapidated sidewalks, bad local restaurants, the dry cleaner who lost both of your blue shirts) can boost her mood and her attraction to you. Play it right, and one day you could be picking up her dry cleaning…