You’re at a bar, and you see someone you’re attracted to that’s not the waitress. So you think, “I’m gonna go over and say hi just as soon as I finish this beer. And this Jager shot. And this other beer.”
Then, before you can act, Joe Computer Game Designer comes along and starts chatting up your love of the evening.
If this situation is too close to home, it might be time to consider an alternative. For starters, forget nightclubs. Those are for amateurs. Women go because they know guys will hit on them, and they’re prepared for that.
They’re with their girlfriends, they see you coming, they’ve heard it all. All they want is an ego-boost and some entertainment as you try to impress her with your knowledge of fantasy baseball.
Bars are better but you have to consider all the distractions — loud music, other guys, the hot nut machine. Instead, think about other places, maybe even everyday places that would be conducive to spontaneous, friendly conversation, light interaction and possibly gentle flirtation.
Consider any romantic comedy you’ve ever seen: how many of the couples have ever met at a nightclub (except for Knocked Up — and you know what happened there!)? And who are romantic comedies aimed at? “Women want to be the stars of their own romantic comedy,” as David Wygant, the dating expert who inspired the movie Hitch, has pointed out. Translation: women want to meet guys outside of the usual haunts.
For one thing, such encounters seem much more fateful — there’s no sense of destiny in meeting someone at a bar. For another, a novel meeting will giver her something to talk about. “I told my friend someone I met standing in line at the post office asked me for coffee,” says Nicole Williams, a fuel-cell researcher in Vancouver. “And he thought, “that was weird, just because that never happens in this city.”
Nonetheless, her friend’s opinion didn’t stop her. If anything, it spurred her on.
So reconsider that girl at the supermarket, in the bank lineup, at the gym, in the parole board waiting room. They’re probably more open to a friendly “hello” and a bit of conversation than you think. And with that in mind, we’ve come up with a few places we think are a little bit out of the ordinary but possibly perfect.
We’ve had gas stations in mind ever since we heard a story actor James Woods told on a late-night talk show about how he met his then-wife while filling his tank. “I asked her about the car she was driving because I said I was thinking about buying one,” said the actor. And hey, how about these rising gas prices? Sheesh!
OK, maybe this one’s a little on the obvious side. But… think of the beach as one giant meeting place. Everyone’s relaxed and there’s always a topic of conversation — from “Yes, that’s one of Danielle Steel’s best…” to “Can you oil the small of my back?” “The beach is fine,” says the workout goddess next to us on the treadmill. “Because it’s a neutral place and nonthreatening. Everyone’s there to relax and have a good time.”
“Not at the gym,” says Katherine M., a government worker. “I’m sweaty, and I’m there to work out.” But we think fitness classes are ideal. “If you go to a yoga class and you have really strong leg muscles, all the women are like, ‘Ooh, who’s that?” says 25-year-old server Roseanna Marsh.
“And if there’s a guy in a Pilates class, the girls will be all over him.” But don’t just think fitness. Think cooking, language or emergency preparedness — maybe it’s just us, but don’t you want your next girlfriend to have her own industrial-strength flashlight and six months’ supply of canned goods?
What could be sexier or more provocative than all those frilly things tumbling around in a hot, vibrating container? Plus, there’s something about meeting at the laundromat that says “destiny,” especially on a Friday or Saturday night. Not that we would know. Plus everyone’s kind of bored and most likely dying for a conversation. “Hmmm, I guess it would be OK,” says student Anna Carruth, “as long as I’m not washing my thongs.”
A no-brainer, really. Wine has never been sexier than at this moment in time and women love their wine. A little effort on your part and you should be able to find a tasting — whether at a store or a fundraiser or trade show — in your city.
From there, it’s a simple matter to brush up on your lingo, at least enough to bluff your way around a pinot noir. Drop the line, “A hint of black cherry in the finish” and she’ll be putty at your feet. And don’t be afraid to host your own wine-tasting event.
Sure, they might turn into riots (remember “the Battle in Seattle?”) with tear gas and Taser guns, but what’s more romantic than meeting someone special while running from baton-wielding police?
No, we’re not advocating picking up the elderly, though they do have the best stories. But we couldn’t help notice, the last time we visited our dear old gran (R.I.P.), that her extended care facility was staffed by a bevy of beauties.
Best of all, women you meet at a seniors’ home are bound to be compassionate, caring… and willing to put up with your incontinence which may come in handy down the road. Hospitals are also good, says Michael Kissinger. “It shows you’re vulnerable,” says the journalist.
Just because she’s praying doesn’t mean she’s unavailable. In fact, she might be going to church to get from the Man Upstairs what she’s not getting from the men in her life.
But guys, be careful with this one; show some respect, and have some Bible, or at least biblical-sounding, psalms or quotes or something to throw out there when the conversation turns to spirituality. Or rent The Ten Commandments. “When I was in Bible study class, I met a group of singles,” says Kim Brakop, a graphic designer and born-again Christian. “We’d always get together and then go for brunch after. I think a couple became paired. But there wasn’t pressure to do that.”
An obvious one, perhaps, but we’re talking specifically about the self-help section. Happy, contented women in relationships aren’t the ones flipping through He’s Just Not Into You. These are women likely to be single. Plus, browsing the self-help section yourself makes you look as though you’re “doing some work” on yourself (as if… right guys?). And it’s easy to strike up a conversation about the important stuff — dating, relationships and chakras.
Since we are fascinated by the idea of paintball but would usually just rather stay inside scrapbooking, this is one idea we never would have thought of on our own. It comes courtesy Dylan Alexander, author of Online Casanova , who tells us “the downtime in between games” is a good time to meet women, as everyone is in an excited state and there’s a feeling of high energy in the field or forest or jungle or wherever it is you do such things.
One downside: the goggles and facemasks can make it difficult to see who you’re talking to.
Yes, you read that right. Another of Alexander’s suggestions. But don’t go for the strippers, he says. “Go for the girls who go to watch. They are in an excited state and tipsy, and there’s lots of downtime between dancers.”
You’re best off approaching the whole group, although if it’s a girl’s night out you might have your work cut out for you. In which case, you can always get a lap dance.
Don’t think this list is exhaustive, however, because it’s not. There are plenty of other places to pick up aside from your traditional bars.
By Shawn Conner
Lavalife.com is one of the original players in the online dating game. Committed to helping its members find fun dates and relationships, Lavalife is a prime source for online dating, dating and relationship advice.