If you’re tired of going to places like this to meet women, then you’ve stumbled across the perfect resource.
Single women are almost always on the lookout for eligible men. Sometimes they may not appear to be interested, but inside they’re really saying, “I hope that cute guy over there breaks the ice.” While I thought the movie was pretty stupid, Will Smith nails it in the opening scene of the movie Hitch, in which he explains that women hardly ever wake up thinking, “I don’t want to be swept off my feet today.”
A male friend of mine recently commented that although he’s now in a great relationship with someone he met online he’s started to notice more the many beautiful, single women all around him. He has no interest in these women and is in love with his girlfriend, but he found it curious that once he settled down and started expanding his horizons socially by participating in different kinds of activities he enjoyed, the women started to come out of the woodwork.
So if you’re a single guy, if you’re ready for love, if you’ve decided the bar scene isn’t cutting it anymore, and if you’re looking for something a little more organic than online dating, I’ve compiled a list of unassuming spots to meet women, some of which you may scoff at but definitely places where you’ll be able to meet lots of eligible ladies who are just waiting for you to sweep them off their feet.
Of course, listing the spots is only half the battle: Putting yourself in the company of women is the first step, but the key is to know what to do when that cute, little blonde is standing next to you, twirling her hair.
For pick-up strategies, I turned to the inimitable Gareth Jones. Voted the Best New Pick Up Artist of 2010, Jones, an ABCs Of Attraction instructor for more than two years, is known worldwide as a life-changing in-field coach and as the master of phone and text game from his Text To Sex program. This guy is so smooth, he convinced a porn star to take a 45-minute, $160 cab ride over to his house in the wee hours of the morning, for, well … acts of a sexual nature. Fast forward to 6:03 for the story.
He has taught in London, Sydney, Melbourne, and has been referred to by several students as “One of the best decisions of my life.” If you’re looking to attain a James Bond level of suave, Jones is your man.
Before we get to my top picks, though, Jones had a few general pointers, in his words:
First, we want to understand the two types of ‘openers’: These are “canned” and “situational.”
Canned openers are openers that you’ve prepared beforehand. In days of yore, guys would have ‘lines’ they’d use (i.e. “Do your legs hurt because you’ve been running through my mind all day.”). Nowadays, we tend to lean towards more interactive conversation openers that aren’t so cheesy. This is best formed with any kind of question to get her engaged, such as, “Hey, quick question, is it O.K. to wear jeans to a wedding?” (Neely’s note: No, it isn’t, unless it’s this kind of a wedding.) For some, these seem forced and can get a guy stuck in his head, but we’ve all been in that situation where we’ve either frozen up or simply couldn’t think of anything to say, so we know how important it is to be prepared. I always tell people to have at least one engaging opener prepared so we don’t lose the girl of our dreams on account of a brain fart.
Situational openers are just that: A question or statement composed off the cuff about an element in the current situation. Maybe this is a question about what kind of coffee she’s purchased or a comment about the long line you two are suffering in. A situational opener is unpracticed and spontaneous. A lot of guys find these quite difficult (especially when they start thinking they need to be witty to win a girl over right away), but undoubtedly, they give off a much more natural vibe, which is always preferable. It’s in this category that direct openers fall. They are one of the most genuine and, therefore, powerful openers. You are simply showing direct interest in a way that is true to you, so the actual words always vary. It may be something as specific as, “I absolutely love the way you’ve matched your shoes to your nail polish. Was that on purpose?” Or something as simple as, “I had to come over here and tell you I think you’re stunning. My name’s Gareth.”
Now that we’ve understood the forms with which we can engage, let’s look at some of the most important elements of actually talking to a girl.
The first, and, to me, the most important aspect of beginning a conversation with a stranger is, undoubtedly, the smile. Guys are always trying to be the “cool” guy that gets the chicks. More often than not, this comes off as really cold or, sometimes, downright frightening. When we smile at a woman it makes her feel good and shows her that we’re confident, friendly, and not up to no-good (don’t ever use no double negatives).
Another really important element of the approach is engaging her. One of the huge problems guys have when approaching women using a direct opener is that they simply compliment her and expect her to carry the conversation. Imagine a homeless man coming up to you and saying, “I like your shoes.” You’d say, “Thanks,” and try to get away as quickly as possible. That’s essentially what she’s going to do (unless she happens to be physically attracted to you, but that’s another story), so we’re going to need a way to engage her. This is as simple as asking a question. Whether it be a canned opener (which usually is a question in itself) or a situational opener, I make sure I follow up my initial line with something that will engage her. The strength of the nail polish compliment above comes from my interest in whether she chose to match or if it was an accident. I’m not putting an undue weight on her with a compliment that she’s expected to return, I simply happen to be complimenting her while I ask about her style.
Once we’ve shown her that we’re friendly and we’ve engaged her in the conversation, we can take it practically anywhere we want (which is up to your game). For the spots Neely’s chosen, I’ve added a list of “If I were here … I might say this … .”
1. Cultural centers
Neely: In Boston, for instance, the French Cultural Center is sure to turn up some intellectual, attractive ladies. In fact, I know it does: My boyfriend volunteers there, and when I went to visit him once at an event, I was bombarded by several young beauties. Find a cultural center in your city that meshes with your geographical sensibilities, and you may just find a great date.
Jones: Any cultural center almost certainly presupposes common interest, so a conversation is easy to start with something like, “I’ve always wanted to learn to speak French and I’m really glad to finally have the time. What brings you here?”
2. Open art studios
Neely: Women flock to open art shows. There’s just something about dim lighting, free wine, and aesthetic beauty that really gets our juices flowing.
Jones: If art is your interest, a studio is a great place to meet someone of similar passion; if it’s not, it’s a great place to meet someone you can learn from. “I know I shouldn’t, but I always tend to pick a favorite when I’m in a gallery. You tell me yours and I’ll tell you mine.”
Neely: If you don’t know yet that women could shop all day long, every day, then you apparently haven’t been living on planet Earth or have been too busy playing Modern Warfare on your Xbox to notice. There’s a gazillion clothing events (trunks shows, store promotions, openings, fashion shows, etc.) going on in your city, so get your ass there – the ladies will be plentiful.
Jones:Fashion events are great places for fashion forward people to meet, but make sure you’re dressed to the nines! “This collection is phenomenal. Do you know who the designer is?”
4. Salsa classes
Neely: My friend and three of her girlfriends signed up for salsa classes with Boston Center for Adult Education hoping to meet men there. When they showed up, there were five other attractive women and one 78-year-old man named Gene. Here: I’ll make it easy for you Boston gentlemen.
Jones: Dance classes are such a great way to meet and interact with women and they practically beg you to talk to other people. Say something as simple as, “Do you have a partner tonight?” Also, try not to say this in a seductive way while winking a bunch. I mean, you can, but let’s take it slow for now.
5. Dog park
Neely: An old boyfriend of mine had what I would consider the most awesome dog ever. When he had to go out of town his good friend was more than happy to take the dog for a few days, because that meant he could take him to the dog park to meet women. Just think about how women love to gather around a cute pooch (I’d stay away from the grey-hound, furless types and opt for the you’re-so-cute-I-just-want-to->stand-here-all-day-and-pet-you-which-is-perfect-so-my-owner-can-hit-on-you types). Of course, it’s possible the dog thing could backfire on you, like in this pee-your-pants hilarious movie clip from The Lonely Guy, but I doubt it. Note: If only Steve Martin knew what to say when all those ladies were crowded around his pup. Jones to the rescue!
Jones: Whenever there are animals playing, people are usually in a great mood. I’ve met so many women out playing with my friends’ dogs and it’s always incredibly easy to strike up conversations with a simple compliment and follow-up. “I think a happy dog says something about its owner. Is she/he always this playful?”
6. Jogging club
Neely: Do you know how many great women I know who join these groups? A lot. Plus, when you’re sweating your pheromones are at their finest, which will allow her to sniff you out in all your perspiratory glory.
Jones: It completely escapes me why anyone would join a jogging club, but it’s another common interest that is sure to be a perfect opener. I might say, “That was a great route. Do you have a favorite area you love to run through?”
Neely: Again, a breeding ground for the ladies, and no doubt in-shape ones. Plus you get to stare at their … yoga pants. C’mon, boys, get your mind out of the gutter! Jeez!
Jones: Of this list, definitely my favorite. At yoga, it’s going to be 90% women and they’re all going to be fit and motivated. Maybe I’ll say, “I’ve never been here before, but I like the vibe. Have you been coming here long?”
8. Volunteer at an animal shelter
Neely: I know several young gals who help out at pet shelters. What better way to meet someone who has a shared love of animals and a great heart?
Jones: I’m pretty sure all you have to do to meet women while you’re volunteering at a pet shelter is to be well dressed and walk up to her, stick out your hand and say, “Hi. I’m Gareth. I’m the type of guy that volunteers at pet shelters” and it’ll be a go, but just in case it’s not, I might simply tell a woman, “I admire people that you have time to give back to the community. What brings you here?”
9. Volunteer at a political campaign
Neely: Couples who have drastically different political viewpoints have it tough. You’re almost certain to meet someone of the same mindset, with the same values, if you meet them while volunteering for a political campaign. No more counting down the dates until you can bring up the fact that you are the proud owner of an NRA membership, or that you’re favorite hero is that fat slob of a filmmaker Michael Moore, because you already know you won’t offend the other with your political leanings. And trust me: The campaign parties and social gatherings are teeming with single women.
Jones: Politics are always tricky when first meeting people, but if you’re meeting someone that’s volunteering for the same campaign you are, it might be a little less hazardous. How about, “Isn’t it nice to be in a place where you can meet someone and know your political views will line up?”
Jones concluded by saying: “As always, remember that a big smile and solid eye contact are super important. Relax, be present in the interaction, and LISTEN!”
Which has always been my biggest advice to men: If you can listen (and listen well – good eye contact, active gestures, etc.), we are putty in your hands.
Good luck, boys!