What Real Men Say: "Salsa dancing is part of my culture," says Javier, 26. "So when my sister's friend opened a dance studio in our neighborhood I came for the grand opening and complimentary salsa class -- and had so much fun that I ended up buying a class package. As one of the only men in the class, I had my pick of partners which was nice, and made a lot of friends during my time there. Around my fifth or sixth class we all planned on meeting up at a salsa club after class to try out what we had learned, and I saw my current girlfriend Ramona there with her group of friends -- one of which knew one of the class members I was out with. She introduced us, and we danced together until 2 a.m. when the club closed down. We've been together ever since."
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To make sure you’re that guy the only intention you want to have when speed dating is to have fun. Don’t worry about getting numbers or impressing anyone. Just see it as an excuse to meet cool people and do something different with your night. Make a point to chat with everyone – both girls and guys – before the event even starts. This way people will see you as the fun, confident guy who got everyone to loosen up and have a good time.
"I met my girlfriend Stephanie at a book signing for Karen Russell," he says. "The line was kind of disorderly, so I turned to the person behind me and said, 'I didn't cut you, did I?' and she said, 'No.' That was Stephanie. I said, 'So are you a big Karen Russell fan?' and she said, 'Yes.' I asked who some of her other favorite authors were, and we chatted briefly. She got her book signed, then I got mine signed. Afterward I turned around, and she was standing there waiting for me. It turned out we were both going to Grand Central, so we walked there together. We had very immediate, very obvious chemistry. We got to the corner where we needed to split up, and Stephanie said, 'I want to keep talking to you though.' Her train was leaving shortly before mine, so I went with her to her train, then jumped off just as the doors were closing and hurried to catch my train. I had given her my business card, and she emailed me the next day. We've been together for almost five years."
Exit the conversation early. This one might surprise you, but assuming you're having a first conversation with a woman you don't know (whether a stranger or a friend of a friend), cut it short. By doing this, you're ensuring you're not misreading the situation and wasting her time, in the event that she isn't interested, but you're also demonstrating that you respect boundaries and aren't a threat to her. And if she was enjoying the conversation, you'll leave her wanting more.
Another place to meet single women who have similar interests as you is through local classes. Anything from a dance class to a cooking, art, or improv class can be a fantastic place to meet single women. Why? Because meeting girls in this environment gives you a shared experience to bond over. Plus, you’re in a space where everyone is messing up, and that vulnerability will have everyone feeling close and connected very quickly. This feeling of connection and bonding is going to go a long way in getting that cute, single girl interested in getting together after class.
Then, make a point of 'greeting' each person who comes in the door, whether with a smile, comment or friendly hello. There is no need to make your introduction rote or sound like you're working at Walmart though, just try and be yourself doing something that may not come naturally. By opening yourself up and making eye contact with all of the other patrons, you are also making yourself available to anything that comes your way, which could be a recommendation for a new book to read, a compliment about something you're wearing, or maybe even a date. Worst case scenario? Someone doesn't say hi back, and another person walks through the door ten seconds later. You've lost nothing in the process, and potentially get to socialize in a lighthearted manner.
Just because you might not be in school anymore, that doesn’t mean you can’t take classes. We’re never too old to stop learning, and we’re never too old to stop meeting new people. Search online for some adult classes in your city and see what piques your interest. It could be painting (pictured below), cooking (pictured above), photography, guitar, and pretty much anything else you can think of. Most of these classes are probably pretty cheap, too, because they’re put on by colleges or local organizations. Plus, Groupon always has deals going on.