A few years ago I took an improv class to be able to think on the fly, prepare for job interviews, & get out of my head when I’m interacting with people. Besides the added skill-sets to my social tool box, I’ve managed to meet some really amazing people in these classes and my last girlfriend before she moved. My friend & I were the only two guys in this class of 10 with the other 8 all being women. Just like the last 4 suggestions I’ve made, these classes are specifically designed to breed social interaction.
Admit it: You’ve all come across at least ONE cute girl on the subway or at the bus stand, but you never had the courage or time to approach her. But notice – don’t be too eager to approach a woman; you will be viewed as nothing more than a creep. Look at the signs. Is she too engrossed reading a book, playing Candy Crush on her phone or has her eyes closed with her earphones in place? Then take a hint: she doesn’t want anybody to disturb her. On the other hand, if she’s looking here and there or has a bored expression on her face, your chances of making eye contact with her increase. Just be smart enough to take her number before she gets off at her stop, will you?
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Your time to do that is shrinking, according to a 2008 Harris Interactive poll. Americans have just 16 hours a week—down 20 percent from 2007—that are all theirs. With leisure time scarce, many men make the mistake of blocking off a weekend night for dating, says Paul Dobransky, M.D., a Chicago psychiatrist who teaches men how to land any woman they want (check out a day in his life by clicking here). "Their lack of success is due to their hyperfocused approach," says Dr. Dobransky. "They see meeting women as something that is done rather than something that naturally happens, which is the way women view it."
So why does the alcohol-soaked pick-up scene still exist? Aside from the obvious reasons (tequila, vodka, rum), there's a surprising one as well: inexperience. Men are new to this 21st-century version of the boy-meets-girl game. In 1970, the median age for marriage was 23 for men and 21 for women. Today it's 28 and 26. "It used to be that people felt they'd somehow missed out if they didn't have a spouse by the time they graduated college," says David Popenoe, Ph.D., founder and codirector of the National Marriage Project and a professor emeritus of sociology at Rutgers University. "Today, people feel they need to establish themselves economically first." The postponement of "I do" means most men will be single in their 20s, a trend that populates the bar scene and empties the church aisles.
We learn from movies and the media that women want to be hit on in cool and unusual places in a romantic and unique way. A lot the time when women do get approached in these places, they are easily creeped out. If you want to meet someone in a unique and fun way, then you have to be suave. You have to be confident, but not cocky. You have to be funny, but not over the top. Most importantly, you have to learn how to read her signals, and then go for it: ask for her digits and ask her out on a date.
Right in front of you. Put down your damn phone! While you’re texting your friend about how hard it is to find a woman, the girl of your dreams is literally right in front of you. Only you’re too busy to notice her, because your eyes are glued to the screen. In reality, this scenario probably plays out hundreds of times per day amongst both men and women.
In her ‘safe’ space: Barre class. A nail salon. Any place that’s traditionally filled with women might seem like the perfect place to, well, meet women. But women aren’t stupid, and they can see exactly what you’re trying to do, says psychologist and relationship expert Tracy Thomas, Ph.D. “If you go to an all-female yoga class with the intention of meeting women, you’ll come off as creepy and exploitative,” Thomas says. “If you’re just there for the yoga, that’s different.”
To get the most out of these nights out be sure to show up early to whatever venue you’re going to. This gives you a chance to get acclimated and comfortable in the environment. While you’re there, warm up your social muscles by chatting with the staff and anyone else who’s around. As the venue fills up look for a “high-traffic” area – someplace people walk past frequently – and post up there with your friends. That way instead of running around looking for girls to talk to, the girls will wind up walking right by you.
"I work at a design firm on a small team of four," he says. "So when one of my coworkers bought a condo we were all invited over to celebrate. I was the only one on the team without a solid excuse for not showing up and plus, my coworker lives in the same neighborhood as I do so I figured I'd swing by. I ended up having a great time chatting with my coworker's sister and her husband -- to the point that her sister insisted that she let me set her up with her college friend who was moving here and didn't know anyone. I'm usually skeptical about people setting me up -- but she showed me a picture of her and I thought she was super pretty, so I agreed. I got her phone number then took her out a week or two after she moved to New York and we hit it off. She and I both always say how lucky we are that I went to that party."