Meet Me in St. Louis (or Houston, or Seattle, or New York)

Meeting people is hard. It’s hard no matter what city you’re in, how old you are, whether you’re a man or woman, and no matter what kind of relationship you’re hoping to find. Once you’re out of school and the forced socialization and built-in group of prospects that go along with it, life really makes you work for it.

Of course, you’ve likely traded school for some version of an office. While you may spend the bulk of your adult life at work, this isn’t always the best place to troll for new BFFs or romantic partners for all the reasons you can conjure (in case you needed a visual to turn you off this idea, a saying about going to the bathroom where you eat comes to mind). To be fair, I can’t say that I’ve been great at following my own advice here, as I’ve met many of my dearest friends at work (see photos 😊). I get the concept of course, and certainly wouldn’t want to feel forced to leave a job over a nasty break up.

Obviously, you can meet people in their natural habitat – in a bar, at an event, in line at the grocery store, bumping into them on the street, the list is literally endless. But times are changing (man, I really am old now) – and they’ve brought even more options for those looking for a bit more targeted approach:

Dating apps – Pretty much everyone on Tinder makes me want to throw my phone across the room and then set it on fire. What is happening here? No, I’m not up. I go to work in the morning, and I’m in bed sleeping. And let me be very clear on this one, no I really don’t want you to come over right now so we can take care of business in the back of your blue jeep.

Singles groups – A definite step up from the nonsense happening on the apps, this one does provide for events and things to do where you can actually get to know other single people in person and in public. But I still feel like everyone knows why you’re there, which makes it still feel slightly awkward and contrived (as reflected in the fact that Kyle lovingly called them my “paid friends”). I met one nice girl friend this way, who proceeded to almost immediately find a boyfriend and become too busy to really hang out. That is all.

Interest groups – I think this one has some actual potential. I went to an awesome event this week put on by Quilt, which allows women an outlet to connect with each other (thanks to Lisa for the recommendation!). Small groups of women typically gather in the host’s home for the events, which can take on a few different forms. I attended a session focused on personal financial fitness, which we should totally talk about as its own topic in the future (why is this stuff not taught in school?). Any of you ladies in the NYC, LA or Chicago area should absolutely check it out, I’m looking forward to my next event. Not only can I meet new people, but I’m also bettering myself with each session. A win-win.

I know my results are not necessarily typical. Sometimes I’m willing to try harder than others. And sometimes I truly can’t be bothered and am totally happy doing my own thing. It’s a vicious cycle where I get super down because I’m not meeting people and can’t drum up any romantic interest, but then tend to shy away from the work it would take to actually get out there and shake the trees. I’m complicated, and even I realize that my logic doesn’t always make sense. I think as long as I keep trying, all hope is not lost. Maybe one day I’ll even live somewhere with enough space to host a Quilt event of my own. A girl can dream.

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