With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, one question we hear quite often in counseling work with singles is: “How do you meet people when you are dating and looking for a relationship”? We have compiled a list of different relationship tips and different places you can begin meeting people, to help get you started on the right track.
Before dating and working on a relationship, begin working on yourself.
The best “advice” we can give singles is to know your self before going out and getting to know someone else! You won’t know what you are looking for in another person unless you know what makes you tick. Read self-help books, take personality tests, and/or seek out professional counseling for any unresolved personal issues or past relationship baggage before you start dating. You will be happy that you did this in the long run. It could be the saving grace for your relationships on down the road. We frequently see individuals who are looking to date, or looking for a relationship to make them feel “whole” or to complete them. You can’t be in a healthy relationship if you aren’t a “whole” person, and it’s not fair to another person to expect them to fill your personal voids.
With that said, let’s get started on where you can go to meet potential dating partners:
Places of common interest.
Whatever your hobbies or interests, look around when you are in settings of like interest. Strike up a conversation with someone that seems interesting, whether it’s in the dog park, the coffee shop, a sporting goods store, a sports event, a social club, outdoors activities, a book club, etc. Get involved in a community group or organization that caters to your specific hobby. There are many organizations and groups specific to certain hobbies and interests in most urban areas. Check online, or look in your local newspaper or yellow pages.
Networking- Ask around with other friends, both married, single, and in relationships.
What better way to meet someone than through mutual friends? Ask your friends if they know of any single, interesting people who are looking to date. They might just know someone who would be a good fit for you. If it doesn’t work out, at least you have gotten to know another person, and have expanded your group of friends! Perhaps you will meet someone interesting through the person that didn’t work out.
Never turn down an invitation to a wedding or party. Social occasions are a great way to meet other singles. Whether it’s a wedding, a birthday party, or a group celebration for a different occasion, singles are bound to be present at most social gatherings. Many times it can feel awkward to go to a party or social gathering alone, but this can be a great opportunity to meet other singles.
Volunteer for a cause you feel strongly about or take interest in.
You could possibly meet someone in the process of helping a great cause. Many singles volunteer for things like the Humane Society, Cancer awareness, Church groups, Homeless shelters, etc.
Take a class. Enroll in a class, whether it is for fun or for academic credit at a local college or university. Many of the local recreation centers, fitness centers, colleges, and universities offer courses in every area you can imagine, from pottery making and pilates to learning a foreign language. Even if you don’t meet someone, you can learn something new.
Enroll in an online dating website or other online groups.
We have all seen the commercials for online dating such as eHarmony and Match.com. Why not give it a try? There are also websites for meeting people that aren’t centered particularly on dating, such as Facebook, Myspace, Hoverspot, and Tagged. There are many stigmas that come with internet dating, and often people who are looking to date are ashamed or intimidated to use what is out there. Our world is rapidly changing, and technology is becoming more and more the “norm” for meeting people. There is nothing to be ashamed about in meeting someone electronically. It’s a great way to take the first step of initially meeting someone… Just don’t use it as a substitute to eventually getting out and meeting new people. It’s all too easy to hide behind a computer, and good relationships aren’t built on texting, instant messaging, or emailing. A word of caution, however, is to use your intuition and be safe. Don’t ever give out personal information online, such as full name, address, place of work, etc. Be smart with meeting or dating anyone new, using good judgement, good boundaries, caution and discretion, whether it’s online or in person.
While this is by no means a complete list of places for singles to meet, it is a good start. Just remember that you won’t meet someone if you aren’t going places to meet them!
If you are interested in setting up an appointment or speaking with one of our therapists for further information, give us a call at 317-569-0046. Imagine Hope Counseling Group offers individual counseling, marriage counseling, and family counseling in Indianapolis and the surrounding areas of Carmel, Zionsville, Noblesville, Fishers, and Westfield.