If you’re one of the few people who hasn’t yet tried online dating, now’s the time to start. “Since the pandemic, dating apps have seen significant growth,” says Tennesha Wood, dating coach, matchmaker, and founder of The Broom List “That means that more singles are engaging with apps, giving you more options than ever before.” There are tons of different apps and sites out there, from all-purpose ones with huge user bases to swipe through to incredibly niche ones where finding someone with the same passion as you will be a snap. If you’re not sure where to start, consider AskMen’s online dating hub, which contains detailed reviews for literally hundreds of apps and sites. RELATED: Best Online Dating Sites of 2021
If you’re wary of dating apps, that’s understandable. Putting yourself on display for potential partners to judge can be daunting, and if you’re not having much success — putting together just the right profile is tricky — that can be seriously draining. Instead, Wood notes, you can use social media as another form of website or app. “Whatever you do, don't just say 'hi,’” she notes. “Initiate a conversation that focuses on things you have in common by asking a question, and inserting some humor.” RELATED: How to Use Social Media Like a Gentleman If she’s non-responsive, there’s no use hassling someone who’s not interested. However, there’s a chance that she, too, is looking for someone to chat with, and it could lead to some genuine flirtation if you play your cards right.
On the other hand, sliding headfirst into someone’s DMs might not be your style. That’s where one of the oldest tricks in the book comes in: asking your friends to play matchmaker. “You get the best odds of meeting desirable people when you meet them through your friends,” says Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D., psychotherapist and author of Dr. Romance's Guide to Finding Love Today. “Statistically, most people in successful marriages met their spouse through a friend or family member.” However, it’s not necessarily as simple as announcing to all your pals, “I’m single, find me someone!,” explains Wood. “Your friends know women that you don't know, but don’t assume that they know what type of women you're looking for,” she says. “Be clear with your friends about what you're looking for and ask for their help.”
Of course, maybe you’d prefer to leave the matchmaking to the professionals? You might not realize that matchmakers are still a thing, but they very much still exist and are even experiencing a boom in recent years. “If you’re serious about meeting the right partner, using a matchmaker is a great option,” says Wood. “Matchmakers spend a lot of time getting to know their clients and understanding their needs to locate suitable matches. [And] one of the biggest advantages of using a matchmaker is the invaluable feedback they provide. After a date, it can be hard to gauge how your date feels and where they want to take the relationship from there; a matchmaker gets feedback from your dates and provides coaching in areas where you can improve.” RELATED: Best Dating Apps for Relationships
Sometimes, the most knowledgeable matchmaker can be… your own God? If you’re religious, there’s a decent chance that finding a partner with similar faiths is important to you, and one way to do that is through your own religious community. “Generally, faith communities consist of people who get to know each other, and who can vouch for each other at least to some degree,” explains Tessina. “And a lot of people go to church are looking for connections.” Of course, depending on how religious you are, this may already be covered by the “tell your friends” portion of this article, but if you’re a semi-regular attendee of a church, mosque, synagogue or temple, speaking to a leader in the community about your relationship goals and asking if there are any potential suitable matches could go a long way. RELATED: Christian Dating: The Best Tips, Tricks and Apps
If you’ve ever heard the term “high school sweethearts” before, you’re familiar with the idea that someone at the same educational institution as you might be a good pairing. Such people will often be your age or close to it; they’ll likely have either a similar background, similar goals, or some combination thereof, and there’s a good chance your friend groups overlap at least a little bit. But even if you’ve already graduated long ago, that doesn’t mean you can’t meet single women in a learning context any longer. “If you can choose something that genuinely interests you, and attracts the kind of people you’re looking for, you’ll have an excellent chance of at least making good friends,” says Tessina, “and a high probability of meeting someone suitable.” However, she points out that "classes and workshops offer a better opportunity to interact with the other people than lectures do, unless the lecture is a regular event, or followed by a lab or a discussion, where you can interact with people.”
Similar to school, another place people have used as a dating pool is the workplace. However, this is one you have to be careful with, as there’s an increasing awareness that unwanted flirtation and romantic or sexual attention towards a coworker constitutes workplace sexual harassment (some companies having policies against coworker relationships entirely). Still, it’s only natural for people to develop attractions to their coworkers, and these can flourish into serious and lasting relationships if all goes right. “The reason so many people meet at work is that it supplies the criteria for bonding: contact, with meaningful content, over an extended period,” says Tessina. “Unlike online dating, and other one-time venues, the office gives you a chance to actually get to know and even bond with a person before declaring your interest.” RELATED: Best Dating Sites for Professionals “Working side by side with someone daily, seeing them under pressure, commiserating over problems and congratulating over wins gives you a portrait of the person on the inside as well as the outside,” she adds.
“Pause outside to say a friendly hello, make a comment about the weather, ask when the trash is picked up, or what day the street sweeper comes by, borrow a cup of sugar, a wrench or a lawnmower, or pick up a piece of trash from your neighbor’s sidewalk,” suggests Tessina. “This is easier in a small town than it is in a big city because in a small town everyone expects to know everyone else. If you live in a metropolitan area, your neighbors are the other tenants in your apartment or condominium building. You can get to know these neighbors on the rooftop in hot weather, or by the swimming pool, in the park, or near the mailbox.”
One more viable option? Join a group, a club, or a society related to one of your interests. “Groups that are already organized, with planned events and structure, can be extremely helpful, especially if your group of friends is too small or too far away to be useful as a resource for meeting new people,” notes Tessina. “If you attend meetings and events of an organization for a while, you will soon make friends there. Most people you meet there will be known to the others, which makes it easier to know who you’re meeting.” RELATED: Best Dating Sites and Apps for the LGBTQ+ Community This could be anything, she adds. “Are you a collector? Do you have a favorite activity or interest? Do you love horses, travel, playing music, dancing, ’30s memorabilia or a stamp collection? Are you enthused about model trains, kite flying, or model planes? Are you an avid skier, gardener or hiker? Do you love playing bridge, chess, computer games? Do you like the mental challenge of math, or crosswords, or astronomy?” “All of these interests have corresponding groups,” says Tessina. “When you find a group centered on your interests, that includes suitable people for dating, you have a great chance of meeting someone who already likes what you like.” You Might Also Dig: