The one question I can’t seem to escape this time of year is: “Where do I meet single men, Paul?”
While I am not a believer in one ultimate Mecca for single men, I do know there are better places to meet men than others. Over the years as a professional matchmaker, I have spent a significant amount of time headhunting men as well as coaching female clients on where/how to meet men. The following list represents the 10 places with the highest yield (during the holiday season).
1) The Apple Store
I have several friends who work for the company Steve Jobs built, and the data I hear is very compelling. In just one store in New York City, over the course of one year, four marriages and 12 commitment relationships were reported – that’s better odds than most online dating sites! Once you go Mac you don’t go back!
2) The Gym
It is important to emphasize “weight room” and not just the gym, in general. Women work out just as frequently (if not more frequently) as men. So next time you’re working out, walk over to the free weight area and no matter what gym you’re in, you’ll see that the ratio jumps to 1 billion men to 1 woman -– bingo! Even if you’re not interested in what you see, there is nothing wrong with a little friendly flirting… just say “Who can spot me?” and you’ll have your pick!
3) Holiday Parties
You can’t escape an evite to a holiday party. Every organization hosts them: employers, churches, college alumni groups, and the list goes on and on. Holiday gatherings are a great way to reconnect with old friends and to meet new friends. The opportunity to attend parties translates into an increase in opportunities to expand our social circle which can lead to more than just a winter boo.
4) Select Supermarkets
If it starts with a “W” -– it’s a good look! Whole Foods & Wegmans are my favorite (Click here to see video of me taking TV personality Jacque Reid to a supermarket to meet men). Traditionally, supermarkets have been named as great grounds for meeting single guys. Take that a step further and frequent the aisles at high-end grocery stores and you’re likely to find a good catch. Anyone spending that much money on groceries is serious about their health and most likely their lifestyle, and he can probably cook.
5) Home Improvement Stores
Home improvement chains are loaded with men. You can’t walk in one of these big-box stores without seeing an abundance of available guys roaming the aisles for tools, fixtures, wood — and dates. These stores even offer classes on home repair and construction projects. Debbie Mandel, author of Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul, explains the appeal: “Men are looking for self-reliant women who can fix things and take some of the responsibility off them.” She adds, “Some weddings have been celebrated at the Home Depot where the couple originally met!”
Very similar to office holiday parties, many organizations use this time of year to raise money – be there (if you care about the cause)! Not only will you be supporting a good cause, you can meet people who share your value for giving (and values is the most important category to match with someone on).
7) Facebook & Social Networks
As we know from the hit movie “Social Network,” the origin of the biggest online destination in the world was simply a dating site. My matchmaking team actually uses Facebook to identify matches for clients and high rates (compared to other methods). One of my twelve marriages as a matchmaker came from an initial Facebook introduction. However, the tricky part with Facebook, just like with any online dating site, is how it is used. I also mention “social networks” because the key (as I I know you’ve seen me write a million times) is expanding your social circle – so why not participate in an online forum that allows you to do just that.
8) Volunteer Project
When we volunteer, we dedicate our time to our passions and values. There is no better qualifier to meet “Mr. Right” than our values. There is no better expression of your values than the giving of your time. I have personally witnessed many friends meet their significant other this way.
9) The Train
I travel from DC to NYC frequently and have personally witnessed a gold mine of men in my state-to-state excursions. Men hand out business cards like one of those people handing out free Bourbon chicken at the food court in the malls. The fact that these men are on the train and not a bus (no disrespect to my Mega Bus friends because you’ll catch me riding it on occasion) is a good sign (for my clients)… unemployed folks usually don’t take the train across the state line.
10) Select Online Dating Sites
Hate it or love it, 1 out of 5 committed relationships is a result of an online dating site. As a power user of several online dating sites myself, I can tell you that even though many people say online dating sucks… it really doesn’t. Nothing is wrong with online dating tools. What does suck is how many people use sites not best suited for their needs or don’t spend enough time using the tools provided. Used effectively, online dating delivers results — more than 500,000 people who marry each year as a result would agree. This time of year, several sites offer discounts or free passes, take advantage of this.
Have I missed any great places?