One of the questions many people have asked me about dating is where they can meet friends, dates and soulmates.
If you take some initiative and put a little effort into finding opportunities there are lots of them.
One of the best ways to meet people to date is in person at events based on a shared interest. For most people in this social media era, there are important reasons why online dating is not very effective.
Here are 4 websites you can use to find places to meet friends, dates and soulmates. These are particularly effective websites if you’re doing relationship focused dating, seeking prospective life partners.
Meetup is a social media site based around in person meetings. There are thousands of groups around the world based around every topic and interest you can imagine. When you visit Meetup, create a free account and add your city to your profile. You can then search by topic and specify the distance from you within which to search. You can also change the search location when you’re traveling, too.
Eventbrite is, as the name suggests, all about events. There are all kinds of events listed there, ranging from free to costly. The diversity of topics is breath taking. I’ve seen events ranging from business networking to penis massage training workshops.
When you search the site, you’ll surely find something interesting. If you connect your Facebook account to Eventbrite you can get an email when one of your friends signs up for your events. This is a useful way to find out about things you could easily miss without much effort.
Facebook has lots going in your local area too. It’s worth searching under both Groups and Events. Search on the name of your town, your state and the largest towns near you, as well as your interests.
Fetlife is a little known gem for sex positive people. It’s a free social media site for the leather, BDSM and fetish community. But the people on it are much more diverse. It’s not for the timid or faint of heart. Fetlife was intended and designed to be a social site, not for hooking up for casual sex, but some people use it that way.
If you’re interested in anything even slightly kinky, it’s probably happening or being announced on Fetlife. There are a lot of groups and local events that never get announced or promoted outside Fetlife.
As on Facebook, search both the groups and events tab for things near you.
Making it work productively to meet friends, dates and soulmates
The most effective way to meet potential dates and soulmates is offline, face to face. It can be tempting to just keep looking at people online, or on some of these sites to chat with them at length.
Talking online is not a very effective way to start a relationship. Yes, it can work. However, you’ll waste a lot of time and energy on people who aren’t really serious about relationships – or even being supportive, helpful social friends – but may imagine and say they are interested.
Take dating offline. Do social, not social media.
Remember that some of the best opportunities to meet people are at events that are not specifically about dating.
To make this as effective as possible you need to join the groups you find. Often the best opportunities may be hidden inside a group – not visible until after you join.
In many groups there are opportunities that are not announced publicly. Some opportunities are only mentioned in a message to members. Or something you like might not get announced until a few weeks or even months after the day you did a search and concluded the group has nothing active right now. If a group is interesting, join it.
What about queer, poly and LGBT people?
Gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender, queer and poly people are everywhere. In large cities in English speaking countries you’ll find many groups on these sites specifically for them. In smaller towns and rural areas, you’ll still find some groups, but you may need to look harder and travel a little.
Don’t forget to spread your wings if you truly want to meet that special someone. Just because you’re poly, queer or LGBT doesn’t mean you need to limit your search to only those groups.
A church, bicycling club, or the dog walking group, even though it’s not restricted by sexual preference or sexual orientation, could still be a good place to meet friends, dates and soulmates. Worst case, you could make some wonderful new friends. These new friends might even refer you to the love of your life. You’ll never know unless you’re open to the possibilities.
Make Sure to Talk With the New People
Whatever group activities you join and participate in make sure you make a habit of talking with the new people. Once a group is a regular part of your life, it’s easy to get into a habit of only talking with those who are already your friends.
If you’re looking for a life partner don’t limit yourself to only talking to those you already know. The shy guy or girl in the corner might not come back next time unless you say hello to them. And, you never know who you might meet who will have a positive impact on your life or who might introduce you to your life partner.
Get involved, be social, and meet lots of people
If you want to meet more dates and potential life partners, Meetup, Facebook, Eventbrite and Fetlife offer a dizzying array of options.
Don’t get stuck online looking to meet friends, dates and soulmates. Join some groups and go to their in-person meetings. Take initiative to make friends, ask new friends to refer dates to you and be on the lookout for that person who is a good match.
Always be open to talking to new people. You never know who might make a difference in your life.