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Simply Solo Spotlight: How Can I Meet Men?

February 8, 2011

Today’s Simply Solo Spotlight is written by Julia, who reached out to me a few weeks ago for some dating advice. I gave her the best advice I could, but I really felt like she could benefit from all of your thoughts. After all, I’ve only been doing this dating thing for a very short time – I still have so much to learn myself! I can’t wait to hear the advice you all have to share (I’ll be taking notes!).

Quick shameless plug: Do you have a story to tell? Advice to offer? Did you just have literally the worst date of your life and you must write about it? I’d love to have you as the next Simply Solo Spotlight! Contact me at: simplysoloblog@gmail.com.

How Can I Meet Men?

I’m Julia, I am 23 years old, single, and suck at dating. Blah, my dating life has been fairly boring. Every guy I have dated has been a friend of mine prior to me dating him. I believe that is my main problem, so of course my friends and family have tried to help me in this department.

Take my last date for example. A family friend has been working with my mother to set me up with her grandson. We are similar in age and both like computers and video games. A match made in heaven, according to my mom. After texting and talking on the phone for a few months, J asked me out to a hockey game. I love hockey, so I was really excited to go.

When I met him at the rink, I realized that the “few” friends that were coming along with him was not just a few, but 10. So we all get our tickets and go inside, make small talk and that is about it. Once the game starts, I try to start a conversation with my date, which comes to a halt almost instantly. So, I keep watching the game.

One of my friends Kim (who is a season ticket holder) texted me from across the arena saying, “I have never seen you look so unhappy here.” Oops, I guess I better look more interested. So I turn to start a conversation with him again and he is gone. Sigh. So, I watch the game some more and when he returns 20 minutes later, I tell him I am going to speak to my friend. Kim was a God send! She said I should ditch him, but I knew that wouldn’t be right. So, I go back to my seat and realize there is still 40 minutes left of this agony. J tried to make conversation as well, which was going great until I realized his friends were telling him what to say.  

Eventually the game ends, and J offers to walk me to my car. I kindly declined, gave him an awkward hug and walked to my car and left. Later on that night when I got home, I got a text from J asking if I had fun. I couldn’t tell him that I wished I was the one the defense men were slamming into the boards. So, I figured, “I enjoyed the game, thanks for inviting me” would do the trick. We haven’t talked much since. All he seemed to care about was video and computer games. Don’t get me wrong, I like video games too, but there is so much more to me as a person than my interest in video games.

advice booth with chairs

Photo courtesy of laughlin

So, that brings me to why I need advice. I can’t take many more dates if they are like this. I don’t go out very much, so I don’t really know how to approach a guy who hasn’t been my friend before. Everyone keeps telling me that I am still young with plenty of time to date. That’s all well and good, but most of my friends are either engaged, married, or have children. The worst of it is, my family is beginning to ask me when I intend to date more. Right now I just want to date and have fun, but first I need to find some guys … Help?


26 Comments leave one →
  1. natasha permalink
    February 8, 2011 10:19 am

    Try Plenty of Fish! Lots of hotties on there — not sure how many serial killers so proceed with caution! 🙂

    • julia permalink
      February 8, 2011 3:21 pm

      I actually signed up for plenty of fish a few days ago, so we will see! thanks for the advice. I will be on the look out for the serial killers 😉

  2. February 8, 2011 11:50 am

    It sounds like he’s just a socially awkward guy. But then, you also say this:

    I don’t go out very much, so I don’t really know how to approach a guy who hasn’t been my friend before.

    So, maybe you just have to practice getting out and being social as well?

    • julia permalink
      February 8, 2011 3:22 pm

      That is very true I am socially awkward as well but you are very right i do need to be a bit more social and I am def. trying! 🙂 thanks for the advice

    • February 9, 2011 12:57 pm

      Agreed, Dennis! Julia: there are boys you want to be with and then there are practice boys. Maybe if you don’t worry so much about finding “the one” right away and just give yourself time to figure out how to enjoy yourself on a date, you’ll be ready for “the one” when he comes along 🙂 As for places to meet men… one of my ex-boyfriends worked in a video game store and there were ALWAYS tons of guys hanging around. Since you mentioned that you like video games, maybe you could convince one of your girlfriends to join you at the mall and help you to strike up a conversation with one of the guys in the gaming store. If he blows you off, his loss- just grab an ice cream (or your favorite junk food of choice) and give it another try.

  3. February 8, 2011 1:25 pm

    Julie,
    Thanks for your guest post! Maybe you’ve stumped my readers a bit?? Maybe there are no places to meet men! Haha jk.

    I agree with Natasha, online dating is really great. As long as you are safe and smart about it, it can open you up to so many new people and experiences. You may not find the love of your life, but you might find a whole new group of friends! I’ve also heard that you should be active in local groups – like a kickball league, or a volunteer group. That’s a great way to meet people.

    I also read this blog post last night from one of my favorite blogs, and she asked for advice on how to meet men and expand her horizons. Here’s the advice her readers gave her:
    http://womaninternational.blogspot.com/2011/01/dating-update-part-ii.html

    Check out that blog post – I think it’ll be a great start as far as advice!

    • julia permalink
      February 8, 2011 3:24 pm

      Catherine I was afraid of that ha ha but so far I am loving everything I have heard.

  4. Rebecca permalink
    February 8, 2011 1:37 pm

    Make it a goal to flirt with at least one person each day. That should introduce you to some new people! And, will help you improve your conversation skills with guys who arent already your friends. It probably sounds intimidating, but what do you have to lose?

    • julia permalink
      February 8, 2011 3:25 pm

      Thats a good idea I will have to try that! thanks 🙂

  5. February 8, 2011 1:42 pm

    I think Catherine just made some great suggestions (and I’ll have to check out last night’s post as well).

    Breaking out of your current circle of friends/family can be challenging, but not impossible. We have so many ways of connecting and meeting new people. Branch out. Join a group or take a course in computers or video games. Join a gym or a fitness group. And, a common way to meet people IS through family and friends, so don’t discount the helpful suggestions these people are making. But, be polite and honest when you’re not interested.

    Coming out of a serious relationship, I am finding that I perhaps need to be less serious about dating. Meaning, going on a date does not necessarily mean this is going to lead to anything else. I can say adios to him right after. I am still in the mindset that I must pick a person who has the things I need and want, otherwise I will end up with a guy who disappoints and then I end up where I am now. Truth is, I need to relax and go with the flow. And so do you.

    You ARE young. Enjoy it.

    • julia permalink
      February 8, 2011 3:26 pm

      Thanks for the advice, I am trying new things and trying to get myself out there and you hit it on the head, I always think long term I just need to relax.

  6. February 8, 2011 2:26 pm

    My Advice:

    1. The more you date the easier it gets/the better you get at doing it.

    2. Online dating sites. And I find that the ones you have to pay for (like match.com) overall have better guys than the ones that are free. This is totally a generalization, and there’s a million exceptions, but this is what I have found.

    3. Relax. My own dating life was kind of patchy and hit-or-miss until I hit about 27. Then it was super fun. And if I had to do it all over again, I’d take the blah years to get to the super fun years again for sure.

    • julia permalink
      February 8, 2011 3:30 pm

      Thanks for the advice, I have heard that the non free sites do bring the “better” guys. Once I can afford it I will try that. And my mom always says you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince. But I would like to just kiss a prince 😀

  7. julia permalink
    February 8, 2011 3:31 pm

    Again thanks everyone for all the advice!

  8. Thalia permalink
    February 8, 2011 4:02 pm

    The key is definitely getting out of your comfort zone and becoming more sociable by attending more events. I receive email blast with upcoming events in my area. If I come across something that piques my interest, I go! And don’t be afraid to venture out on your own either. I always say why limit myself from experiencing something new just because I don’t have a sidekick? Plus you’d be surprised at the amount of attention you’ll receive just because you’re out solo!!

    • Julia permalink
      February 8, 2011 4:27 pm

      Thalia how do you get those emails? It is very hard to go out alone, but I will try it 🙂

  9. February 8, 2011 4:58 pm

    Just get out and do something fun by yourself. Go for a hike, catch a movie, peruse a local record store – don’t go looking for Mr. Right. Be content and happy in your own skin first, and he will be drawn to the confidence you exude and your sense of independence and adventure. Women who are comfortable being alone and busy having fun get noticed, trust me.

    • julia permalink
      February 8, 2011 6:52 pm

      i think i am going to explore my city a little bit….alone 🙂

  10. February 8, 2011 5:41 pm

    That sounds rough! They say once you stop looking, you find someone. Just keep doing things that you enjoy with friends and try new things and you’ll find someone. Meetup.com is a good site for finding friends with similar interests.

    Good luck!

    • julia permalink
      February 8, 2011 6:56 pm

      I will def. check out meetup.com thanks for the advice 🙂

  11. February 9, 2011 10:22 am

    My best advice would be:

    1) try not to worry about long term from the beginning because then you will miss doing a lot of things / meeting a lot of people
    2) push yourself to meet guys but not worry if you’d like to date them, this will allow you to practice conversation and introducing yourself…if you go for coffee, say hello to the person behind you in line with something easy “wow, this line is longer than normal, good thing I’m not in a hurry today”, say 2 more sentences to the person who waits on you that you normally would, comment on a guy’s clothing/items – “hey, that’s a nice coat/shirt/tie – my brother would like that” or “oh, I see you have a new BB/Kindle/car, are you enjoying it?” – if you aren’t trying to get a date or check the guy out, you will be more relaxed and after you do that every day, it will come naturally when the guy you are interested in shows up

    Good luck Julia!

    • julia permalink
      February 9, 2011 11:57 am

      thanks for the advice…i will try the conversation thing. thanks again 🙂

  12. February 9, 2011 3:36 pm

    This might be lame advice, but why even think of ways to meet someone? Don’t even think about it. I believe the best way to meet someone is when you least expect it. Join things that you enjoy doing, if you like sports join a team, if you like art join a night class. But don’t join in hopes of meeting someone, do these things because YOU enjoy doing them and then maybe along the way you’ll “bump” into someone who enjoys the things you do. And you never know, it could turn into a relationship.

    • julia permalink
      February 10, 2011 8:40 am

      thats exactly how my cousin met her fiance by just bumping in to him!

  13. February 22, 2011 10:59 am

    Julia,
    I can completely relate with your situation, from a guys POV, as I have also recently been tackling the question ‘How can I meet women?’

    Dennis made a good point of simply saying go out more and be more social. I have been working on the same thing myself and it has greatly improve my “social game”. If you’ve ever seen the movie ‘Yes Man’ keep that general principle in mind (just without the crazy comedic antics).

    I think the primary thing I try to keep in my mind is to just get the conversation going. Don’t worry about where it’s going to go in the future. Focus on that moment. And take the pressure of yourself.

    As for online dating, I don’t think the free ones are all the bad since I haven’t been able to muster up the courage to join a pay-site yet…and I think I’d rank in the Better-type crowd of single men 😉

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