I was having a conversation with one of my single female friends the other day—in fact, I was having the conversation with her, since it’s one that I seem to have with all the single women I know at some point or another. We were trying to figure out what kind of guy she should go for, who would make her happy for the long haul and where she should find him.
Normally I’m pretty stumped when this topic comes up. How can you tell who’s going to be a good guy? Beats me. Some of my best male friends, whom of course I consider to be excellent guys, have been known to just stop calling girls when they get tired of the relationship. No breakup, no explanation, no good-bye, just silence. How could they possibly do that? I would never recommend that kind of a guy to a woman friend, and yet until they told me they had done so, I assumed they were all high-quality catches and had even given their numbers away.
So the question of how to choose is clearly quite thorny. When you consider how most any woman can pick up guys very easily (typically much more easily than they think—trust me!), it would seem that it’s just a matter of picking up the right ones—and having the relationship be more than just sex. No small feat though, right?
But think about it: one reason you might think it’s hard to pick up guys is because you’re trying to pick up the most desirable-seeming candidate in any situation, the most handsome, best-dressed, wittiest, or whatever guy in the room. But if you identify him that way, a lot of other women probably do, too. With guys like that, not only is there more competition, but the fawned-upon dude is likely to be spoiled. That often makes him not such a good choice. And if you were to look to someone less obvious, your chances would go way up.
It’s been said many times, but the human tendency to reach for the stars often gets in the way of the more-than-good-enough that might be staring us in the face. We desire something and get unhappy when we don’t get it, but if we removed that “perfect” mental image from our heads, we might be completely content with what is actually at hand.
Next week, I’m going to talk about the one sign to look for early in a relationship that tells you that you might be on the right track, but first we have to get there. Where do you go to meet decent guys? The answer, of course, is not bars. Going to bars works for drunken hook-ups (and, hey, sometimes that might be what the Dr. ordered), but for something more promising, you need to be sober and talking to someone who isn’t just out for a wasted romp.
Here are five tried-and-true places to meet guys more likely to be good relationship material.
1) In a class. Your local community college and organizations like the YMCA offer a lot of courses for adults—and they’re great places to meet new people. Think about it: any guy who’s taking a class is clearly into self-improvement. He’s striving and curious—two great characteristics in anyone. If it’s a cooking class, the benefits are obvious. If it’s a language class, he probably wants to travel (you see where this is going). And having signed up for the same subject, the two of you clearly share an interest. There’s literally no better place to meet men than in the classroom.
2) Volunteering. Not only are you doing good, but you’ll meet a lot of new people. Granted, the woman to man ratio probably won’t be so good, but you can rest assured that the guys doing the volunteering have good hearts.
3) A potluck—at your place. Potluck dinner parties are great low-key events—and perfect for meeting potential dates. Host one at your place and ask your friends to bring along their favorite single guys. But be sure to tell them that it’s no set-up; you just want to meet them and see if there’s chemistry. Because you’re not in a loud bar or restaurant, it will be much easier to really chat and get to know them, and you’ll also be able to judge them on how well they cook or what wine they bring.
4) Hardware store. What easier way to start a conversation than by asking what you need to install a dispose-all in your sink? Employees at the hardware store are friendly and available to talk to. And they may not make a lot of money, but they sure can be useful. Not into the employees? Ask that cute guy in the plywood aisle if he knows which shelves you should install in your closet.
5) Coffee shop. It’s in your neighborhood, which can suggest shared interests or tastes. And you can judge from the book he’s reading or the computer he’s typing on if you go for the same things. You probably want to go scouting on the weekends, though; guys who are there mid-week might well be unemployed.
The point, of course, is to be out and about. The more new situations you put yourself in, the more guys you meet. And, as we all know, face-to-face evaluations are a lot more telling than pics and stats on your computer screen. In the long run, you’ll save a lot of time if you meet your men during everyday life, rather than on the internet. Happy hunting!
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