There are millions of websites dedicated to women and their endless search for companionship, but what about us men? Do we not cry ourselves to sleep every lonely night next to a table of empty ice-cream containers after a lengthy run of early ‘90s soap operas?Maybe it’s a coincidence that, as of 2012, the number of single people in the U.S. closely resembles the number of people who are enrolled in online dating. Maybe it’s just a sign that people are looking in all the wrong places. Since alcohol seems to be the shortcut to pregnancy instead of a healthy relationship, why not try Mandatory’s 10 sober spots for meeting women, gentlemen? You never know what you might find.
10. Artisan Workshop
Creativity and passion go hand-in-hand, so exploring a new or familiar creative space is a great way to meet passionate people. Whether it’s painting, pottery or knitting you’re into (those three are progressively less manly), sign up and see where it takes you.
Creativity evokes interesting conversations about its process and the result of hours of toiling, so use that to your advantage. You can have a laugh over your failed attempts at a self-portrait or meet someone who shares a common interest in the creative process.
Again, if you’re looking for a shortcut, you can just sign up to be the nude model to a women’s painting workshop, but it might be best to leave something to her imagination when first meeting. If nothing else, you might pick up a new hobby that takes your mind off your sad state of loneliness.
9. Theater/PlayIf you’re looking for a classy broad, the theater is always a superior choice. Girls with good taste in classic literature love a nice play, and it speaks highly to your character if you can attend on your own. It also helps if you know how to read. Women love a man who isn't illiterate.
Although it’s impolite to talk during a play, it never hurts to discuss your favorite parts afterwards with a nice gal over a cup of coffee. Check the local reviews and find one that suits you best. If nothing else, you can get away with weeping in public about the lengths to which you’ve gone to meet someone who prefers plays over going to see Christian Bale not die again.
8. Yoga/MeditationOpen yourself up spiritually, get a good stretch or release some stress by giving yoga a try. No? OK, then consider the countless number of flexible yoga hardbodies in spandex, and maybe you’ll go.
We’re not saying you have to become someone’s shaman and hike the highest mountains of Peru, but having an ability to open up is something that many men struggle with, whether it’s through ignorance or embarrassment.
Just the same as art workshops, creative and passionate people tend to gravitate towards these open-minded environments. Even if you’ve never done yoga before, go in with an open mind and sense of confidence that it’ll be a good experience.
Although yoga isn’t a very social situation, it’s easy to stick around and talk afterwards, as these are usually friendly environments. Ask a girl to go for a smoothie, which always hits the spot after a good stretch. If nothing else, you’ll let out some stress of being alone and pining for love.
7. Art Gallery ShowA little culture never hurt anyone. Going out to an art opening or seeing a popular exhibit gets you out of the house and into a social place. Even if you have zero ability to discuss art, it at least shows that you’d rather see something new than stay home on the couch watching "Lost" all over again.
Women love men who have an artistic interest because it shows an ability to connect with something that is created out of nothing. Most relationships begin with nothing and are built up just like a very detailed painting. If nothing else, you just saved yourself from watching a terrible ending to a great television series.
6. Improv ComedyIt’s no secret that women love a man who can make them laugh, so much so that even a disfigured man or any guy who looks like he stepped off the set of a Tim Burton film has a shot if he has a joke up his sleeve.
If you’ve got a solid sense of humor, use it. Not every man has that inherent luxury though. The same way you can’t make stupid into smart, you can’t really learn to be funny. You can, however, go to a place where other people are funny. Women who are in a fun, feel-good place (like comedy shows) tend to be more open to conversation. So if you’re not taking a girl there, maybe you can meet one there. It never hurts to bone up on a few good jokes before going. If nothing else, you can have a good laugh when the comedian inevitably makes a joke at your expense about how lonely you are.
5. Local ConcertA good taste in music is the backbone of any good relationship. Hit up your favorite local venue and catch some live music. Drinks or not, everybody seems to be more social at night, and live music is a solid way to be sober and still put off a cool vibe.
Just remember that if it’s a Smash Mouth tribute band, you’re only going to find a bunch of deaf girls and tasteless floozies. If nothing else, you can blow off some lonely steam through slow head banging.
4. Meet-Up GroupsEver hear of those travel groups full of complete strangers who go on trips into nature with their cameras and photograph everything they see? Those things actually exist.
Take one of your passions and immerse yourself into a group of like-minded people. It’s an incredibly easy way to hit it off with people who share common interests, and you don’t even have to pretend to be someone you’re not. Enjoy the nature, the quietness and the chance to experience life simply while you photograph it.
If photography isn’t your thing, go to a surfing meet-up or join a Civil War reenactment group. If nothing else, you’ll take your mind off the fact that you’re incredibly alone and went to the middle of nowhere with complete strangers to change that.
3. Quiet Beach or ParkMaybe the reason you find difficulty in meeting someone interesting is that you look in all the loud places and end up screaming to be heard to some girl you know nothing about. A quiet stroll in the park or reading a good book on the beach is always a solid option because the places you find peaceful and relaxing are likely going to be peaceful and relaxing to the other people there. It’s all about being yourself and meeting people who are in the same headspace when you are doing just that.
Books are always a good conversation topic, but you can always draw, paint, play music or just be. It’s when you shove earphones into your ears that you cut yourself off from others, so think about that next time you’re in a place where you can see yourself connecting. If nothing else, you can live vicariously through people around you who aren’t as lonely.
2. Dog ParksIt may feel like cheating to use your furry buddy to meet a pretty gal, but you’re a package deal so use the tools at your disposal. Dog parks are not only a good conversational spot to share stories about your dog’s incessant love for its own feces, but they’re also the road paved to getting dates you probably don’t deserve.
Ladies love to see men who care about something other than themselves, and if you know any good tricks, that only shows you take a real interest in your canine companion. You can rent a rescue or borrow a dog from a friend if that’s what it takes, but we recommend you invest in a dog yourself. If you’re desperate, at least avoid bringing an aggressive large breed in heat to the park, since forced animal intercourse is not the key to any woman’s heart. If nothing else, having a pet can itself remove that dreadful feeling of loneliness.
Next: 10 Things Women Notice About Men
1. Coffee ShopHanging out at coffee shops is the age-old way to meet women and talk over a nice cup a joe. It’s so smart because you don’t have to ask a girl out to coffee if you’re already there. Do yourself a favor and don’t mention writing a screenplay while you’re having coffee. If nothing else, there’s always loud Internet porn in public.