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Where exactly can you go to find women these days?


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That's actually acceptable if you're an introvert, anxious, out of college, and not great looking? And before anyone says "anywhere", that doesn't count and only works for certain people. Or OLD, I'm too ugly for that, and before anyone says via friends, I don't have a huge circle. It seems like everyone just meets via OLD but if you don't have that options or a million friends, you're fecked.

I pretty much only go to bars bc that's where my friends are willing to go, but it's a pretty limited net. Most of my interests are artistic like museums, art shows, concerts, poetry, film, fashion, etc and those are fewer places you go to meet women vs you take women on a date. Any suggestions? And no super extroverted suggestions like yoga or dancing or chit like that, please....

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I understand your numerous caveats—no apps, no friends, no yoga, no dancing—are a product of frustration, but that kind of dismissive attitude has a way of seeping into experiments in connecting with people, so I'd try to find a way to be more open-minded. Doesn't mean you need to be swiping right furiously between tango lessons, but just to note that chips on shoulders can act as a deterrent to what you clearly want. 

That out of the way, your interests dovetail with a lot of opportunities to meet people. Like going to a talk at a museum, a poetry reading, an art opening. Are these things you do? Do them regularly and you may find yourself part of a compelling little micro-community where, who knows, you connect with someone who shares your interests and is available. 

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There's got to be meet up groups in your area that have those types of interests that you mentioned. Sound out our query on forums like reddit. Some of the bars I used to go to were artsy, that drew artsy people. I had to head out to our main city that was like a half hour drive, to find those places...but they were so much fun. 

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Evening!

 I was going to chime in and suggest something along the lines of @smackie9

Bars don't have to be just hardcore clubbing till 3am! Depending on where you are OP (city or rural or inbetween?) I have been to bars within museums! I've been to a poetry reading that was in an art funded council building (I'm in the UK) and there was a dimly lit bar in the same area. People were reading their own work sitting on bar stools. I used to go to jazz bars a lot too - dimly lit, table service, you can still hear yourself talk to other people! I've been to paint evenings as well where you got handed a glass of wine and got walked through by a teacher different methods using chalks watercolours charcoals you name it! Everyone got a chance to mingle and chat after or in-between working. There was a nude model in the centre so definitely things to talk about! 

Cafe's are quite good, especially late cafe's where they hold acoustic nights? I've been to plenty of those in my time! Little intimate settings normally, and again, people mingling, some single, some couples, some with friends. 

I suppose once you're at the event you're into, it's having the courage to strike up a conversation and go from there. You already probably have that event or whatever is going on to use as an opener so, it makes things easier!

Band nights as well - I've been to see bands in bars and small clubs where the crowd is intimate. I even went through a phase of a tradition - Christmas Eve, I would drive out to a medieval castle and there was always a small evening supper held there, a band playing lute music, harp, recorder, wooden flutes, Northumbrian bagpipes (sweeter, softer and more melodic than your regular pipes!) and the hurdy gurdy! The crowds that go to places like that are usually a little kookie, artistic, open minded and unusual and easy to get on with!

You have to do some niche sifting - try get yourself to something you're never been too before, that really fires up your interest and gives you a bit of fear and just, get yourself there and see who's there, no pressure! If you don't meet anyone it's okay, just try again another week or month!

Remember! Fear and nerves are good! If you didn't feel nervous or uncomfortable, you're staying in your cloister! You're learning and improvising in new environments with strangers and you'll eventually get more comfortable doing it. The nerves and fear part is good, if you experience it, it's not a bad thing, in my opinion. Think of it as a sign you're moving forward and might get some memories and a story to tell! And you might meet someone great along the way too!

Best of luck!

x

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Libraries show films often with a cocktail hour or mixer before or after the film showing. Take a class in creative writing or design  at the local community college. Attend poetry readings and workshops. Go to a small local bar that has live music. Attend a fundraising event (or better yet, sign up to volunteer) for the museum or art gallery. 

My son signed up to decorate a float for a parade and met lots of people there. 

I hope some of these suggestions work out.

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39 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

Libraries show films often with a cocktail hour or mixer before or after the film showing. Take a class in creative writing or design  at the local community college. Attend poetry readings and workshops. Go to a small local bar that has live music. Attend a fundraising event (or better yet, sign up to volunteer) for the museum or art gallery. 

My son signed up to decorate a float for a parade and met lots of people there. 

I hope some of these suggestions work out.

This is also a great niche suggestion!

Libraries and book shops often advertise book clubs, writing clubs/circles? 

x

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2 hours ago, bluecastle said:

I understand your numerous caveats—no apps, no friends, no yoga, no dancing—are a product of frustration, but that kind of dismissive attitude has a way of seeping into experiments in connecting with people, so I'd try to find a way to be more open-minded. Doesn't mean you need to be swiping right furiously between tango lessons, but just to note that chips on shoulders can act as a deterrent to what you clearly want. 

That out of the way, your interests dovetail with a lot of opportunities to meet people. Like going to a talk at a museum, a poetry reading, an art opening. Are these things you do? Do them regularly and you may find yourself part of a compelling little micro-community where, who knows, you connect with someone who shares your interests and is available. 

I'm not...totally adverse to everything. And it's not a choice...some of those I just don't even have the option to use. If I could use friends to meet alt women, I would. And I see the kinds of women I'm interested all the time on OLD but I'm too use get matches on OLD let alone actually meet women lol. And yoga and dancing are just too...Id stick out wayyy to much and it doesn't fit for my disposition and are too extroverted, respectively. It's not that I'm close-minded out of choice, it's just certain things don't fit my introverted, anxious nature.

And those are things I want to do, but I'd be doing them alone bc my friends are really into them. And if I went alone if would be not really reaching out to anyone, and people thinking I'm seem disinterested and not reaching out to me. Like I think I would enjoy those things, but I'd have a hard time meeting people there bc I just don't seem approachable. I can't approach women in bars for random chit chat, doing it at a museum would be....well...lol

 

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2 hours ago, smackie9 said:

There's got to be meet up groups in your area that have those types of interests that you mentioned. Sound out our query on forums like reddit. Some of the bars I used to go to were artsy, that drew artsy people. I had to head out to our main city that was like a half hour drive, to find those places...but they were so much fun. 

I hear that meet ups...tend to be sausage fests. And the issue really is the dynamic. Going somewhere and everyone already knows each other I'm and the only person that's doesn't would def trigger my anxiety.

But I haven't really looked into since many were on hiatus during covid.

 

Artsy bars? That's a thing? Like  I don't think we have artsy bars. I would love to go to artst bars but most of ours just seem basic af, and I live in the city.

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4 hours ago, TheLambOfDeth said:

Most of my interests are artistic like museums, art shows, concerts, poetry, film, fashion, etc and those are fewer places you go to meet women vs you take women on a date.

I disagree. I was just in theater and it was full of women. You are introvert so you maybe wouldnt enjoy bars that much or any extroverted activity. But there is nothing wrong with sticking to your interests. Especially when they are full of women. Why do you think its only acceptable to approach women in bars? Especially because you dont particulary enjoy them and go there just because your friends go. Its perfectly fine to meet somebody anywhere. Be respectable, introduce yourself, ask about the exhibition, concert or anything else where you are and start a conversation. If those are your interests, you have more chances of meeting somebody with similar interests and lifestyle there then at the bar or at the any other place.

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2 hours ago, tattoobunnie said:

Volunteer at non-profit groups that regularly have fundraising events.  Sign up to be in the committee for the events.  Go to the events. So many ladies!

That's kind of broad, but not really a bad idea. What kind or events? And how would I volunteer and be one the committee? Wouldn't I be attending as a volunteer?

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1 hour ago, arjumand said:

Volunteer about something you really care about — homeless, animals, old people, ecology, whatever — you will meet a self-selecting group of like-minded people. It’s a great way to find kindred spirits. 

Yes.  Volunteer backstage at a community theater.  I met many people who were introverted who did this and loved it -really brought them out of their shell too.

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23 minutes ago, TheLambOfDeth said:

That's kind of broad, but not really a bad idea. What kind or events? And how would I volunteer and be one the committee? Wouldn't I be attending as a volunteer?

Most of the events I've volunteered at included being able to attend or participate in the event once your shift is over.

For example,I volunteered at an event for people who paid to drive their personal cars on a nascar race track. When my shift was over I got to drive my car on the track. Talk about a rush! And I met lots of people. Had many conversations although I wasn't looking to date at the time. 

My son was able to attend the (very famous) parade as a reward for volunteering to help build the float. 

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I agree with others.  Try joining clubs, organizations, charities, volunteer in your community, excursion type groups, intellectual groups, book clubs, enroll in classes, hobby classes and your options are limitless.  You have to put yourself out there.  You have to go to people and where they are because they don't know where you are and can't come to you.  You have to start somewhere.  Jump out of your skin and just do it.

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1 hour ago, TheLambOfDeth said:

And those are things I want to do, but I'd be doing them alone bc my friends are really into them. And if I went alone if would be not really reaching out to anyone, and people thinking I'm seem disinterested and not reaching out to me. Like I think I would enjoy those things, but I'd have a hard time meeting people there bc I just don't seem approachable. I can't approach women in bars for random chit chat, doing it at a museum would be....well...lol

Why psych yourself out of something so quickly? 

Another way of looking at it: These are things you'd enjoy, regardless of whether or not you meet someone, which makes giving it a go a win-only scenario. 

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4 hours ago, mylolita said:

Evening!

 I was going to chime in and suggest something along the lines of @smackie9

Bars don't have to be just hardcore clubbing till 3am! Depending on where you are OP (city or rural or inbetween?) I have been to bars within museums! I've been to a poetry reading that was in an art funded council building (I'm in the UK) and there was a dimly lit bar in the same area. People were reading their own work sitting on bar stools. I used to go to jazz bars a lot too - dimly lit, table service, you can still hear yourself talk to other people! I've been to paint evenings as well where you got handed a glass of wine and got walked through by a teacher different methods using chalks watercolours charcoals you name it! Everyone got a chance to mingle and chat after or in-between working. There was a nude model in the centre so definitely things to talk about! 

I live in the city, and I never thought of a bar within a museaum. I wonder if we even have those...Def don't know if we have poetry readings in a council building, but that sounds interesting. I've never tried jazz bars, but there was a cool wine bar I used to frequent...until it closed. It has a really cool vibe that fit me more than most bars. And I've hears of sip and paints but never with a nude model lol. Sip and pants have always interested me, but I don't think I've really painted the picture (no pun intended) of my disposition: I'm 6'3, I have rbf, black, usually over-dressed, kinda ugly and to not come off as anxious I usually just look irritated instead lol. The hard part would be trying to mingle or chat, bc I look too unapproachable for someone to come to me

 

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Cafe's are quite good, especially late cafe's where they hold acoustic nights? I've been to plenty of those in my time! Little intimate settings normally, and again, people mingling, some single, some couples, some with friends. 

This is also something I haven't looked into late night cafe that play music? Sounds like it could be fun. but again, I wouldn't really be mingling at all...

 

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I suppose once you're at the event you're into, it's having the courage to strike up a conversation and go from there. You already probably have that event or whatever is going on to use as an opener so, it makes things easier!

I mean..that's 100% the issue. Starting a conversation. I literally cannot do it. I go to the bar pretty much every weekend and I never approach people there. And that's a socially acceptable place to do so where people are tipsy and at least expect it. Trying to approach a woman at a place I'm at alone where a conversation isn't necessarily expected, is something I can't really do.


 

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Band nights as well - I've been to see bands in bars and small clubs where the crowd is intimate. I even went through a phase of a tradition - Christmas Eve, I would drive out to a medieval castle and there was always a small evening supper held there, a band playing lute music, harp, recorder, wooden flutes, Northumbrian bagpipes (sweeter, softer and more melodic than your regular pipes!) and the hurdy gurdy! The crowds that go to places like that are usually a little kookie, artistic, open minded and unusual and easy to get on with!

I used to go to a wine bar that would play music on the weekend. I went there a ton and almost never led to me talking to someone I didn't already know. I really don't understand how it just happens for other people, bc it never seems to for me.

And that sounds really fun actually. But we don't really have many castles in MD i'd imagine, and I'm black...I would stick out like crazy at and events like that.
 

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You have to do some niche sifting - try get yourself to something you're never been too before, that really fires up your interest and gives you a bit of fear and just, get yourself there and see who's there, no pressure! If you don't meet anyone it's okay, just try again another week or month!

Remember! Fear and nerves are good! If you didn't feel nervous or uncomfortable, you're staying in your cloister! You're learning and improvising in new environments with strangers and you'll eventually get more comfortable doing it. The nerves and fear part is good, if you experience it, it's not a bad thing, in my opinion. Think of it as a sign you're moving forward and might get some memories and a story to tell! And you might meet someone great along the way too!

Best of luck!

x

Pretty much anything I want to do already has the fear part down lol. It all seems scary bc for the most part I know I'd be going alone, and I know meeting people isn't going to happen. Trying to continue doing that well...without goodwill Idk why I wouldn't just get frustrated and give up TBH but I hope that's not the case.

Thanks, I'm going to need it.

 

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Libraries and book shops often advertise book clubs, writing clubs/circles?

I mean...I'm not exactly a writer...And aren't books clubs really like, well...aren't they usually full of women? 

 

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3 hours ago, boltnrun said:

Libraries show films often with a cocktail hour or mixer before or after the film showing. Take a class in creative writing or design  at the local community college. Attend poetry readings and workshops. Go to a small local bar that has live music. Attend a fundraising event (or better yet, sign up to volunteer) for the museum or art gallery. 

My son signed up to decorate a float for a parade and met lots of people there. 

I hope some of these suggestions work out.

A library serving drink and screening a film. I def need to look into that. IDK if we have anything like that here, but it checks like all the boxes. I don't know about taking a class...if I can't meet people at a bar, IDK how i'd meet people at a class, when I'm 30 lol. I certainly have to get around to poetry readings, but idk why I wouldn't run into the same issue there. 

I've gone to a few local bard while they've played music and it's never led to me meeting people. Idk exactly how or what people do to make it social, weird as that may sound. But I just see people in their own groups or whatever just enjoying the music amongst themselves.

Volunteering for a gallery/museum seems like a great idea, though. I'll have to try that. Thanks!

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Most of the events I've volunteered at included being able to attend or participate in the event once your shift is over.

For example,I volunteered at an event for people who paid to drive their personal cars on a nascar race track. When my shift was over I got to drive my car on the track. Talk about a rush! And I met lots of people. Had many conversations although I wasn't looking to date at the time. 

My son was able to attend the (very famous) parade as a reward for volunteering to help build the float. 

 

Hmmm...I never thought about that. I'll have to look into volunteering.

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3 hours ago, arjumand said:

Volunteer about something you really care about — homeless, animals, old people, ecology, whatever — you will meet a self-selecting group of like-minded people. It’s a great way to find kindred spirits. 

 

I love art and cats so looking into volunteering for art and animals is something I could look into.

 

2 hours ago, Kwothe28 said:

I disagree. I was just in theater and it was full of women. You are introvert so you maybe wouldnt enjoy bars that much or any extroverted activity. But there is nothing wrong with sticking to your interests. Especially when they are full of women. Why do you think its only acceptable to approach women in bars? Especially because you dont particulary enjoy them and go there just because your friends go. Its perfectly fine to meet somebody anywhere. Be respectable, introduce yourself, ask about the exhibition, concert or anything else where you are and start a conversation. If those are your interests, you have more chances of meeting somebody with similar interests and lifestyle there then at the bar or at the any other place.

What kind of theater? Like a play? The irony of bars is that although I don't particularly care for most of them, they're the only place where women approach me. Fashion is one of my hobbies and (one of the few things that gives me confidence in my looks) so I dress very well and creatively, but bars are the only place women notice me and come up and approach me.(even though they only ever mention my clothes..)

Socially, it seems bars are clubs are really the only way to meet women now. With the rise and efficiency of OLD and SM, approaching anywhere else seems to be deemed rude, invasive or "creepy". Especially if you're not good-looking or really charming. I know people manage to meet and approach women most anywhere, but they have aspects and traits I don't and are able to finesse that line of what and where it's acceptable.

The weird. artsy, creative things I mentioned are legitimately what I'm interested in doing and going to, and it would be great to meet women there, but starting a conversation is just something I've never been able to do. Women just seem really unapproachable; I'll overthink starting a conversation and just wind up never even attempting it after being bogged down with all the reasons why I shouldn't.

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2 hours ago, Batya33 said:

Yes.  Volunteer backstage at a community theater.  I met many people who were introverted who did this and loved it -really brought them out of their shell too.

Like for plays? Ehhh...I'm 30. I might be a bit old for that tbh.

 

2 hours ago, Cherylyn said:

I agree with others.  Try joining clubs, organizations, charities, volunteer in your community, excursion type groups, intellectual groups, book clubs, enroll in classes, hobby classes and your options are limitless.  You have to put yourself out there.  You have to go to people and where they are because they don't know where you are and can't come to you.  You have to start somewhere.  Jump out of your skin and just do it.

Those are a lot of options and many of them make a lot of sense for me to try. But the issue always comes down to one thing, if I go, I won't be able to put myself out there, and while I may just enjoy the activity, it won't lead to meeting anyone.

1 hour ago, bluecastle said:

Why psych yourself out of something so quickly? 

Another way of looking at it: These are things you'd enjoy, regardless of whether or not you meet someone, which makes giving it a go a win-only scenario. 

Bc I know what will happen in terms of not meeting people. I'll looks disinterested and standoffish bc I'm anxious, yet people will assume I'm just disinterested..so I'll just be there alone the entire time and after doing it once I'll just assume it'll always be that way and use that as an excuse not to go again lol.

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3 hours ago, TheLambOfDeth said:

I hear that meet ups...tend to be sausage fests. And the issue really is the dynamic. Going somewhere and everyone already knows each other I'm and the only person that's doesn't would def trigger my anxiety.

Well, you hear wrong. I went to at least three activities and it was a mix of men and women chatting and enjoying each others company without any "sausage fest" activity. And to me it didn't seem like anybody knew anybody else well, with most arriving alone and being welcomed into the group. In fact, not everyone attends every activity every time. Of course people have varying schedules, and new faces pop in regularly. Of course, each group might have a different dynamic, but wouldn't it be worth a try instead of giving up on what could be a great opportunity to achieve your goal?

You really need need to stop putting up barriers. It's like someone throws you a lifeline, and you're like, "Nah, that one's too slippery and my hands will keep slipping off. And also the rope has things sticking out of it that will make my hands bleed and then I'll attract shark."

Things don't happen for people who make excuses.

Be a docent at a museum. That'll help you learn to be more comfortable speaking to people of every age, and to get more comfortable socially. And you never know who you will meet during the process. And no, I don't mean to try and pick up women patrons, but if one kept coming back to take part in your passion for art, you never know if one of them might ask you out. Or, you could meet a female docent who you might share a spark with.

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4 hours ago, TheLambOfDeth said:

What kind of theater? Like a play?

Yes. It was a situational comedy play. Amateur acting because they are not professionals but funny. Anyway, lots of couples but also lots of groups of women. And those are the places lots of single women hang out. So there is a chance you might met somebody there. For example friend told me that he met some girl at the museum. Its just a place like everything else.

And again, I dont think bars are a solution for you. Yes, people are more "approachable" there. But your lifestyle would more suggest that you would find better matches at other places.

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8 hours ago, TheLambOfDeth said:

I live in the city, and I never thought of a bar within a museaum. I wonder if we even have those...Def don't know if we have poetry readings in a council building, but that sounds interesting. I've never tried jazz bars, but there was a cool wine bar I used to frequent...until it closed. It has a really cool vibe that fit me more than most bars. And I've hears of sip and paints but never with a nude model lol. Sip and pants have always interested me, but I don't think I've really painted the picture (no pun intended) of my disposition: I'm 6'3, I have rbf, black, usually over-dressed, kinda ugly and to not come off as anxious I usually just look irritated instead lol. The hard part would be trying to mingle or chat, bc I look too unapproachable for someone to come to me

 

This is also something I haven't looked into late night cafe that play music? Sounds like it could be fun. but again, I wouldn't really be mingling at all...

 

I mean..that's 100% the issue. Starting a conversation. I literally cannot do it. I go to the bar pretty much every weekend and I never approach people there. And that's a socially acceptable place to do so where people are tipsy and at least expect it. Trying to approach a woman at a place I'm at alone where a conversation isn't necessarily expected, is something I can't really do.


 

I used to go to a wine bar that would play music on the weekend. I went there a ton and almost never led to me talking to someone I didn't already know. I really don't understand how it just happens for other people, bc it never seems to for me.

And that sounds really fun actually. But we don't really have many castles in MD i'd imagine, and I'm black...I would stick out like crazy at and events like that.
 

Pretty much anything I want to do already has the fear part down lol. It all seems scary bc for the most part I know I'd be going alone, and I know meeting people isn't going to happen. Trying to continue doing that well...without goodwill Idk why I wouldn't just get frustrated and give up TBH but I hope that's not the case.

Thanks, I'm going to need it.

 

I mean...I'm not exactly a writer...And aren't books clubs really like, well...aren't they usually full of women? 

 

Hey Lamb!

We all get the initial years of rejection and the feeling of - what's the point? It always just turns out the same? But there are women on the opposite end in the same situation as you just wishing someone would approach them.

I guess it's a case of getting out of your head. You're worrying three steps in advance over what could go wrong. All you need to do is force yourself to say hi, or ask can I buy you a drink, or even yes, say, I've never been here before! Is this your first time too? Someone once told me in conversation, asking questions is a good one, but the How and Why questions because they don't encourage the other person to give end of the road "yes" and "no" answers. For example, if you said to the girl, excuse me, I'm new here - do you know where the bathroom is? And she says yes, and points it out, you could be bold and say thank you - do you mind when I get back if I could join you? She could say no, but in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter because just brush her off, get your own drink and try someone else if you feel like it! There will be people there maybe with only one friend, which isn't as intimidating as approaching a whole group of girls or friends?

It's tough, but I honestly believe it's like shock therapy - you have to feel the fear, and do it anyway! It's really the only way to move forward. Once you break that ice, even face some rejections, it doesn't seem so big in your mind anymore. Often the thought of things are worst than it actually happening in real life. And you have to remember and keep optimistic that the likelihood is, they will actually say YES! Join us! Then ask them where they're from! Say, love your dress, very pretty. What do you all drink? You been into this *whatever the event is!* long? All sorts of conversation! And you don't need to fill every silence. Silence is okay, don't fear the silence either, you don't have to be a radio presenter because just remember, neither are the people you're talking too. They're probably nervous too! They might be feeling lonely too!

You can't judge a book by it's cover too much OP. I don't mean to be corny, but even confident people get nervous, feel shy sometimes. Don't put the other people on a pedestal. I'm a white, middle class redhead and I absolutely think black guys are HOT! One of my biggest crushes was Nelly, the rapper! So you just can't judge. Don't worry about your clothes or colour or what people might be thinking. I'm tom boyish sometimes in my dress. I could turn over the fact that men would maybe prefer me out of my shirts and cigarette trousers but I'm kinda French and that's the way I roll. So like it or lump it! You have to have that attitude!

Also, don't worry if they like you. You just concern yourself if YOU like THEM! They have to impress you, okay? Not the other way round! 

Turn all this negative talk outwards. It's not helping. We all do it, every one of us to some extent. But it's hard. The longer we go on alone or facing rejections, we get socially rusty and build things up. It's not rocket science. You seem like a quirky, TALL! cool guy, who's interested in unusual creative things. You want to get yourself to events along those veins, maybe independent small fashion shows even (been to a few of them before!) anything! Book clubs, yes, full of women but, that's good right?! Haha!!! And if you like to read anyway!

It's not so much finding a girlfriend next week but just breaking the ice and getting yourself mingling. It's like social practise. Everyone needs to do something often to get any good at it. Every month will get easier if you push yourself a little each time. It's hard but, nothing that comes easy is worth much?


Confidence, friendly nature, kind personality, the guts to approach, often trumps looks and looks alone. You have to remember as well, you are heavily critical of yourself because you have looked in the mirror for 30 years and know every nook and cranny, so to speak. The person you first meet, doesn't see those turned over self critical niggles you do. There was a psychological study done that I read years ago how, other people see us as more attractive than we see ourselves, on average. Women will see your great height, your cool clothes (you say you get comments on this often! Compliment back on something they're wearing or how they have their hair, ask them where they shop, if they studied fashion, anything to keep them talking!)

If you feel like you could do with some support, you could go with a friend but force yourself to not stay with that friend, make a pact you have to talk to at least one new person every time you go out. Just build your confidence and skills. The more you do these social things and put yourself in new social situations, the easier they become, even for extroverts, it's the same game!

Here in the UK, our special forces, the SAS, have a saying - "Who dares, wins"

I think it's pretty true!!!

x

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10 hours ago, TheLambOfDeth said:

I hear that meet ups...tend to be sausage fests. And the issue really is the dynamic. Going somewhere and everyone already knows each other I'm and the only person that's doesn't would def trigger my anxiety.

But I haven't really looked into since many were on hiatus during covid.

 

Artsy bars? That's a thing? Like  I don't think we have artsy bars. I would love to go to artst bars but most of ours just seem basic af, and I live in the city.

And yes Lamb!

There are all kinds of bars. Normally the bar part is not the main part of the event. Like a jazz club or blues night or acoustic session (it's mostly for the music!) museums often have cafes or bars (you can get coffee or teas instead!)

I suppose I lean more into the "with a bar" side of things because I think, one, these things are normally afternoon or an evening, when people are relaxed and done with their day, two, people normally dress up and look their best for these types of events (it's hot?! makes you feel confident?!) and three, Dutch courage, if you have problems with nerves.

Heck, 3/4 of the people in my family never would have met if alcohol hadn't been involved. My Mum and Dad met at a country club, my Dad sent her over a gin and tonic. (And when I say country club I don't mean literal country music I mean, it's the name here given to a members only club normally that has a restaurant as well and music on, sometimes they are attached to a golf course, etc). 

I get the impression you like dressing up? My Grandparents all met at dances, all the men were in suits, women in dresses and little gloves. What an atmosphere for romance! Y'know! I'm about the setting! Not everyone is the same. 

Even speed dating, as silly as it sounds, and terrifying, literally to just throw yourself in at the deep end. Again, like shock therapy. Just forcing yourself to do it, come out of it hopefully with some compliments under your belt, a number maybe, maybe make a friend! And some more social experience! 

I'd suggest trying it all. Gives you something to look forward too. 

I'm not a big drinker by the way at all, I probably have about 10 drinks a year. But I've always worked night jobs for the most part, and met my husband as a waitress/bar tender at a cocktail bar/night club. I was 18. I worked where people were out, flirting and having a good time, and yes, chatting people up. I think subconsciously I placed myself there knowing I could soak up the atmosphere while I was working but not actually be "out" myself there mingling. It was a job I took whilst in college.

All the volunteer stuff, the events, the meet ups - it's all great stuff. The important bit is the people there share a common interest with you (makes the getting to know people easier) and you feel happy to be at the event/look forward too it, so that if you don't meet anyone, you still enjoyed your time!

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Here are a variety of ways my friends who are married/coupled, etc met (I am 56, married since my early 40s, my friends range from ages 30s-up and I dated on and off until 2005 -for 24 years).  

One married her salsa dance instructor

At work (me! and others)

Online sites (several -all happy)

Apartment building laundry room on a rainy valentines day night

Tennis

Singles events

Volunteer work (as I mentioned above).  

Set ups through friends (several -I've been setting people up for about 40 years -no marriages yet and I was set up many times including with one long term boyfriend and one 5 months long bf

Through friends, work friends, acquaintances - meaning not a formal set up.  I met three serious boyfriends in this way.  

I met lovely people through online sites - probably 100 in person but never "dated" online.  That helped me not waste time and I was really good at screening. My husband was on online sites for awhile while we were broken up (not divorced -we only married once) - there were 2 reasons we didn't reconnect that way but it was consistent with my opinion about how many wonderful people were on these sites.  

I met lots of people through my decades of volunteering and on at least one occasion there was a guy who really wanted to date me (but I was already seriously dating my future husband).  

Good luck!

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