Are You Single and Looking? Get Out and Try Something New.

(This is cross-posted at BlogHer.)

I’m a firm believer that women can be just as happy when they’re single as when they’re dating or in a relationship, but it’s also okay to admit when you’re ready to meet someone. You want attention; you want to laugh; you want to feel like someone really wants to be around you. At these times you might ask yourself, “What are some fun things I can do to entertain myself and also meet new people?”

In the past, when I was single for a long period of time, it was because that’s what I wanted. I needed time to myself to figure things out in my head, and I didn’t want to be bothered or influenced by someone else. I didn’t make an effort, and I never put myself out there to be discovered, so it was easy to remain single.

So, obviously, if you are looking for someone, you have to make an effort. Sitting around with your girlfriends and moaning about not having someone to hang out with doesn’t count. You have to go places (whether it be in-person, online, or both) to increase your chances of success.

Keeping in mind that I’m a relative newbie to this whole meeting-guys-on-purpose thing, I’ve read enough to know what I would and wouldn’t do if I were looking to meet someone. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve seen is to get out and try something new — something you’ve been wanting to do but have never taken the time to do before.

I like this advice because it serves more than one purpose. You’ll not only put yourself in a situation where you can meet new people, but even if you don’t meet someone, you’ll still benefit by expanding your knowledge — whether you’ve decided to take some kind of class, or maybe try a new athletic activity.

(However, you should keep in mind that certain activities are better than others when it comes to meeting men. For instance, I’m currently taking a belly-dancing class where all of the students are female. While belly-dancing might be useful later if I ever want to show off my skillz — not to mention it’s good for the ol’ abdominals — for the short term, it’s definitely not something I’m using to find a date.)

There are, however, plenty of activities that are more unisex. For instance, I’ve been wanting to try rock-climbing. (And by that I mean a nice, tame, rock-climbing gym. Not a mountain.) I’ve also been talking about getting a bike for a long time. Both of these activities, while being fun (biking) and scary/exhilarating (rock-climbing) would be places where it might be possible to meet new people.

Something else to think about are the things you already do, or places you already go on a regular basis, where you have the opportunity to talk to people but maybe haven’t done so before. For instance, would I talk to a guy at my gym? Sure, as long as he wasn’t being sleazy (but that would be the case in any situation, not just the gym). And of course if you look like you don’t want to be bothered, they shouldn’t bother you. If I leave my iPod at home when I’m doing a weight workout, I’m opening myself up to being more approachable (and yes, I have noticed that people talk to me more when I’m not walking around with headphones on).

While it’s good to take advantage of new and existing opportunities, there’s also such a thing as trying too hard. For instance, I don’t think it’s a good idea to go somewhere that you know in advance you won’t like, just for the purpose of meeting a guy. (Like those tips to “go to a hardware store to find men” or whatever. What are you supposed to do, just randomly roam the aisles, hoping you’ll be approached by a hottie? I bet if someone approaches you to ask if you need help, odds are it won’t be that hunk you’ve been waiting for.)

Where have you had success (or not) in finding men?

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