We talk here often about getting out of the house to meet people and have suggested joining Meet-up or Facebook groups around interracial dating. While those are great, they are limited to a few big cities, yet those of us interested in swirling are everywhere!
Another excellent way to meet people is finding those who share your hobbies and interests. Again, Meet-up is helpful here but can be limited geographically. For people who are introverted and not prone to immediately engaging strangers, participating in common interests can help break the ice over time. Repeated, casual interactions outside of a dating context (where people try to put their best foot forward) can also help with character discernment and vetting.
So, depending on your fancy, here are ten common interests that can springboard you into meeting other people. These ideas can help you connect with organizations you can participate in, volunteer at or even get a part-time job with.
If you have a passion for the arts consider joining a drama group, taking up screenwriting, volunteering at a children’s theatre, or visiting an arts festival. Film is one of my personal hobbies and I went to the Toronto Film Festival a couple of years ago. I recall meeting and chatting with several guys. If you don’t have the time for regular involvement, consider donating to an arts organization in order to get on the list for donor appreciation events.
Are you an animal lover? If so, many, many Americans own animals and regularly need services like grooming, daycare/boarding and veterinary care. Additionally, many shelters are in desperate need of financial help, so helping to organize annual fundraisers is another way to give back and interact with people who share your passion for animals. Other ideas are joining your local zoo to attend members-only events or signing your animal up for pet lessons.
Some of us live and die by what’s going on in the market. Connect with like-minded professionals by joining your local Chamber of Commerce. Join professional organizations that have country club privileges. As a bonus, you may be able to snag a mentor and have that person introduce you to other professional circles.
If you are a foodie, you are in good company at the pop-up dining experiences put on by The Art of Dining in London. Find your fellow food lovers during cooking lessons at Macy’s or specialty stores. You could also volunteer at a food expo – ladies, get to know handsome farmers, vendors and green entrepreneurs. If you’re in Orlando or San Diego, check out the dating site, Dinner Date.
Are you a history buff? Consider giving learning to give specialty city tours, like the Helter Skelter tour in L.A. or the Alcatraz Night Tour. Museums are always looking for volunteer tour guides as well.
Have you ever had the burning desire to make a fire from two sticks? Check out some survival training with Bear Grylls. Find other outdoors enthusiasts by joining a hiking club, taking fishing lessons or learning archery.
Politics and Public Policy
If social causes and a strong concern about the future of the country are your thing, consider volunteering with a political party. There are several Young Republican/Democrat/Libertarian chapters around the country. You can also join a foreign policy club or a local chapter of the United Nations.
Meet fellow science geeks and hot teachers through volunteering at a science fair. Or, discuss your love of science over a beer.
Always wanted to learn tennis? Try adult lessons. If you are nostalgic about grade school kickball, find a league for grown-ups, preferably one that combines games with adult beverages. For those who enjoy niche sports like rugby or cricket in the U.S., check out a fan club which can give you a heads up when foreign teams play exhibition matches here in the States.
Do you enjoy your knowledge of obscure and likely useless facts? Head out to trivia night at a local watering hole. Many movie theaters or libraries offer a film trivia night as well. If you’ve dreamed of going on the ultimate trivia show, start a study group to help prepare for the big test.
Now, get out there and meet people!