Top 5 Places To Meet Women (…That Aren’t Bars or Clubs)

It’s Friday, which means once you’re out of class or clocked off the job it’s time to start taking advantage of everything life has to offer you for the next two days.* It’s time for adventure, romance and trying new things. It’s time to get out there and meet new people, new women especially. It’s time to make something awesome happen.

I’m a huge proponent of online dating, but if you’re not out actually having a life, you’re not going to have anything to offer to the women online. And while you’re getting out of your house anyway, you may as well go out and meet people.

So let’s talk about how you’re going to do that.

This one’s almost at novel length, so strap yourself in.

The first place that comes to mind when it comes to where to meet women are almost always inevitably bars and clubs, and that can be a problem. Maybe that idea fills you with dread. Maybe you can’t stand the smoke and the noise. Maybe you’re under 21 and you can’t get in to the club in the first place.

All of this is completely understandable. Having spent more than my share of time in them, I will be the first to tell you that I’m not a fan of meeting women at clubs. I’ve had plenty of successes there, but the downsides outweigh the rewards. I enjoy going on occasion but as a regular stop for meeting people… not so much. They’re loud, smokey, overpriced and stocked to the brim with people I would probably not want to spit on if they were on fire. And, crucially, the women I met there were rarely the sort of women I actually liked for longer than it took to recover from the hangover the next day.

So where do you want to go? Well, if you want to go fishing, you gotta go where the fish are. You want to meet women? You have to go where the women are.

A quick aside: while I do advocate going to these places to meet women, I want to stress that you should not be heading down like a bunch of pick-up artists headed to the local club to drain the place dry; women who you’re going to meet at these venues are not necessarily out looking to meet the love of their life. The key words to keep in mind are “calm”, “friendly” and “low key”. And be sure to smile, for fuck’s sake.

So without further ado, my top 5 places to meet women:

5) Classes

One of the keys to becoming better with women is to be an interesting person. One of the best ways to become interesting is to lead an active life and collect new experiences. One of the ways to do that is to expose yourself to new concepts. Such as by continuing or expanding your education.

Yes. More classes.

Most colleges and universities will allow people to audit classes for a fee. Many others have continuing adult education programs. Hell, some higher end grocery stores teach classes in culinary knife skills, making sushi rolls and cooking Southwestern cuisine. Taking extra classes is an excellent way to expand your horizons. Language, art history, life drawing, editing software, even learning how to play Texas Hold ‘Em all provide you with opportunities to get outside your comfort zone and try something new. Being able to meet women at the same time? Well that’s a welcome bonus isn’t it?

The class itself offers commonalities that will give you the opportunity to talk with your attractive new classmates. It’s easy enough to walk up to someone and say “Hey, did you understand that part about  how anxiety about the camera’s availability to the masses inspired the Impressionists” and then later say “Look, I’m having a great time talking to you and I’m not sure I’m quite ready to stop; would you like to grab some coffee and continue this?” and find the nearby Starbucks.

A word of warning though: some classes are going to inherently be more likely to have a higher female-to-male ratio. Art history and languages? Good choices for this purpose. Computer science? Good for your career, not as much for meeting women, unfortunately.

4) The Gym

The gym? Yes. The gym. You should be spending time in the gym in the first place, really. Beyond the obvious benefits to weight management and self-image, exercise helps clear the mind, kick starts the endorphins and builds endurance and confidence. But as a place to meet women?

Surprisingly, yes! To start with, most gyms these days have classes; yoga, pilates, martial arts, spinning… the majority of people attending these classes tend to be women. Being the new guy in class gives you an instant topic of conversation and commonalities, easing the introductions. As an added benefit you’ll be challenging yourself by mixing up your regular work-out and adding to the core of experiences you’ll want to collect.

By the way, be sure to take advantage of the benefits of becoming a regular. Going to the gym at the same time every day means you start to get to know the other regulars; getting to know them at least by sight helps to build familiarity and with familiarity comes confidence. You have the opportunity to have quick conversations with the women, grow a rapport and get a phone number and a date. Yes, it’s a slow method. This is for a reason; most people at the gym are there to work out, not necessarily to flirt. The ones who are… well, they’re easy to recognize. They’ll be the ones in makeup with their hair styled in the fashionable workout gear trying not to work up a sweat on the Stairmaster. If that’s your type, have at it.

3) Coffee Shops

Coffee shops are awesome places to meet women, especially during the daytime. Coffee shops are low-key and quiet places that encourage lingering for hours. You’ll find women studying, reading or just bored and killing time. Anyone who’s at a coffee shop past the morning rush is likely to be there for a long haul, which nicely eliminates any time constraints you may encounter when you’re out meeting people. The relaxed atmosphere can play to your advantage; it’s easier to start a conversation with someone who’s just hanging out than someone who’s clearly on their way to something. Books and sketch pads provide an instant opening for conversation, and a pleasant conversation could be precisely the sort of distraction that the women there would welcome. Another easy opening into talking to a woman: ask her to guard your laptop while you go for a refill. When you come back, you say thanks and introduce yourself. Work from there.

Do yourself a favor though: Don’t make a classic mistake of trying to impress women by pretending to be working on your novel or your screenplay, or by faking a conversation with your “agent”. Nobody’s going to believe you, and frankly, if you were there to work on your great masterpiece, you wouldn’t be talking to people.

2) The Mall

The mall can provide a surprising variety of opportunities to meet women. I don’t necessarily advocate flirting with or hitting on the women who work in the stores. To start with, they’re in the service industry and they’re job is to convince you to buy things; unless you’re fairly savvy with social interactions, you’re likely going to confuse job-advocated-friendliness with genuine interest, leading to a lot of confusion and annoyances afterwards. Plus, like bartenders and waitresses, the odds are that they’ve been hit on repeatedly by the guys who come in and are thoroughly sick of it.

Women shopping there, however, are another matter. You can strike up a conversation with them though, as long as you aren’t pushy or overly forward. A favorite way to start off, as cheesy as it honestly is, is to say that you’re shopping for a sister or a female friend and you’re completely at a loss. Compliment her style and ask for an opinion. You can tease them by pretending they work at the store and you’re frustrated by the horrible customer service or ask if they can recommend a store where you could get something for said sister or friend.  Malls also offer the opportunity for instant mini-dates. If things are going well, you can say “Hey, listen, I feel like going to grab a sandwich at the food court,” or “I don’t know about you, but I want to grab something from the Coffee Bean. Come with me.” Instant dates change the dynamic; moving to the new location has changed the situation from one stranger approaching another to an actual date. Sit down and you’re now in a much better position to flirt, banter and get that number.


Bookstores are possibly one of my favorite places to meet women. I am a voracious reader and spend far too much time in bookstores in the first place, which makes them practically my second home. I love them. And when you’re out trying to meet people, they’re one of the best places to go because of the way they combine the best parts of other venues. Most modern bookstores are designed, like coffee shops, to encourage lingering around, under the assumption that the longer you’re in the store, the more likely you are to spend money. They offer the same opportunities to start conversations with women as the coffee shop and the mall; you can ask someone to guard your laptop for a moment, or ask for a recommendation for a new book.  The chairs, the music section and the cafes all offer the opportunity to move around the store on instant mini-dates; it’s easy to say “wait, you’ve never heard of Fitz and the Tantrum? Come with me,” and lead her over to the music section, or to say “I’m going to grab a snack, come keep me company,” and seat yourself at the cafe.

Hopefully, all this will give you something to think about. Now get out, enjoy your weekend and meet some new people.



*Or it means you’ve got that fucking song stuck in your head. In which case, I can’t really help you, other than to tell you to start singing “Hot Patootie Bless My Soul” and hope that drives it out.