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.

1)Bookstores

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.

Comments

  1. Hmm. I half-expected "conventions" to be on the list, but maybe that's only my experience. The first three girls I had, er, sexual experiences with (to keep it vague) were met at cons. I suppose it helps if you're there with a group of friends, who in turn bring other groups of friends.

    I will say, if you're at a con, stay away from any girl obviously dressed for attention, because they already have it from 200 other nerds.

    • Dr. NerdLove says:

      I have a separate post coming about hooking up at conventions. It'll almost certainly generate some conversation

  2. Qwuijibo says:

    Online dating can usually get low quality girls , even if they are attractive. Attractive girls,with with good personalities, to NOT go online to look for a guy . This is from meeting 150 girls from the internet in the 3 years from age 21-24. Unless you mean a site that has everyone on it already, like facebook.

    This of course, is just from one person's experience. being of average looks.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us '0 which is not a hashcash value.

    • llewelybonapart says:

      A friend I work with who is in top I would say 5% of looks, found her partner online. Having said that, he is a locally renowned sportsman.

  3. Marcus (badassdragon says:

    I've tried doing the classes but it didn't work for two reasons: 1. my time management between me and the other girl. and 2. Most (pretty much all) of the time it was the location : since I don't live on campus it takes me about 45 to an hour to get there. I'm not going to rule that one out (it's my second year there so fingers crossed).

    quick question: would community centers count as another good meet up place?

  4. TheDudeAbides says:

    Here's a bone to throw to get people talking, : "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?" Well, what if you don't like any of that stuff? Why should one be judged so harshly on it? I mean, they're really going to hold it against you that you don't want to always learn something new etc as I can best put it?

    I mean as of now, I of all people def should take some more classes, but this judging thing doesn't sit too well with me.

  5. I can say, as a girl, I would love for a guy to chat me up in any of these locations and have frequently seen cute guys and hoped that they would talk to me (Hey, I'm just as susceptible to the "social constraints" of how women are supposed to behave as the next person and I'm shy – it's not really typical for girls to start conversations in these locations).

  6. Holy. Shit.

    The suggestions got worse and worse. It made me want to pull my hair out. I have tried ALL of these places but the gym, and the problem is the same everywhere. No girls in my age range walk in (I'm 25, but I've been trying this for YEARS), and if they do, they're with a boyfriend. ESPECIALLY the mall and bookstore. The worst examples I could think of offhand were your TOP 2. Christ!

    The beginning of this article got me excited like you couldn't even believe. Because it sounded like you actually knew exactly where I was and exactly how to get out. But no. No such luck. Just more confirmation that I live in some statistical anomaly parallel dimension. No one on the internet will believe this shit I tell them. Fuck sake.

  7. I agree with Kaitlyn. I'm a shy girl and would love to be approached in these places. A friend of mine was just approached in a book store and she was completely flattered. I would also like to recommend the dog park. I take my dog twice a week at least in nice weather so it's a great place to build a rapport.

    • Dr. NerdLove says:

      Well, that's assuming the guy has a dog in the first place.

      I don't recommend buying a dog to meet women – it's unfair to the dog, honestly. But a friendly – and well behaved – dog makes for a great way to meet people. There's nothing quite like, say, a happy golden retriever with a big doggy smile to make women ooh and ah and want to say hello.

      To him, anyway.
      And then you have your instant opening to start a conversation.

      • llewelybonapart says:

        DR NerdLove. I am really conflicted here.Some of my best friends are feminists and they link me articles a lot. A common topic of articles is how women are sick of being approached in public, and how they view it as harassment. If you are already shy, nervous, anxious and you sometimes pluck up the courage to approach only to find out the woman your already scared of is now angry cos you are now part of a trend of harassment..well its something. I am good looking though so maybe I shouldnt be worried.

        • There are simple rules to follow about approaching a woman in public. Since women are all individuals with different life experiences, following the rules doesn't mean you won't piss someone off – but it does mean that most people will agree you haven't been a jerk. For example, don't approach a woman who is actively signaling that she wants to be left alone, or who is currently in the middle of work (especially if you are a customer), or who is in a situation where you pose a physical threat. Using a little common sense – or just following the rules if you don't have enough life experience yet – will do a lot for you.

          • llewelybonapart says:

            OH it sounds like a nightmare, maybe best return to my computer and crack open another pizza and beer

          • Dr_NerdLove says:

            Or quit pretending that you're not someone I just banned.

  8. I love this post and totally concur! I've had a number of guys hit on me in cafes, and it's always a pleasant surprise (and break from work). And I wish gentlemen would say hello more often at bookstores- what's the worst that can happen? Everyone walks away with a new author to read? That would be quite nice.

  9. I would love for a guy to strike up a conversation with me in any of these places, especially in coffee shops and book stores. I'm not usually a shy person, but I have difficulty starting conversations with strangers. If they come talk to me, I'm fine. Honestly, as long as you're friendly and not too forward, I'll give you a chance.

  10. I'm a shy girl, but I would love for a guy to come talk to me in a coffee shop or a bookstore (two places I frequently go alone with the intention of spending a lot of time.), but it never happens. I think bookstores are probably better, because it's so much easier to find an excuse to talk to someone, or a few topics of conversation. Besides, people who hang around there have a higher chance of being interesting and intelligent which is always good. A guy who casually talks to me on a bookstore is one step ahead in winning me over. Guys, go for it. Especially if the girl is hanging around an interesting section of the bookstore. Not so much if you hate what she is into reading.

    I'm new to this blog, but I find it has really good tips, not only for nerd guys, but girls as well. Thanks!

  11. Hang out in bookstores quite a bit never really felt it was a good places to try and meet women, I must have a bad look on my face or something but anytime I start to think about saying hi they frown at me, its not like I am staring I just got there a second ago. Probably just my mind trying to rationalize cowardice and not reality.

  12. Man In UK says:

    I don't know about other countries but in the UK some of above places are terrible for single women between 18-25. Trust me I've tried and tested them!

    Classes for things like cooking, etc are hard to find round here. The ones that are purely educational and cost a load of money shouldn't be considered just to meet women. Paying £1000 just in the hope of having a female there that might be interested in you is not worth it. I've done classes, but as you can imagine a night class on computing (To help my career) had a grand total of 0 females, just like the guy mentioned in the article.

    The gym is probably the most terrible idea here. Women with headphones in and in the middle of a workout don't want to be disturbed. You WILL be met with nothing but hostility if you try and interrupt them. Unless you are the biggest most shredded guy in the building they usually don't even acknowledge you anyway, they DO enjoy looking at big ripped guys as much as you think (If this isn't you, forget doing anything else at the gym other than training)

    Coffee shops. In the UK, single women of 18-25 don't sit in coffee shops. This seems to be an American thing to do.

    Mall/shopping centre. You can only get away with asking one or two women about clothes for your sister in a shop. Other women watch and quickly catch on to what you are doing, meaning once you have asked one or two you then have to leave for another shop. I agree with not bothering about the people that work there, they are being nice to you in an attempt to sell you something. I get perfect 10 blondes smiling and touching me all the time in phone shops, etc. It's purely because they want me to buy something.

    Book stores, I can't say I've ever tried as I don't read for leisure, so me being in a book store would be out place as it is. Trying to start a conversation about books when I have no interest in them is doomed to fail, so I won't be trying there personally.

  13. Cosmic_Horror says:

    I've heard from feminists on the internet and from women I know that being asked about what they are reading is an obnoxious come-on. Of course, they were mostly talking about public transit and not coffee shops.

    • leion8000 says:

      Most modern femanist on the web see all men as pigs. And i mean all men. If you even try to ask a femanist on a date or somthing similar expect to find her foot in your crotch. There are a few femanists i respect because they see the line between femanisum and being a sexist.

  14. All of these sound pretty good, except for the thing about trying to strike up a conversation with someone who's reading or doing work in a coffee shop. Sorry, I'm sure this is just my view on the matter, but if I'm in a coffee shop with my nose in a book or my headphones in as I work on my laptop, some person coming up to me and pestering me would make me feel put-upon and NOT kindly inclined.

    Standing in line at a coffee shop or waiting for my order, on the other hand, I've had some wonderfully engaging conversations.

    If I'm browsing the shelves of a bookstore or the racks in a clothing store, that's also a pretty good indicator that I'm not focusing too hard on anything at the moment. Unless, for instance, it's the holiday season and I'm on a Mission to hunt down as many gifts as possible in as short a time period as possible, but that's probably not a likely enough situation that it's worth planning ahead for, mostly.

  15. Big lie about classes. I went through dozens of classes and I never noted any woman at all. I was an engineering major and I too did some CS courses and I can tell you the girls there are creepy like hell. I hated even having them around.

    • leion8000 says:

      … you went to an enginering class and expected average girls… … … try a cooking class or a language Class. Somthing that is on that level. You will have better luck.

  16. BritterSweet says:

    Get your spam out of here.

  17. I can say with 100% certainty (as in I've tried this with probably 100 girls) that girls in gyms are not interested in talking to you AT ALL. I've even tried to work in with girls doing squats and talk to them and they simply get ticked off. As for the rest of the ideas they don't work out in reality. Every time I even get eye contact with a girl in a coffee shop or the mall she'll give me a look like she wants to punch me. As for classes, why spend a fortune on a class just in the hopes of possible talking to a girl? That's pathetic. I have talked to a few girls in bookstores at times and that could have worked potentially but one girl tried to get me into a pyramid business scheme and another flat out told me she found me interesting to learn from but she liked older "successful" (I think that's code for rich) men. But given enough girls talked to, the bookstore could work.

  18. I would try the coffee shop and Mall. Giving online dating a go on OKCupid but no luck.

  19. See, I actually have an easier time picking girls up through bars, work, or social circles. I'm attractive, I like to read a lot and I have a great personality. But for some reason girls don't seem to respond well in coffee shops or bookstores. It's funny, but those are the only girls I want to talk to– just someone who is intelligent and looks sweet. I don't know why bars work better than bookstores?? I never intentionally do it to. I go there to spend alone time, but if I find a cute girl reading a book a I love, I can't help but strike up a conversation. I'm just trying to be friendly, but they give me that look like "Why are you trying to hit on me here?" And I give the look like, "Come on, we're people. Just give it a chance!"

    • Well, you say you go to bookstores to spend alone time – many women do the same. So when you approach, you're interrupting, as opposed to at a bar where people are more likely to be there to meet people. I'm not saying you can't or shouldn't do it, but when you interrupt you're saying either "I think my need to meet you is more important than your need to be alone" or "I'm too poorly calibrated to notice that you don't want to be interrupted." Both of these are very unattractive messages. As someone who has a lot of conversations with strangers in bookstores (I love books!) the easiest strategy is to choose moments when they're likely to welcome rather than resent an interruption. For example, waiting in line to buy the book is a great moment, as opposed to when she's focused on flipping through a potential purchase.

    • The reason why is because bar/club girls want the intelligent, educated, sophisticated, independent, stable man with a future; as they are normally shielded from the opportunity to meet these types of men. Their social circle is exclusively restricted to the 'party boys' or 'play boys' and have had too much experience with these men, that they completely 'opted out' from allowing them to enter their lives, therefore, when someone like you will approach them, you will encounter more success. When someone like you, tries to stir up a friendly conversation with the 'bookstore' girl; you are not going to have success; and the reason why is because her social circle is exclusively bounded to the people like you (educated, sophisticated, good natured, good boy'…..she secretly craves the 'play boy' or 'the bad boy'….as her experience with this type of 'man' is limited. She wants more of this in her life, for the time being…this is exciting to them (once they do encounter this for a certain period of time, the excitement will eventually fade and she will go back to wanting to resort to the 'good boy' 'educated' future' type man (when she becomes serious). All depends on who you are communicating with, and where they stand psychologically. There are way too many variables associated to 'the best places' to meet, and you cannot calculate which places are supreme. In my experience, the best paces are 'all places'….i use the law of probability approach; and employ all possible opportunities; all at the same time; Just keep in mind, that women develop different ideas as to what they want; if you catch them at the right time, you could possibly find yourself in bed with them, the first time you meet. You can also meet that same 'one night girl' at a different moment in her life, and she will make you go on several dates before she will allow you to develop any type of 'physical relationship'….understand this.

  20. I think the problem is most young women date guys at least 5-10 years older, so If your a young man looking for a young woman you probably need to look for women 5-10 years younger than you, but the problem is If your about the same age as myself and you find one 5-10 years younger your messing with jailbait and could end up in a lot of trouble it used to be more accepted for a young man In his early 20's to be with 16, 17 year old girls, but now days you would be charged with statutory rape, due a little time, and register as a sex offender the rest of your life. Lots of people would say it is wrong, perverted, creepy etc, but why is it all of a sudden wrong now, especially when most of them date guys much older any damn way.

  21. If your good looking and have good game women anywhere respond. I think this article was really about where you can find women with good quality's. He is telling you where they are not really how to get them that is up to you. If you want to go out with someone who is not an alcoholic stay away from the bars and clubs.

  22. codenamed52 says:

    This only applies to America. Not most other places in the world. Place I live, girls would not only think you are freak for being a stranger and trying to talk to them, they could even humiliate you in public if they are a girl gang.

    What a big disappointment.

  23. Classes can be great for meeting women but only certain classes that are guaranteed to be packed full of women like dance or yoga classes. The gym is good too, but avoid women who are seriously working out and wearing head phones. They do not want to be bothered. Coffee shops, the mall, and book stores are a big waste of time from my experience. I hate to say it, but bars are easily the best place to meet women by the truckloads. You are surrounded by hundreds of drunk, horny, single women, who are in the bars to MEET MEN!

  24. I would like to add to this:

    - art galleries. I volunteer at one and easily half our volunteers are great younger women who wish to meet a guy who can appreciate art

    - public lectures. Fewer girls, but they’ll be interesting ones to be there in the first place.

    - volunteering. Same as lectures.

    • llewelybonapart says:

      half our volunteers are great younger women who wish to meet a guy who can appreciate art – Like an art dealer or artist for example?

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