3) Cooking Classes
Women love a man who can cook. End of.
If I were to ask you to list me some stereotypes about single men – especially single men living alone – and one of the first that will come up is “a complete inability to cook”. The idea of a bachelor subsisting on frozen waffles, cereal and canned soup is endemic in western culture. The ability to prepare a meal beyond “cut vent in plastic, microwave for 2 minutes, rotate twice” is an attractive mark of maturity; it’s a sign that you’re someone who knows how to take care of himself, rather than waiting around for your girlfriend or wife to take care of you instead.
And let’s face it: the ability to prepare a delicious candle-lit dinner is an aphrodisiac.
Cooking is an art – and an incredibly attractive skill to cultivate at that. You could run out to the local bookstore, load up on Jaime Oliver and Rachel Ray cookbooks and experiment in the privacy of your own home…
… or you could sign up for some cooking classes and meet people.
Cooking classes are available all over the place; you can find courses dedicated to preparing ethnic cuisine, improving your knifework, even how to create absurdly elaborate meals involving vaporizers and molecular gastronomy via some careful Google searches. Even grocery stores are getting in on the act; Central Market and Whole Foods both offer regular cooking classes for just about every level.
Cooking classes encourage socialization; these are all about the hands-on experience rather than sitting quietly and passively absorbing a lecture. You’re expected to get to know one another as you trade tips and recipes and help get down and dirty kneading dough, basting meats and chopping vegetables. Asking for help is an easy, low-risk way of starting a conversation with that attractive would-be sous chef next to you and getting some help with the proper way to tenderize beef is a great ice-breaker.
And in a worst-case scenario – all your fellow classmates are unavailable – you’re still learning a new skill and becoming a more interesting and well-rounded person in the process.
Volunteering is an amazing way to meet women and do some good for your community in the process.
The odds are almost absurdly in your favor; surveys and studies have found women volunteer far more than men do. Going out to do community service will instantly make you stand out by virtue of being one of the few men there at all.
Getting involved in politics, especially in an election year, is one way of meeting women. Not only are you helping support your candidate, but electioneering is an incredibly emotionally charged process. You can easily get caught up in the swell of emotions; passion, after all, tends to breed passion in other areas as well. Many hook-ups have occurred between volunteers and staffers on the campaign trail.
Even outside of politics, there are ample opportunities for volunteers. Animal shelters are almost always desperate for help, although you may have to be careful that you don’t end up going home with a new furry friend or two… or three. Local theater groups, music and movie festivals, symphonies and orchestras are also great places to volunteer your time and expand your cultural horizons while meeting new people. If you’re looking to do some good for those less fortunate than you, church groups and soup kitchens almost always need a hand, especially in the “off-season – that is, any time that isn’t Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Volunteering works on multiple levels: you help keep your karma positive, give back to your community, show yourself to be a caring, nurturing individual and meet women at the same time.
1) Dance Lessons
If you’re looking to meet women without going to bars and clubs, one of the best places to go are… dance clubs.
No, I’m being completely serious here.
You’re not looking for a nightclub, you’re looking for social dancing groups, dance classes and clubs that specialize in specific styles of dance: Latin, swing, ballroom, even country dancing. I’ve talked before about the value of learning how to dance and the benefits of dance lessons as a first date and these all still apply whether you’re going to Swing Night with a date or flying solo. Social dancing like Latin and swing are all about meeting and dancing with new people of every level of skill and experience. You’re actively encouraged to talk to strangers, take them in your arms and learn how to move together as one.
Almost every club hosting a swing or Latin night will start off the evening with dance lessons for the beginners and those looking for a refresher course if they’re feeling particularly rusty. Dance schools, on the other hand, regularly host group lessons and you’re expected to dance with everybody there. If you find that your latest partner isn’t someone you’re interested in, don’t worry, you’ll be switching to somebody new in a matter of minutes. If you find that the two of you have incredible chemistry… well, you’ve got an obvious date idea to invite them on, don’t you?
In addition, many dance schools offer mixers and dances specifically for expanding your social circle, even meeting that special someone on the dance floor.
Social dance groups are an open and welcoming community… but be warned that it’s very small in some ways and very interconnected. Jerks, creeps and people who are otherwise disrespectful will find themselves ostracized in short order… and their reputations will frequently follow them to other dance groups. Getting into swing dancing just to pick up women is a good way to piss off a lot of potential dance partners. However, if you’re looking to expand your horizons, cultivate a new hobby, meet cool new people, and become a more interesting person, it can’t be beat.
And women? They love a man who can dance.