You’ve searched bars, parks, book shops and everywhere else that’s ever spurned a meet-cute between Meg Ryan and a male co-star. You’ve cruised the aisles at the Apple Store and found nothing but dudes checking out the latest technology. Before you bite the bullet and join an NFL booster club, check out these less conventional methods for discovering the men who have been flying under the radar like Clark Kent on an off-weekend.
1. Conventions. Yes, we’re talking Comic-Con/Star Trek/dork conventions here. One friend says, “The men there can be so grateful and fawning, it’s a tremendously invigorating change of pace to date them.” Then again, they may have priorities other than, you know, real-life women.
2. Bar theme nights. Hunting for dates at the local bar is tired, but the local bar on Bingo night is a whole new ballgame. Not only is picking up a card and stamping out numbers actually fun, but hopefully you’ll form some friendly, flirtatious rivalries with your neighboring competitors. Anyone can participate in Bingo, trivia night, spelling bees, board games or other dumb bar gimmicks; pay particular attention to the handsome chaps who know their Zachary Taylor from their William Jennings Bryant.
3. Wedding. You would think this would be an obvious choice, but most women seem to be totally caught up in trying to catch that ridiculous bouquet. Meanwhile, the men are all huddled together around the cocktail server while Journey plays on the dance floor. Interrupt them and you’ll find that at least one good-looker is attending the ceremonies because he, too, is a sucker for true love. Besides, nobody wants a major train wreck ruining their wedding so these guys are already bride-approved.
4. Recovery programs. Meetings aren’t just for alcoholics anymore (although if you’re one of those, we hear AA does have a singles scene). All across the country, people come together throughout their workweeks to vent about their gambling, food and spending addictions. Got $50,000 in student debt and no way to pay it off? There’s a group for that. Did your mother stage-manage you through a child modeling career? There might even be a group for that. In any case, we don’t recommend crashing a la Helena Bonham Carter in Fight Club, but there’s always a category one might fit oneself into for the sake of finding like-minded souls. At least you won’t be able to say your man doesn’t know what you’re going through.
5. Running. This one never fails, in our experience. Picture this: You’re running in place, waiting for the little orange hand to make way for the Go signal, and the good-looking barista from the coffee shop jogs up. We practically guarantee a positive reaction if you raise an eyebrow and say, “Race you to Java Jive.”
6. Alaska. “If you’re a single woman looking for a single man,” one study reports, “Alaska is still a gold mine.” When all else fails, head north to Alaska, where the rush is still on for oil millionaires, outdoorsmen and generally all-around great guys. Parking yourself on a street corner with a sign that says, “I’m single and looking for trouble” should do the trick.