What’s your favorite type of romantic movie?
I love the ones where the couple meets in a totally unexpected way. You know the ones – the ones that leave you thinking, “But it doesn’t really happen like that.” Life is busy, after all, and it seems like the only times you can find love are the times when you’re strategically looking for it. Between your social life, work, school, pets, family, and housework, it’s a miracle anyone falls in love, ever.
Realistically, though, it’s not actually that hard to find love. In fact, it’s a lot easier if you’re not looking. I’ve always thought it was a bit ironic, but it’s true – the unexpected love really is the best. And, it actually makes things easier – here are 17 everyday places you can find your once-in-a-lifetime love.
1. At sporting events.
If you’re interested in watching (or playing) sports, there’s a good chance the love of your life might, too. If you’re lucky enough to have live sports and a sports bar, why not try for both?
2. At a concert.
Music is super important in my life, so it’s essential that my partner enjoys music, too. Going solo to concerts and shows lets you meet new people, and you’ve already got at least one thing in common.
3. At the dog park.
Pet lovers prefer people who love pets. It’s a fact. If your fur babies get to meet at the same time you do, you prevent the awkwardness of not knowing your Chihuahua hates poodles until after you move in together.
4. At work.
I generally advise against workplace romances, but things happen sometimes – so why not go for it? Just make sure that neither of you has any influence over the other’s job – that never works out well.
5. While ridesharing or using public transportation.
We all hear about the weirdos on the train, but that ignores all the perfectly amazing people who use public transportation, too. (And besides – you never know who that “weirdo” really is if you never talk to them.)
6. At networking opportunities.
This one pretty much falls under the same category as workplace romances, but easier to cut-and-run if necessary. Dating someone who understands the work you do is a must, and someone who’s in the same field is going to understand the complexities better.
7. On vacation.
Depending on how you feel about long-distance relationships, your vacation fling doesn’t necessarily have to end when the vacation is over. There’s something romantic about being long-distance, especially if you have the means to visit each other.
8. On a group adventure.
Check your local classifieds to see if there are any group outings near you. You may be able to find ski trips, photo walks, and even nature hikes – among many other awesome adventures!
9. At the movies.
For the longest time, I thought that going to the movies alone was a sign of desperation. As I got older, I realized that going on dates yourself is a super awesome idea and more people should do it. Besides, it’s easier to approach someone you’re into if they’re not surrounded by other people.
10. At school/college/university.
Hey, don’t knock it – there are probably some awesome people on campus, many of whom you might not have even met yet. Check out the clubs and events offered and plan to go to everything that interests you – your next boo might be there, too.
11. At a party or kickback.
If your friends have been hassling you to come hang out with their other friends and you’ve been resisting it, you could be squandering the chance to find your true love. Any chance to meet new people is also a chance you might fall in love.
12. At the mall.
Whether you’re spending your own hard-earned cash or the 30 gift cards you received for your birthday, keep your eyes open to see if there’s anyone checking you out. You might be surprised!
13. At the grocery store.
Believe it or not, most people have a grocery store of choice. If you and your next girlfriend already buy your vegetables in the same place, that eliminates the arguments about where to buy okra 4 years from now.
The stigmas about online dating are falling away, and people are realizing that there really are amazing people waiting on the other side of the screen. Are you one of them? Setting up a profile only takes a few minutes, and realistically you don’t have to do too much after that.
15. On a business trip or at a conference.
Remember how we said people who work in the same industries understand each other better? Yep, still true. Plus, business trips and conferences tap into the vacation vibe, too, which doubles your chances of meeting someone great.
16. On a set-up.
Fun fact: My longest relationship to date was sort of a blind date. Sure, some blind dates turn into major horror stories (I’ve had some of those, too) but they also turn into fantastic love stories when they work out.
17. In the places you already go every day.
Unless you sit at home 24/7, you’re bound to meet other people during the course of your day. We’ve been conditioned to avoid these other people because, hello, strangers are scary – but I have to believe that the vast majority of the strangers you encounter are more like you than you’d expect. Open yourself up to the possibility of meeting someone new, and you’re already halfway there. Obviously, you might have to kiss a few frogs along the way – and you might even meet that psycho your mother warned you about. But you’ll also make a few great friends, and maybe even meet the woman of your dreams. Be careful, but optimistic, and love will find you when it’s the right time for you.