Where to meet good men IN REAL LIFE

Mar 29, 2024
Man and woman laughing together

Meeting a good man is partly a numbers game.

To meet a man who would suit you for a relationship you’ve got to meet some men. And the more men you can meet, the more chance you’ll find a gem among them.

I always advocate including online dating in your strategy, as it’s a way of bumping up the number of men you can come into contact with. But I’d suggest this in conjunction with doing your best to meet men in real life too.

Meeting men face to face, in the flesh, has some advantages over online dating.

For one thing, you get to see the whole person – not just a badly lit photo that probably doesn’t tell you much even about their physical presence, never mind their personality. In real life, we get an all round sense of the person, and we’re not limited by our fairly arbitrary limits on age or salary or height – or any of the other qualities the algorithm can capture – qualities that in the end probably don’t matter that much in terms of the guy’s suitability as a partner for you.

And of course it’s the same the other way round. You can make a very different impression with a man as a real live person vs the one you might make on his phone screen. If you’re super-active and young for your age, for instance, that’ll come across right away when meeting in real life, while your actual age may rule you out online.

Getting to know a guy in an in-real-life situation also can have the benefit of allowing you to get to know him gradually, maybe as a friend first of all. And you can observe how he interacts with other people too before you’ve got to make your mind up about whether or not he might be a romantic prospect. This “slow burn” approach can often be the best way to get into a relationship. For more on this, see this previous post.

That’s all great, I hear you say, but where the hell can we meet decent men? Where are all the men?!

Unfortunately a lot of the good guys keep themselves fairly well hidden (as opposed to the players and narcissists who are the ones who’ll tend to get in your face). The good guys care about what people think, and they’ll likely be terrified of attending events like speed dating or singles nights – especially if they’ve just come out of a long relationship where they didn’t need to go out and meet new people on their own.

So we have to make an effort to find them.

You can meet men anywhere of course – in bars, cafes, in the supermarket, on the train, in the park walking the dog…

But you will need to take some action to make contact. A good first step is just to get into the habit of talking to people – any people - and being friendly if you don’t already do that, because that’ll get you into the state of mind where that’s a natural thing to do. So even if you’re talking to people you have no interest in or prospect of a relationship with it’s great practice, and it’ll make you feel good.

And if you come across an interesting looking man but can’t find any way to start a conversation or make contact then you could simply, say “hi” then pass him your card and leave.

What’s the worst that can happen?

Well... nothing – that’s the worst that can happen. But you never know.

One of my clients put this into practice just the other day.

She told us:

“Well....just did something I thought I would never do. I was in a cafe and there was an interesting attractive man!!! We had caught each other’s eyes a few times. I left but then thought, what the hell - what have I got to lose. I wrote a wee note on one of my business cards, went back and gave it to him!!!!! He seemed quite smiley about it but I did make a quick exit. Goodness knows if he will get in touch. Feeling a bit weird about it now!”

Then a little later she came back with this:

“An update, he responded and sent a really nice message and we are going to meet up!!!!!!!”

Also worth considering is that to make opportunities to speak to men, obviously we have to go to places where men hang out, and preferably more men than women, since when there’s a high proportion of men in a given location, research shows that women are more likely to get the kind of attention they want from them.

So which kinds of places are best then? Well, in the Dating Evolved Program, in our module on meeting men in real life, I challenge women in our groups to come up with ideas for where to meet men, so I’m going to share a few ideas here.

Likely places where men hang out tend to be, for instance, sports clubs. Ideas that our ladies have come up with include:

  • Ski club
  • Golf club – a couple of members have suggested getting lessons on a driving range
  • Kayaking
  • Martial arts
  • Cycling club
  • Tennis club
  • Wild swimming in a group context – the woman who suggested this enjoyed the fact that this would involve viewing men either half naked or rubber clad…

Maybe you prefer more cultural pursuits – do something you enjoy obviously and that means that you’ll likely meet someone who’s interested in similar things.

One of our members got into booking last minute tickets to the theatre and would choose a seat with a single vacant seat next to it, knowing full well that another singleton would book that seat. As a result she’s had a chance to get into conversations with interesting people that share her love of theatre.

Meetup.com has clubs to satisfy just about every interest, and these include film clubs, arty stuff, walking groups that visit galleries and historic sites. One of our ladies met her man on just such a group. Walking groups are a great way to get to know people in a relaxed way.

If you can’t find a meetup in your area that covers your particular interest, then you can start your own. It’s really easy to start a meetup group and as organiser you get to meet everyone that joins!

Meeting people through dog walking is of course a great way to get conversations started and if you keep walking in the same area, you’ll get to know the other dog walkers well. If you like this idea but don’t have a dog, check out borrowmydoggy.com!

Other suggestions have included:

  • Axe throwing
  • Drumming class
  • Go on a group tour around the Highlands
  • DIY evening class
  • Co-working
  • Park run – either running or volunteering (the latter means you don’t have to run but you do get to talk to everyone…)
  • Language classes
  • Collecting money in the street for charity – a great way to start conversations
  • Real Ale club
  • Antique fairs
  • Ceroc classes
  • Historical society
  • Going to a different coffee shop each week
  • Getting people to sign a petition in the street
  • Conservation volunteering
  • BBQ cooking classes – most cooking classes might be female dominated, but this member suggested that men love doing the barbeque so…

As you can see, the list is pretty much endless. Just don’t go to a choir expecting to meet men. It’s lovely to be in a choir, but they’re almost always at least 90% women!

What creative ideas do you have for places/situations in which to meet men?

Do share your ideas in the comments!

~ Mairi Macleod PhD