Dating has got to be tough these days. It’s not like 20 years ago when laundromats had date nights. You got your clothes cleaned AND had scintillating conversation with possibly the girl of your dreams. No waiting until the third date to see her underwear. It was right there! Or twenty years before that when you were still asking her father if you could court his daughter. Yeah, I said it. Court. Those days are long gone. So what is dating in the 21st century, and how can you make it work for you?
Bars have made way for coffee houses, where ambience is a key ingredient in perhaps getting a yes for a date from the wry stranger at the next table. That’s not to say bars aren’t still great pickup places, but they have gotten a bad stigma in recent years. “Yeah, we met at a bar,” means “I have loose morals. And apparently she does too.” Here are a few meeting spots if you’re looking to date in your 20s or 30s (or older if you have a young spirit):
4. Book store (even cooler when it’s got a Starbucks in it).
5. Post office.
6. Mall food court.
7. Ice cream shop.
8. On the street.
9. At a concert.
10. Party, party, party.
It’s easy to start a conversation in any of those places too, because usually there are common interests that have brought you there in the first place, but beware the signs that say her shields are up:
1. Wedding ring.
2. Reading What to Expect When You’re Expecting.
3. Checking cell every few seconds.
4. The big dude sitting next to her.
5. Earbuds, earbuds, earbuds.
Let’s start with Starbucks. Obviously here are two people who love caffeine. You might not be coffee connoisseurs, but you know a latte from an espresso, and that’s a start. Always lead with, “Isn’t this coffee hot?” or “What’s the deal with this half-caf stuff?” (Unless she has ordered a half-caf drink). If she says her boyfriend likes his coffee hot, there’s your exit sign. Otherwise, you’re in. Find an excuse to sit at her table, and welcome to date #1.
Online is also easy, but be careful of the fake photo, or the old photo. You know the one I’m talking about from 1996, professionally done to hide any and all flaws. That’s why I love Skype and various other video chats, and you should insist on having one of those first. Now, I’m not saying looks are everything, but they are definitely part of the equation. Plus, who wants to date a liar? I said liar, not lawyer. So video chat is a must. Your opening line is, “Do you come here often?” which should elicit a laugh. And then you’re in. Make an excuse to meet in person after the video chat and there’s date #1.
If none of the aforementioned places is working for you, you can be inventive and check out a gay bar. Unlike regular bars, most of the people there are looking to date, not get drunk. Oh, and don’t worry. Most girls who frequent gay bars are straight. They go there because there’s no pressure on them from skeezy guys. And you’re not a skeezy guy, so she won’t dump her drink on you. Buy her the next one, and you’re in. Just make sure she knows you’re straight and not looking to be her girlfriend. Get her number and meet in a neutral place next time, and you’ve got date #1.
The combinations go on and on, so if you’re having trouble meeting girls at the post office, try hanging around outside the post office and open the door for people coming in. Some of them are bound to be single females, and that’s your in. Or say you’re in a non-Starbucks book store and it’s not working for you. Do an impromptu Shakespeare monologue, preferably from Hamlet, and some girl will be impressed.
And you’re in.