Los Angeles has so many single people, yet it can be an incredibly difficult place to make friends and meet people to date.  Here are some tips on how to make friends and find dates when you are the new kid in town.


Meetup.com

I am a big fan of Meetup.com. It’s is a website that started after 9/11 to promote community.  They have “meetups”, which are gatherings that you sign up for online.  They have groups for all kinds of interests like singles events, photography, hiking, concerts, restaurants, happy hours.. you name it.  Pick a few and sign up!  You’ll find other people like yourself eager to make new friends.

One thing I try to do when I go to a meetup for the first time is talk to the first person I meet.  It doesn’t matter who it is.  Don’t look for a cute girl or guy to talk to; just talk to the first person you run into.  It could be a senior citizen, bartender, bouncer, whoever.  It doesn’t matter.  Just be friendly and make small talk.  This will put you in a sociable frame of mind and you’ll be ready to move on and meet other people from there.  You really want to avoid walking in and being the wallflower gazing at everyone alone all night.  Talk to anyone who will listen as soon as possible.

Sports

Another great way to meet people is to join a sports team.  Check your local community college or city newspaper for volleyball teams, soccer teams, running groups, pool tournaments, biking teams, etc.

Partner dance classes

Partner dancing is a great way to meet people.  I can say this from experience. During the height of the Swing dance craze, I got into Swing dancing and met a ton of friends and people to date. Swing is not as popular as it was but still going strong if you know where to look.  Lindy Groove in Pasadena is a great event on Thursday nights with classes before the main dance and people of all ages.  For other ideas, check out SwingDance.LA.

Lindy Groove

Swing dancing at Lindy Groove in Pasadena

Salsa is really big in L.A., and you will find people that are insanely good and way above your skill level at many clubs.  That’s why I like Swing better, but do what you like the most.  You can also find Tango and other ballroom dances.  Check online.

Religious organizations

A church or synagogue can be a great place to meet like-minded single people. Yes, believe it or not, there are church-going people in Los Angeles. Guys, there are often way more women here than men, so consider it!  Now, I’m not saying you should go to church just to scope out dates, but if you are genuinely interested or have a religious background, don’t forget about this option.

Volunteer

One great way to meet really good people is to volunteer. Want to help homeless people, or find homes for abandoned animals, or clean up the environment?  There are organizations in L.A. for all of these things.  You just might find someone special, but you’re guaranteed to feel good about yourself afterwards, no matter what. Just Google whatever type of work you are interested in. One organization that I volunteer with is Hope for LA.

Get a dog

L.A. is crazy about pets. We have great weather, so you’ll see all kinds of people walking their dogs right after work. If you’re into pets, this could be a good option.

Dating websites?

While we all know someone who married someone they met on a dating website, I really haven’t had a lot of luck with them. When your entire being is reduced to a one-inch headshot and a few sentences that few people will read, only the most attractive people will get picked.

While dating websites have not been that effective for me, I do like the “Stir” mixers that Match.com organizes. These are sort of like meetups for single people. I have meet good people at these events, and I’d say it’s worth the cost of membership (some of these have admission cost as well).  You can also tag along with a friend who is a member, if you can find one.

Get out of your comfort zone

The key to meeting people at these activities or in your daily life, is to get out of your comfort zone. Get in the habit of talking to strangers. Just say ‘hi’, or ask a question, or offer a compliment.  And again, not just to people you’re interested in dating! Do it with everyone you meet! Make small talk with the mailman, the store clerk, the grocery checkout girl, a homeless person, whoever!!  That way, when  you do meet someone you’re crazy about, you won’t be flustered and it will be totally natural talking to them.

Use the magical phrase

I have discovered a magical phrase that energizes any conversation with a person who you’ve just met. That phrase is “I just moved here from…”  If you use that phrase, one of several things might happen:

  • The person you’re talking to might have lived at that place at one point and you’ll have something in common to talk about
  • The person you’re talking to will welcome you and offer suggestions of things to do in L.A.
  • None of the above

In my experience, the response is usually one of the first two. But even if not, there’s nothing to lose in using this phrase!


Be approachable and smile

A while ago, I noticed that when people took photos of me when I wasn’t prepared, I was never smiling.  In fact, I often had a sour look on my face.  I thought, “well, they just caught me at a bad moment”.  But actually, those were snapshots of how I looked most of the time! I realized that I had “resting bitch face” (even though I’m a guy), haha.

Since then I’ve made an effort to smile more.  I mean, not like a grinning idiot, but to be more pleasant.  No one wants to talk to someone who looks mad.  When I look for random people to talk to, I’m definitely more drawn to people who have a pleasant look on their face.  So, you should have one too!

What do you think of these ideas? Please leave any ideas that you have!! – Brian

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