Meeting quality single people is difficult in Los Angeles. Everyone is so busy, and the people you meet at bars and clubs may not exactly be what you would consider “quality”.
But, there are actually plenty of people in the same boat who don’t necessarily want to do the club/bar scene. Here are the top ways I’ve discovered to meet quality single people in L.A.
It’s hard to think of a place where you’d meet a better type of person than at a volunteer event. There are tons of great young single people who sacrifice their nights and even weekends to volunteer. Here are some organizations to volunteer with:
- Hope for LA: Has a calendar where you can sign up for volunteer opportunities around L.A.
- Serve LA: Meetup group with various volunteer opportunities.
- The Compton Initiative: This is a HUGE event that happens every few months. The goal is to beautify parts of the Compton community.
- Heal the Bay: Has volunteer cleanup events.
- The Sierra Club Los Angeles: Volunteer to help the environment in Los Angeles.
- Orange County Sierra Singles: For singles in O.C.
- Habitat for Humanity
Of course there are many, many more volunteer organizations, ranging from political, environmental, animal rescue and so forth. Just Google what you’re interested in and you’re bound to find a cause that interests you in L.A.
I’ve been impressed at how many young single women are at these volunteer events. At many volunteer events I’ve been to, it’s been mostly single women there. Guys, time to step it up! Not only will you be doing something good for the world, but you could meet someone special.
2. Churches / Religious Services
If you think that only your grandma and old people go to church in L.A., think again. Many of today’s churches cater to young people and feel more like rock concerts than church. Here are some churches in L.A. with lots of young people:
- Vintage: This is a newer church in Santa Monica and the West Side with lots of young professionals. I know lots of single people who go here and they love it. For their events, check out their community Facebook page.
- Pacific Crossroads Church: Very highly-educated congregation of young professionals in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s. Modern worship. Meets in Santa Monica and downtown L.A.
- Mosaic: Worship in the heart of Hollywood that resembles a rock concert, but with solid preaching. Much of the congregation consists of young singles with a lot of artistic types.
- Reality LA: Also in Hollywood with lots of young single folks.
- Bel Air Prebyterian Church: Has a large singles group called “The Foundry” that is pretty famous among young church-goers, 18-35 years old.
- Core Church LA: Located off of La Cienega near the 10 freeway. I’ve never been to this one but could be interesting.
- The Loft LA: Small church in mid-Wilshire consisting of almost all 20’s and 30’s singles.
- Saddleback Church: Huge mega-church in Orange County led by Rick Warren. All ages, with a variety of services including one that has modern music.
- St. Monica Catholic Community: I’m not Catholic, but many people have told me that this church in Santa Monica has great events for singles.
Please note that is hard to meet people by simply going to church on Sundays and leaving afterward. There are just too many people and Sunday service is not conducive to meeting them. Your best bet for meeting people is to join a smaller church group that meets outside of church.
I’m sure there are also wonderful people at synagogues, mosques, and places where people of other religious beliefs meet.
3. Partner Dancing
Partner dancing is one of the best ways I’ve found to meet single people. If you are willing to devote the time required (which is considerable, I admit) to learn the dance, you’ll meet a ton of people, I guarantee it. Salsa and Swing dance events have tons of single people of all ages!
See these resources to find places to do partner dancing:
- SwingDance.LA for Swing dancing events. For lessons go here.
- Viva Salsera for Salsa
- Salsa Hook for Salsa
For older singles, there are also ballroom and Tango dance events.
This might sound crazy, but don’t rule out country line dancing (yes, it exists in L.A.) The most famous place that I know of is Cowboy Country Saloon in Long Beach. There are single people of all ages there and free lessons before the band goes on. It’s pretty fun if you don’t take yourself too seriously.
4. Networking / Singles Events
Networking is a good thing. You might find a new friend, business contact, or someone special. Go with an open mind and try to meet people of all types. Check online for networking events in your profession, alumni events, or singles events. Here are a few more suggestions:
- Three Day Rule: This dating service has some epic single’s events, such as their annual Halloween party at the Viceroy. You don’t need to be a member to go to these. Sign up to get on their mailing list and be informed of future events.
- Match.com Stir: I prefer meeting people in person over meeting online. Match.com Stir events are real-life fun events that happen in hip venues all around Los Angeles and Orange County. These are worth the price of Match membership (plus the event fee, usually somewhere around $10-$20). It’s really easy to meet people at these events because you know everyone is single and looking:
- Ivy Plus Society: This is a networking event for young alumni of highly-ranked universities, but actually anyone can join (no one checks to see where you graduated from). This is not a singles event per se, but there are a lot of single people at these events, and it’s pretty easy to meet people. One young woman even admitted to me that she was there because she liked “smart guys”.
- Every Other Wednesday: This is a group of mostly single young professionals who meet for happy hour, you guessed it, every other Wednesday, mostly in Santa Monica and the West Side. Events are usually free. Sign up for their mailing list to join.
- Eventbrite: Has events of all kinds, from professional to hobbyist, and including singles events like speed dating. Sign up for their newsletter for events in your area.
- Speed Dating: I’ve never done this but I know people who swear by it. Search for these on Google, Eventbrite, or Meetup.com
- Lock and Key: Men get keys, women get locks, and you try to find your match. VIP Social Events hosts some of these events.
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5. Fundraising Galas and Events
It would be hard to find a better group of successful professional (and often attractive) people than at fundraising galas and events. Galas are usually held in hotel ballrooms or cool locations like museums, and everyone is dressed to the nines looking amazing. But, there are also informal fundraising events held in swanky mansions in Beverly Hills, Brentwood, and so on. Oh, and these fundraisers often have incredible food.
Some examples of organizations on the West Side that have great fundraising galas and events are The People Concern (homelessness), Harvest Home (pregnant homeless women), and Claris Health (pregnancy counceling). Find organizations in your area who are fighting for causes that you believe in and they will almost certainly have fundraising events with like-minded people.
6. Online Dating
Online really is where people who want to date are these days – especially busy people who don’t have time (or don’t enjoy) the bar/club scene. And, it’s only getting more popular every day.
The downside of online dating is that you will be judged in less than ten seconds on your profile photo. If you are not photogenic or your photo isn’t good, you won’t get good results. On the other hand, I know so many people who’ve met their significant others online!
Here are some dating sites that I am familiar with and recommend:
- Probably the biggest dating site in terms of number of members is Match.com. There are a wide variety of folks on this site, and it does work if you invest the time in good photos and a good profile. Out of all the dating sites, I personally have gotten the most dates from match.com:
- Coffee Meets Bagel is a mobile app that requires a Facebook account. You get a group of free profiles every day at noon, and you can pay to contact more people. There are a lot of solid high-quality professionals here who want to find someone to date seriously. Coffee Meets Bagel does work! I have lots of friends who have gone on dates using this app.
- Bumble is another mobile dating app with a similar interface to Tinder, where you swipe left to skip and right to approve. I will say that your physical appearance is very important on Bumble. A very high percentage of the women on there are models, actresses, yoga/pilates instructors, fitness coaches, and so forth. Others are successful business owners/leaders. My female friends say similar things about the guys on there. You’ll definitely have to step up your game (and profile photo) if you want to get any responses.
- eHarmony goes with the philosophy of “quality over quantity”, giving you a small number of matches that are supposed to be a better fit. I have friends who have done well here and even met their significant others on eHarmony:
7. Meetup Groups
If you’re not doing Meetup.com groups, you’re missing one of the easiest ways to meet single people. Sure, sometimes the events are lame, and maybe the folks that show up are not exactly your cup of tea, but stick with it and find a Meetup that fits your demographic. Just sign up for a group that matches your interest (hiking or photography or whatever), or go straight these Meetup groups which have a very high percentage of singles:
- Los Angeles Wine Events
- Los Angeles Single Professionals & Friends
- LA Smart Singles
- Mix Professionals with Fun Events
- Connect Singles
- No Flake Singles and Friends LA
- Los Angeles Free Concerts
Even if you don’t meet someone special, these often meet in cool venues (hip restaurants and bars) that are fun to discover and experience.
What I’d like to emphasize with Meetup groups is to give them a chance. You might go once or even twice and think a group is lame, but stick with it! Or try a different Meetup group. Good people do show up to these!
8. Athletic Teams or Clubs
Want to meet single people who are in good shape? Join a sports team or club! No, I’m not talking about joining a gym, but more an actual team. Here are some ideas:
- Volleyball: I joined a volleyball class at Santa Monica College, and it was filled with young single people. Even better would be to join a beach volleyball team.
- Kick boxing, martial arts, karate, Krav Maga
- Kickball: I didn’t even know they had kickball for adults, but a friend of mine is on a team and she loves it.
- Yoga: Tons more women than men.
- Hiking: Somehow there are always significantly more women than men on group hikes that I go on. Check out the Los Angeles Hiking Group Meetup.
- Running: Check out the LA Running Club or many clubs like this.
- Biking: Bike shops usually run beginner-intermediate bike rides for free. Check one near you.
- 5K Races: Even if you’re not in great shape, you can run a 5K with a little training. There are plenty of “couch-to-5K” programs out there. These races always have lots of young, fit professionals.
Search on Google for more information on sports that you are interested in.
9. Continuing Education Classes
If you want to meet people interested in the same hobbies or topics as you are, try taking a class. Community colleges have really inexpensive classes. Just be sure to take a class that is truly useful or interesting to you though, as there may or may not be single people there, depending on what topic you choose.
- Santa Monica College Community Education: The intro photography class there (with Larry Jones) is famous for being entertaining and filled with single people (many women).
- Cooking classes
- Art classes: Check out these “paint and wine” classes.
10. Your Network of Friends – Never Turn Down an Invitation
This might seem like somewhat of a non-suggestion compared to the other items on this list, but really one of the best ways to meet people is through your existing friends.
You know that birthday party that someone invited you to, but you don’t know anyone else there? Well, go to that party. Same with that wedding, where you only know the bride or groom and no one else. Go to that wedding. You know those annoying Facebook events that people keep inviting you to and that you keep deleting? Go to those Facebook events. Utilize your network of friends to meet new ones.
I know it’s difficult and awkward to go to a party when you only know one person, but these are actually golden opportunities to meet new people.
But when you go, make it your first priority to have fun, not necessarily to meet someone. A person having fun is attractive, and worst case, you’ll have a good time and some good practice for the next event!
11. Become a Social Connector
So far, I’ve been listing outside places and events to go to. But why not create your own fun? Hosting a party is a great way to meet new people if you can encourage your friends to bring their friends. It also makes you look really good, because as the host, you have high social proof.
I get the best results in terms of fun and participation if I pick a whacky theme for my party. Once the date is set, just Google that date to see what that date is famous for. In my case, the party fell on National Milkshake Day, so we served burgers and milkshakes while playing rockabilly music in the background and we encouraged everyone to dress 50’s. It was a huge hit!
It almost doesn’t matter what the theme is: it could be Chinese New Year, Peruvian independence day, national Salami day, or whatever. The important thing is to pick a theme! It makes it so much more fun and guides you on how to decorate and what food to serve. And, you’ll get a lot more interest than if you just a have generic party.
Or, be a social organizer, planning events like Hollywood Bowl nights, bike rides, hikes, and so forth. Encourage people to bring their friends.
12. Walk a Dog
Having a dog forces you to get out of the house at least once a day and gives you the opportunity to meet other animal lovers in your neighborhood. It’s a great ice-breaker and gives you something to talk about. If you don’t have a dog, I’m sure you have friends who’d love to let you walk theirs!
What do you think of these ideas? Any other good places to meet quality single people in Los Angeles that you know of? Here’s a list of hot spots in Santa Monica and Venice for singles. Here are some tips for meeting more single people when you go out. – Brian