Not all romances start with a swipe.
Sure, the best dating apps could lead to great relationships, but sometimes unexpected locations set us up for delightful meet-cutes. Next time you're doing those errands, keep your eyes (and heart) open!
5 unlikely places to meet someone, according to dating experts
1. A Record Shop
We're always keen on attempting the latest Spotify trend (Spotify Receiptify, anyone?) but sometimes it pays to go a little old-school. Try finding a new record for your Crosley and perhaps a potential match will be nearby, scoping out the cool bands of yesteryear.
"More so than any other form of media, music is there with us as we go through life," says Dr. Caroline West, a sexologist and dating expert at Bumble. "Some research has found that we can learn more about others through music than other forms of media, and this allows for a bonding experience as we discuss the music closest to our hearts."
Visiting a local record shop is certainly a fun way to strike up a conversation about your most beloved musicians, but attending a gig can work well, too. You could be well on your way to sharing playlists (digital and otherwise) with a cutie in no time.
2. Your commute
We know that getting to work is your first priority—considering you're already late after grabbing iced coffee—but keep an eye out for nearby straphangers who might be willing to strike up a little chit-chat before a busy day in the office.
"While many commuters try to keep to themselves while getting to work, the daily commute can actually be a good way to meet someone from your area," says Maria Sullivan, a dating expert and the vice president of Dating.com. "A great time to strike up a conversation could be while you are waiting for said transportation to arrive, or even while you are stuck in a train delay."
While the Uptown A train might bless you with a cute match (or perhaps someone you might not have gravitated towards if you're untyping) there is a pitfall to getting romantically entangled with someone who shares the same route as you.
"If they follow a similar schedule and you encounter them often while taking a train or bus you're likely to see them again, whether or not things work out romantically," Sullivan warns.
Keep that in mind (and think of alternative transportation if need be).
3. Pet Events
While looking for a four-legged love, perhaps you'll meet one with two legs as well. Right off the bat, you and your match will have something to talk about.
"It’s no secret how much people love their pets," says Eva Gallagher, a dating expert at Plenty of Fish. "In fact, 97 percent of single pet owners in the U.S. believe that pets are a part of their family, with nearly 50 percent of singles saying that owning a pet is a turn-on."
Maybe when you go find Fido at the local adoption agency, he can do you a favor in terms of romance. How about finding a nearby dog park once you and your new furry friend get settled?
"Meeting someone at a pet-centric event or venue is a great ice-breaker and can make you seem more approachable," Gallagher adds.
It goes without saying, but this one gets two paws up in our book.
4. Baseball games
Even if you're more interested in the soft serve at the stadium than the actual game, there's no reason to disregard a sporting event as a great place to make a connection. Between the snack areas, the close quarters, and the excitement of the game, who knows what will transpire?
"Summer means baseball season! Even if you aren’t necessarily the athletic type yourself, heading to a baseball game with some friends is a great way to meet someone," Gallagher says. "A sporting event also provides tons of opportunity for playful banter (a little lighthearted trash talk, anyone?) and the chance to connect in a fun, authentic, stress-free way."
What's more, Gallagher has the stats to back it up. (No need for RBIs here.)
"Forty-four percent of singles say a shared interest in sports has brought them closer to someone they were dating," she notes.
5. Solo Bar Visit
Though you're likely used to going to the local pub with friends and neighbors, grabbing a drink solo could open up the door for conversations you might not have ordinarily had.
"Whether or not you go with the intention of meeting someone new, just showing up might open the door for someone to start an interesting conversation with you— one that might lead to setting up a date," Sullivan says.
Do be careful and take note of the crowd. Should things get rowdy and you're uncomfortable by yourself, don't feel bad about sneaking out.
Regardless of how you find romance this summer, this is the number one dating advice we received from an intimacy coach—and it'll make a huge difference!
Maria Sullivan is a dating expert and the vice president of Dating.com, a site that has global reach and helps you foster a connection with someone, regardless of their location.
Eva Gallagher is a dating expert at Plenty of Fish, a Match Group dating app with personalized connection options that help "create the same magic online that you would IRL."
Dr. Caroline West is the host of the Glow West podcast, a relationship expert for Independent.ie, the Elaine Show on Virgin Media One, and Bumble Ireland. She's a writer, lecturer and media commentator with a focus on sex, feminism, and the body.
Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.
Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few.
When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.
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