In the 70s, if people didn’t get married right out of college, they thought they’d missed the boat. Nowadays, people feel they have to get their careers going first. Postponing “I do” means there are more single people in their 20s and 30s than ever before. According to Dr. David Pope, the founder of the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University, the biggest complaint singles have is that it’s hard to meet someone. So we’re going to rundown some of the obstacles that are keeping you from meeting someone – and tell you, scientifically, how to make a connection.
- We’ll start with the secret to meeting women according to Dr. Malcolm Parks, a professor at the University of Washington and author of Personal Relationships & Personal Networks. The secret: Don’t meet women. Meet people. 75% of people say they met their partner through a friend. So apply the “social proximity effect.” Simply put: The probability of two people meeting is directly connected to how many friends or acquaintances they share. Here’s the problem. Most men don’t have enough friends! They’d be lucky to fill out a fave five on their cell phone! So meet more people through classes, social clubs, team sports, or volunteer groups.
- Next, branch out. Only 1% of women say they’ve dated a neighbor, but most people live their daily lives in a six mile radius – and we tend to spend most of our time at the same five or six places. Since there are only seven single women in any given square mile, you've got to branch out. Go to a different Starbucks, a different grocery store – and hit up IKEA. More than 10 million people pass through IKEA every week!
- Use your spare time differently. Compared with single women, single men spend 45 minutes more each day watching TV and 20 minutes more on the computer. Wouldn’t that 65 minutes be better spent going to a movie in the park, a museum, a flea market or a music festival? The point is this: Get out, meet more people, change up your normal routine and you’ll be opening yourself up to new experiences that, in turn, will open you up to your new girlfriend.