I tend to cherish all the conversations I have with my millennials. They’re open but closed off from reality. Naive but charming. While we discuss various topics as they force me to stay out past my bedtime, we always tend to gravitate back to relationships and dating. Being a seasoned woman, I have always been there to lend an ear or piece of wisdom. Because what young woman wouldn’t want advice from a 30-whatever, relationship-repellant, slightly jaded individual who’s depressed 32% of the time?
I’ll never forget one car ride (I’m Millenial Uber) where I was telling the story of an encounter with a man I went out with:
Me: So yeah, I had to explain brunch to him- clearly it was never going to work.
Millenial: Oh, that sucks. Hey, how did you meet him?
Me: Girl, in real life.
Millenial: Oh, what app is that?
After clarifying that I actually met him in the flesh, I started to ponder just how far we’ve fallen, I mean come, in the dating world. Back when online dating was for weirdos, you never wanted anyone to know you resorted to looking for a boyfriend on the Internet. And if you actually started to date someone, there was always a mutual discussion as to what lie you were going to tell on how you met. We all know online dating has evolved leaps and bounds beyond having to craft the story of how you met that dude from Match in a bar last month. Social media and the internet are now synonymous with many people’s love stories. One of my closest friends met her husband on OkCupid. A good friend from elementary school met her beau via a Facebook group. Another associate slid into his now wife’s DMs and they are living happily ever after. It’s no longer taboo to find love online- it almost seems to be the norm. But when you get a blank stare from someone when you tell then you met your boyfriend at the Publix, that’s a problem.
And that’s exactly where I’m at right now. I have no dating apps on my phone anymore. I also have not had a date in, well that doesn’t matter right now. The point is, if it’s ever going to happen for me, the man of my dreams is going to meet me while I look like I bum at Target as I try to sneak in and buy conditioner. I probably should work on the whole “not looking like a bum” situation, but we all know I’m a forever work in progress. Most in-person encounters are now handled like the perfume guys at the mall kiosk: NO SIR, I DO NOT WANT TO TRY MAKEUP FOR MY FACE. Why is that guy at the bar talking to me? Did he just ask for my number to call me? Did he write it down? Why did he actually call me? Can’t he just text? Why are you so obsessed with me? These are the musings of far too many people these days, and it’s a little sad. So I’m here to help you! And myself, maybe, but probably not. I’ll start by stating this very slowly, for the people who were born after 1997: HERE. IS. A. LIST. OF. PLACES. YOU. CAN. MEET. A. PERSON.IN. REAL.LIFE. THAT. YOU. MIGHT. DATE. Seriously…
GROCERY STORE: We all gotta eat, right? There’s a definite chance to encounter a cutie while picking out new overpriced water to pretend to drink constantly. And if you meet one in the deli line at Publix, he’s a keeper, as he’s clearly patient and has great anger-management skills. However, you can’t just go anywhere that sells produce and think you’ll meet someone. Grocery hierarchy exists, no matter how awful it may seem. It goes: Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Publix, Target, and Kroger. And I won’t even mention Winn-Dixie and Walmart, because those should never be options. EVER.
LOCAL PARK/WALKING TRAIL: You’re likely to meet a guy that likes the outdoors or loves to keep himself in shape. Even if you don’t, go enough and you just might. Are you a speed-walker? Just run around the corner of a trail, and who knows? You may catch the eye of a hot jogger ( you can totally catch you’re breath again after he’s out of eye sight). Dog parks are the best, because hey, who doesn’t love dogs? And handsome men with dogs? Just make sure you are actually WITH a dog, or it might get weird. And this goes without saying: this only applies to the daytime.
CHURCH: It’s all about like-minded people. And if you’re a spiritual person, it’s nice and comforting to meet someone with similar beliefs. So while you’re praising Jesus, you just might meet a nice guy named Jesus.
BAR: As I did research for this post (Googling for about five minutes), I was not surprised that this was included in every article of the WORST places to meet a man. Hey, I get it, it can prove to be challenging to find a guy who’s serious about marriage and finding a reasonable HOA together while you’re at Joe’s Corner Bar. Might not be the best idea to try out this notion on the drunk guy at the bar, but if the friend who’s helping him not puke on himself is cute, why not? By the way, I hang out with a group of ladies at church, and all the women who are married or in relationship in the group? Met their beaus in a bar. Just keep praying…
SPORTING EVENT: Fact: every guy I’ve ever met who didn’t like any type of sport was weird. Numbers-wise, this may be the best place to meet a guy. As far as quality goes, it’s a crapshoot, similar to finding a good piece of candy in a box of chocolates- you don’t know what type of crap is inside, but one of them will turn out delicious. Just make sure you run into them at beginning of the event, before alcohol kicks in or their teams is losing, at which time they may turn into angry babies.
WORK: If you meet him at work, it’s a fact that he has a job. And if it works out, you’ll always have someone to go to lunch with. On the flip side, if it doesn’t work out, you may never get to frequent the cafeteria anymore and will no longer be able t participate in Mac and Cheese Day. Oh, and you’ll have to block him on interoffice Skype.
GYM: I’m attracted to physically fit guys. Even if I am not, I still have hopes that some fella is going to see me enough and think “Hey, that girl who breathes really loud on the treadmill is here twice a week. Man, she is determined. I think I shall ask her out.” Just avoid the guys who drop weights and screams, or look like they could be the subject of the next viral video of how not to use gym equipment.
And in case you think it’s a good idea, here are a few places you will not meet a nice man. Even if you think you might be the exception, you won’t. I promise…
UBER OR LYFT: Listen Kelly, I know you think your Lyft driver Manuel is hot. However, he is not going to be overcome with so much desire, that he asks for your number after you threw up in Corolla.
BRUNCH: You love bacon. And mimosas. And all your friends are fabulous, so why wouldn’t the guy at the bar be just as awesome? Because he’s with his girlfriend, so steer clear. And if you’re at drag queen brunch, deep down inside, you know your shirtless waiter with the perfectly arched eyebrows does not want you.
ANY ESTABLISHMENT WITH THE WORD “MARTINI” IN IT: Martini Bar. Blue Martini. The ‘Tini. They’re all establishments where you’re too old to be there anyway, and lycra dresses are still worn. Just don’t.
-KEEP IT A HOT MESS