For centuries, women everywhere have been asking the same question: Where are all the single guys hiding? Thanks to our phones, social anxiety has skyrocketed. Men have never been more horrified to approach women in real life.
Dating apps can feel like the only way to meet guys. But let's be real: Most women hate dating apps.
I am a professional matchmaker, and women come into my office every day, lamenting that there are no good guys out there. But here's the thing: There actually are.
In fact, there are so many amazing, successful, single guys out there, and they're looking for an amazing, successful, single girl like you. It's just a matter of finding them.
It's literally my job to find potential husband-material men for the girl bosses I match-make, and I'm happy to share a few of my top secret recruitment strategies and locations.
1. Get in line.
Lines are a single girl's best friend. There's a line at Starbucks? Fabulous. A line at Whole Foods? Fantastic.
Get in that line, and strategically position yourself next to a cute guy (preferably in a suit). Once you're in said line, ask him an indirect question. Indirect questions are the key to navigating a successful line love connection.
Ask him anything about the store or location you're in. Great examples include “Do you know what's in the caramel flan latte?" or "Do you know if the vegan pizza is edible?" Get creative here. But make sure to only ask him something that's completely unrelated to him. He'll be happy to have some friendly chatter with a cute girl, instead of having to check his work email on his phone.
The clincher here is the follow-up question. Be sure to ask him a second question once he's answered your first one, or the conversation will fizzle out. My favorite go-to is, “Thanks! Are you from around here?” Proceed to have a normal conversation with your future boyfriend.
2. Make new friends, and go to their birthday parties.
One of the best ways to meet your next boyfriend is through someone you already know, or through a friend you have yet to meet. Friends of friends are quite possibly my favorite people to match-make. They come with a bit of background, and there's at least the validation that they're (most likely) not child predators or serial killers.
Believe me. I know you're super busy #adulting and changing the world, but even if one of your major priorities is to find a boyfriend, you need to foster friendships with your girlfriends and platonic male friends. Once you're at their parties, don't just stay in your comfort zone with your girl gang. Make it a point to introduce yourself or be introduced to the new faces there (including that ridiculously attractive guy standing by the guacamole).
Also, stay a little longer than you usually would. I used to jet in and out of parties like it was my job. But when I pushed the pause button and didn't rush from conversation to conversation, I found myself enjoying myself much more. Of course, I also met a bunch of new, great, potential matches.
3. Groom him to be your #InstagramHusband.
Many dating experts will tell you to simply smile at a guy from across the room when you're out to dinner, or at a lounge or bar. I hate to break it to them, but this doesn't always get the job done. Take your interaction into your own hands by asking the attractive guy to take a photo of you and your friends.
After he takes the photo -- instead of snatching it away from him and scrutinizing your thigh gap -- take a look at the photo and say something like, “Wow. This is an amazing photo. Are you a professional?” Continue to chat, and before you know it, you will have your very own personal paparazzi.
4. Make your bucket list a priority.
My favorite secret about meeting guys is this: Do the things you actually enjoy doing. Most people live their lives in a triangle. They go to work, go to the gym and go out to the same bar where everybody knows their name. But in order to meet a new, great guy, you need to break out of that triangle and start living your life.
Get started on your bucket list. If you don't already have one, start writing down all the things you want to do before you die. I know you're tired and overworked, but Prince Charming is not going to knock on your door while you're in the middle of a Netflix binge.
Make it your homework to do one bucket list item a week, and ask a few fellow bachelorettes to join along. Plan a day trip and travel to Napa Valley for a wine tasting. Go rock climbing at an indoor rock climbing gym. Take a Jiu Jitsu class. (It's a lot of fun, and they're filled with hot guys.)
Learn a new language. Try CrossFit. Go scuba diving. Do volunteer work.
But while you're doing all these things, make sure to talk to people. It seems like such basic advice, but talking to people -- men and women alike -- will increase your chances of meeting Mr. Right IRL. Stop swiping, and start living your life.
5. Give him your number. Don't wait for him to ask you.
You could meet an amazing guy and totally hit it off. But then, for whatever reason, he doesn't get your number. You leave the interaction feeling empty.
You just spent half an hour talking to the guy. You totally connected. But now, he's gone forever (unless you shamelessly Facebook stalk or message him, which is not a good look). Avoid this altogether by doing one simple thing the next time you're chatting it up with a great guy: Tell him to take your number.
Give the conversation room to grow. But don't feel like you need to spend three hours chatting it up with a random guy. When you feel the conversation dying down, say something like, “I'm so sorry. It's girls' night out tonight, but you are so much fun to talk to. Here, take my number.”
Boom. The ball is now in his court, and you never have to wonder about what your children would have looked like, had you only given him your digits.
6. Get a matchmaker.
Finding love can be a full-time job. (For me, it literally is.) As a professional matchmaker, I see so many benefits of enlisting another person to help you find your person. If you're a super busy career woman, working with a professional matchmaker is a fabulous option.
But if that's not financially doable, I highly recommend enlisting one of your besties to help you with your search. Invite the social butterfly of your squad out to brunch, and ask her to introduce you to one of her boyfriend's friends. But remember: When you're having a friend play matchmaker, you can't be overly picky.
Throw your checklist out the window, and be open to the person she suggests for you. If she gives him her stamp of approval, he may get yours too.
Women want to know where all the good guys are, and here's the secret: They're everywhere. But the trick is to put your phone down, take a deep breath and utilize some of these strategies. You'll make him go from attractive stranger to your new bae in no time.