Some people are born people-magnets — it's like everywhere they go they just naturally meet interesting people and find dates without even trying. For others (myself included!), it doesn't always feel so easy and effortless — not for lack of confidence, but rather because it's hard to know where to start if you've never really done it before. If you've ever wished you could be like the people magnets you admire, the good news is, you absolutely can — you just need some tips for putting yourself out there. The even better news? The more you practice, the easier it becomes, and eventually putting yourself out there will become second nature.
Of course, putting yourself out there outside the context of dating (like career networking and making new friends) is important too, but if you're looking to meet the partner of your dreams, it's especially key.
"When we open up ourselves to life, we get new (amid slight shifts of consciousnesses) experiences, insights, and paradigm shifts," Dr. Martha Tara Lee, a clinical sexologist (DHS, MA, BA), dating expert, and founder of Eros Coaching tells Elite Daily. "Our lives can be richer and fuller for it, so be brave and put yourself out there."
1. Join A New Dating App
In 2018, this one might seem a little obvious, but it's still worth noting. One of the easiest ways to put yourself out there in the dating world is to join an app or try different ones you haven't used before. The key here is to not just use them passively, but to be active and engaged — that means swiping right on more people, messaging first, and being the one to initiate date plans.
Taking the lead on your apps is a great first step because it's way less pressure than asking someone out in person, and the more you do it, the easier approaching someone IRL will feel.
2. Attend Speed Dating
Speed dating (which Dr. Lee also recommends for people who haven't dated in a while) is another great, low-pressure way to put yourself out there if you're still getting used to it. Because speed dating events make you talk to a lot of people and only spend a few minutes with each person, they're great practice for initiating conversation with strangers — and if one conversation doesn't go the way you hoped it would, you get to keep starting over with new people.
3. Ask Your Friends To Set You Up
The simple act of asking your close friends if they know anyone they'd like to set you up with is actually a pretty big move in terms of putting yourself out there. You're letting people know that you're open to meeting new people and falling in love, and you're using your trusted resources (your BFFs) to help you get there. They don't have to be blind dates if the idea of not knowing who you're being set up with stresses you out, but letting your friends connect you with other people they think you'll find interesting is a great start.
4. Find Events To Socialize At
This could be anything from taking a class on something you're interested in, to attending meet-up events for people with similar interests, or even something as simple as going to concerts. The idea is to go and be open to meeting new people, not to just come in, do your thing, and leave. The best part? Anyone you talk to at an event like this already shares a common interest with you, so it shouldn't be too difficult to find something to talk about.
5. Try Talking To Strangers
Approaching strangers at a party or when you're out at a bar can feel daunting, I know. I'm usually the person in the corner with the snacks talking to people I'm already friends with, and I'm not a shy person! Parties are typically easier in this case, because you can ask other people how they know the host.
Regardless of where you are, a tip I've found that helps a lot is looking for something low-key to compliment about a person before you approach them. Even if the conversation doesn't really go anywhere beyond that, it's still good practice.
6. Ask Out Your Crush
If you already know someone you're interested in, now's your chance to really try putting yourself out there and ask them out. Keep it simple and see if they'd like to meet up for coffee or to grab a drink — you never know, they might say yes! And besides, if they say no, you'll have all of these other tips for putting yourself out there to fall back on.
The thing to remember is that, ultimately, no matter what you try, it's about leaving your comfort zone, trying new things, and giving yourself an extra push to approach people, so as not to get stuck in a routine.
"To me, [putting yourself out there] means doing things you are afraid of, coming out of your shell and reaching out to others," says Dr. Lee. "It's easy to get caught up in the same thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes by doing and being the same-old."
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