Here’s a little bit of sobering yet uplifting truth about dishing out advice on the best places to meet men: It can happen anywhere. There are places you can go that feel more conducive to random conversations and chance meetings (including these summer spots), but that doesn’t mean you can’t meet guys somewhere else. Subway love connection, anyone?
The truth is, if you’re willing to make the first move, the world is your dating app. That being said, if you’re someone who’s often too shy to make the first move or say hi, don’t fret. Conscious of it or not, research shows that women typically make the real first moves with subtle body language and gestures that let a guy know when we’re interested and that it’s OK to approach. So really, you don’t have to think about it as making the first move (although technically that’s what you are doing)—you just have to make sure your body language is sending the right signals.
So, whether you are running errands or at a concert, a good place to start is just to change your frame of mind—and maybe your facial expressions.
01. Practice Smizing
For those of you who haven’t watched endless reruns of America’s Next Top Model (it’s not just me, right . . . right?!), “smizing” is Tyra Banks’ way of saying smiling with your eyes. Before you protest that you just have RBF and that guys should give you the benefit of the doubt, remember that this is about indicating interest. If you want to meet a guy IRL, maybe even by chance while you commute to work, it helps to look as approachable as possible—aka friendly. That doesn’t mean you have to go about life grinning just to make sure people know you’re nice, but practice a relaxed almost-smiling face when you’re out in the world that says “I’m approachable!” without saying anything. This way, you’re far more likely to get a sly smile from that guy you bump into at Chipotle everyday.
02. Face Out
If you are meeting your girlfriend at the bar for a real catchup, by all means, put your heads together and let the rest of the world fade out. But if you think it would be nice to meet a guy while enjoying a drink, then you need to face out. When you’re sitting at the bar with a girlfriend, turn your bodies toward each other but face slightly out toward the room so that guys know you’re open to conversation. Experts and real guys all say this is the most obvious clue to men that you won’t shut them down if they approach you to say hello.
03. Open Up
There is nothing that says “don’t approach me” like crossed arms and slumped shoulders. You may just be nervous, uncomfortable, or having a bad day. But you should know that what you are communicating to the world is “Go away!” If you want to send the right signals to men, roll your shoulders back and sit or stand up straight. Try not to cross your arms across your body. Find something you can hold onto to help open yourself up. A drink or even one hand on your hip will do the trick.
04. Make Eye Contact
When we talk about this strategically it can seem so put upon. But we aren’t exactly talking about giving someone googly eyes in an effort to get them to come hither. Naturally, the first thing any of us do when we enter a room or a new environment is to scan it. This is for security measures but also serves as a helpful dating tool. One scan can tell us who gives us the creeps and who we wouldn’t mind talking to. Our eyes naturally settle on the men we find attractive. When this happens, instead of looking down when he catches you looking, allow your eyes to meet and hold his gaze for a beat. This is also a golden opportunity for a quick smize, and then feel free to look away and do your thing. If the guy is interested, he will make his way in your direction. For more details for how this very instinctual maneuver works, read here.
When it comes to meeting men, I’m not suggesting a full makeover of who you are; just make sure you’re giving yourself a leg up by appearing open to opportunities. Feel free to share any success stories of your own chance encounters in the comments!
Photo Credit: Samuel Zeller