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Single and Ready to Mingle? Best Places to Meet People That Aren’t Bars

Single and Ready to Mingle? Best Places to Meet People That Aren’t Bars

A lonely guy, dejected and broken by recent events, enters a bar and calls for a Vodka Martini. He is feeling down and is in no position to strike up a conversation with the folks around him. Just as he’s thinking of nothing but finishing his drink, paying his tab and calling it a day, something miraculous happens. A beautiful woman enters the bar and immediately lights up the room. Our forgotten hero cannot believe his eyes as she heads toward him, smiling. He is in seventh heaven. They chat like they’ve known each other for years; it is love at first sight.

If this sounds like a story, then that’s because such an unbelievable turnaround in fortune is indeed the stuff of fairy tale. Truth be told, if you’re looking for romance, then a bar is a terrible place to start. Fret not—the world doesn’t quite end right at the bar.

1. Parks

romance at park

    Parks are great places to get to know the people living around you. People from all sorts of walks of life and interests gather at the park. Parks offer a great environment to relax and take your thoughts far away from the troubles of your day-to-day life, so the casual and cheerful spirit of park visitors could help a great deal in your cause to team up with someone. Whenever you feel lonely and need someone to date, jump off your couch and take a few strolls down to the nearest park.

    2. Health and Fitness Clubs

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    romance at gym

      The main purpose of visiting health and fitness clubs is obviously to maintain the physique and keep up the good health. But, with mixed gender health clubs, you could have added incentives. The health clubs could come in different forms, such as saunas, gymnasiums, yoga and aerobic centers, and you could choose any of them based on your interests and practicalities. But wherever you go, you could meet a similar soul with the same interests as yours, all while you’re sweating to keep yourself fit. The only way to make new friends is to go out to new places, and health clubs are fun ways to do this. You could very well meet a special friend in the process.

      3. Sporting Events

      romance at stadium

        A lot is at stake during even local sporting events, not to mention the grandest of stages like the World Cup, Super Bowl or Wimbledon. And when the team and the athletes plying their trade at center stage are the ones you revere, your feelings are hard to describe. You heart oscillates between highs and lows, before finally setting on a level based on your team’s result. While you’re having this compendium of crazy emotions, there could be a charming guy or a girl nearby who echoes your emotions. You could have a say on proceedings of the game and start to converse, casually in the beginning. And, if you’re willing, you could evolve things from that starting point.

        4. Social Sports Clubs

        Photo by Steven L. Shepard

          Sporting events are not the only way sports can provide you with opportunities to find a partner. You could do the same by being part of the game as well. And for this, social sports clubs are highly effective. Such social sports clubs provide great opportunities for socializing and making new friends. They provide an encouraging environment for having fun, which immediately breaks down barriers and develops talking points, without you having to think of a witty conversation starter. Depending on your preferences, you may need to pick a mixed gender sport, which could be beach soccer, tennis, badminton, dodge ball or any other sport you fancy. Pick a sport that you will genuinely enjoy, and don’t worry too much about it being something you are particularly good at—the rest will follow.

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          5. Parties

          romance at party

            Parties are fine occasions to find a partner. So many people are gathering in one place, so you can easily find someone you’re intrigued with. A great thing about such parties is that it’s quite easy to break the ice if you’re interested. If you have a friend or relative at the party, ask them to introduce you to that person. The beginning is half done, so you’re that much closer landing a date.

            6. Festivals

            romance at festival

              Whether it be religious, musical, or cultural, festivals are one of the best ways to get to know other locals, with whom we would otherwise never be acquainted with. At festivals, the mood is cheerful and a major populace of the region gathers in one place. As said earlier in the article, the best way to meet people is to go to new places. As this kind of event is usually casual and everyone is in lighter spirits, it’s easy to pair up and start a conversation. Hence, a local festival can provide you with a chance to find a partner, living right in your neighborhood.

              7. Volunteer Activities

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              romance at volunteering

                Each and every one of us possess a certain bit of altruistic self within ourselves, although it could be in varying degrees from person to person. Volunteering activities may seem to be too much trouble. But if you have a sense of longing to serve the community and desire to contribute to the overall good of humanity, volunteering is a great thing to do. You don’t only enhance your personal development with it; you’ll also meet new people. And, along the journey, you could also meet someone who shares your interests and whom you are compatible with. You could foster a great relationship with him/her as well. Therefore, even if you’ve never felt like doing it, spare a thought for it, as the incentive is too huge to turn down!

                8. Classrooms

                romance in class

                  In many romantic movies and novels, lovebirds emerge from within the classroom walls  And, rightfully so, since in real life, classrooms are often a great place to find someone to form a bond with. Generally, most of us have our first crushes on our classmates. And often, the first romantic endeavors are with the ones we shared classes with during high school years. Our classmates are frequently the ones with whom we spend the most time at a particular stage in our life, and they are also the ones with whom the chance of developing a connection is highest. So look around the seats in your classroom, single folks out there!

                  9. Libraries

                  romance in library

                    Libraries may not hold much appeal as the likeliest of places to find someone to date, but believe me: you’d be wrong to laugh off at their potential to hook you up with a companion. Imagine how romantic it will be when you’re holding a copy of Pride and Prejudice in your hands and are completely propelled by the unfolding of events in the book. And when you lift up your looks to people around the room, you find a dazzling beauty sitting across the table, holding a copy of the same novel herself. Your eyes meet and as they say, the rest could well be history. So, if you’re enthralled by reading, libraries could help you find someone with similar interests and save you from being forever alone.

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                    10. Long Distance Transports

                    romance in travel

                      We often like to dream of a charming companion by our side while we’re travelling, whether it be on an airplane, a train or a bus. We want this even more we’re travelling long distances. Sometimes, we may not get exactly what we’d wished for, having to travel with complaining aunts or boring uncles. But sometimes, we can get really lucky and meet the prince charming or princess of our dreams right there. When we’re accompanying him/her for such a long distance and time, there’s plenty of opportunities to communicate and get to know each other. And, it could well be the start of another great love story!

                      In reality, love at first sight very rarely occurs. Affection grows over time, strengthened by shared experience and appreciation of events around you. People don’t fall in love based on physical appearance, but on personality—so looking for ways to show your personality is the best way to “mingle.” The inherently flawed notion of “fate” is simply an occurrence due to the weight of circumstance. But it is these circumstances that you can affect by giving yourself the opportunities to connect with others, based on shared interest and experience.

                      Featured photo credit: Laughing couple via wikimedia.org

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                      Nabin Paudyal

                      Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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                      Published on April 7, 2021

                      6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

                      6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

                      Some of the most manipulative people are so good at what they do that their words and actions can convince you into thinking they truly care about what’s best for you when in reality, it’s quite the opposite. The most common signs of a controlling person are rarely obvious to outside observers. And for someone enmeshed in a controlling relationship or friendship, it can be incredibly challenging to stay away from this toxic person, even if you’re aware of their emotionally abusive tendencies.

                      While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether to preserve or leave a lopsided, unfulfilling relationship, it’s nevertheless critical to understand the following six signs of controlling people so you can better advocate for yourself and mitigate the influence of their manipulative tendencies in your own life.

                      1. They Push Their Own Personal Agenda

                      Do you know someone who always tries to micromanage the words, behaviors, and attitudes of people around them? Does this person act like they have the right to know anything they want about you, including your location, what you’re doing in a given moment, who you’re talking to online, or any other private information about you? And when planning events and special occasions, does this person dominate conversations, steer plans in their own preferred directions, disparage others’ suggestions, and refuse to collaborate with anyone who might disagree with them?

                      If you answered “yes” to some of the above questions, then those are clear signs of a controlling person whom you absolutely need to be cautious around. Controlling people are reluctant to even consider alternative ideas, let alone enthusiastically work with people who have differing views. They prefer to be the captain of every ship—regardless of how much or how little an issue personally impacts them—and they have an arsenal of manipulative tactics to deploy if someone stands in the way of them achieving their own personal agendas.

                      In long-term relationships with controlling people, you may feel constantly pressured to meet their demands, follow their schedule, and focus on whatever they feel is most important. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these people act like the universe revolves around them, which can be exhausting to deal with for their family members, friends, and colleagues.

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                      2. They Make Everything Transactional

                      Controlling people aren’t always self-centered, but they’re not too empathetic either. Empathy for them tends to appear in the form of strategic concessions they use as a means to get what they want. They typically view interpersonal relationships as transactional opportunities to extract more value from people surrounding them, which can have a draining effect on those they interact with.

                      For example, one sign of a controlling person may be their insistence on “keeping score.” This can involve doing nice things for you with the ulterior motive of demanding something from you at a later date in exchange for what you thought was just an act of kindness or a friendly support.

                      Perhaps they shower you in praise (also known as “love-bombing”) or gifts then blow up at you if you don’t intuitively know they’re expecting something back from you. None of us are mind-readers, but controlling people behave as though everyone else should think and act like they want others to and those who fall out of line are punished for failing to meet their impossible expectations.

                      A controlling person may also threaten to withhold support if you don’t adhere to their demands, but they do so in such subtle ways that the guilt they impose blinds you from the unreasonable nature of their behaviors.

                      Some statements to be wary of include:

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                      • “I did ___________ for you. What do you mean you can’t do ___________ for me?”
                      • “Remember how I helped you with ___________? That took a lot of time and energy from me, but I guess you didn’t appreciate my help.”
                      • “I always give you ___________. Don’t you care about my needs too?”
                      • “You’re so selfish!” or “You don’t care about me at all!” (gaslighting if you respond with hesitation or politely decline their request for help for perfectly valid reasons, such as not having enough time or resources to assist them)

                      3. They Criticize Everything

                      One of the most common telltale signs of a controlling person is their capacity to criticize anything and everything, even small things that seemingly don’t matter. As with many toxic traits in relationships, these problems typically start out so small that you may not even notice. At first, you may even agree with their criticism or at least be able to understand their perspective when they bring up an issue.

                      However, the criticism tends to get more intense, more constant, and more perplexing for people who maintain relationships with controlling people. You’ll likely notice how they rarely seem to criticize something they do. It’s almost always other-oriented and these types of people are so manipulative that any rationale they offer can seem plausibly legitimate.

                      Some warning signs of a controlling person who’s overly critical to the point of abusiveness include:

                      • Criticizing things about you that you have little to no control over (e.g., appearance, disability, family)
                      • Criticizing your personal choices and interests, such as educational pursuits, career, clothing, favorite music, time spent on your hobbies, etc.
                      • Punishing you for expressing vulnerability by invalidating thoughts and feelings you share with them
                      • Attacking you whenever you express an opinion counter to theirs

                      4. They Balk When Someone Criticizes Them

                      We all know the adage, “what goes around, comes around.” But this statement doesn’t apply as much to toxic, controlling people. They’d much prefer to dish out criticism without ever having to take it in return.

                      For instance, if your friend constantly talks about your appearance with little regard for your emotions but flips out if you make just a single comment about their appearance, there’s a possibility that they could have some hidden controlling tendencies left unchecked. Remember, these people aren’t just controlling in their behaviors towards others. They’re also actively trying to stay in complete control over every aspect of their lives, which includes how others view them.

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                      This seemingly insatiable desire for control can prompt them to lash out against even the smallest bits of criticism, leaving people around them too weary or scared to speak up again in the future. While it’s possible they may suffer from something called rejection sensitivity dysphoria, this does not excuse them from the consequences of their words and actions. They should seek professional help to better manage their reactions to criticism.

                      5. They Socially Isolate You

                      Not all controlling people do this, but for manipulative narcissists, socially isolating victims is a go-to strategy for maintaining control because it’s effective at preventing people from truly understanding how toxic their partner, family member, or friend is treating them. Think of it this way—if you don’t talk to many other people in your life, there’s less of a risk that you’ll damage their reputation by revealing their abusive tendencies.

                      Socially isolating others also gives the person more control over you and your life as it becomes more difficult to break away from them if you don’t have other healthier channels of communication and interpersonal support to turn to.

                      This process doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it something you can readily recognize as abusive. At first, it may seem reasonable, such as asking you to stop engaging so often with family members with whom both of you disagree on major social or political issues. As the social isolation progresses, they may suggest cutting people out of your life—especially if they don’t like that person, regardless of how you personally feel—or even conjure up high-stakes problems like “it’s me or them” under the guise of saving you from people in your life whom they don’t like for whatever reason.

                      In a controlling person’s life narrative, they’re always the protagonist who’s incapable of any wrongdoing. The blame is always redirected at someone else, whether that’s you or other people in your life. The more they isolate you from other supportive people in your life, the more susceptible you’ll be to falsely believing that they’re right and you “don’t need” your other friends and family when you have someone as perfect as this person.

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                      6. They’re Emotionally Abusive

                      It’s hard enough to be in control of your own emotions but when someone else is constantly belittling you and your interests or leveraging guilt and shame to manipulate you into saying or doing what they want, this can make it even more challenging to stay in control of your own life and emotional well-being.

                      Emotional abuse is another sign of a controlling person that is often overlooked in relationships. After all, human personalities vary widely in terms of passivity, and it’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to be significantly more passive than the other. This becomes an issue when the controlling partner or friend exudes signs of emotional abuse, which can start subtly and become much more pronounced over time.

                      Concerning signs of emotionally abusive language or behavior to watch out for include:

                      • Dismissing your needs and/or belittling your interests in counterproductive ways
                      • Privately or publicly shaming or humiliating you
                      • Making you feel as though you can never live up to their expectations or do anything right (according to their own vague, subjective standards)
                      • Gaslighting you into thinking they said or did something that never actually happened (making you question your own reality)

                      Final Thoughts

                      It’s sometimes hard to see the negative things about someone with whom we have a relationship. We may sometimes unconsciously overlook the signs of a controlling person, especially if that person is someone we have known for a long time or are close to us. However, cutting them off your life is the best thing you can do for yourself. Just watch out for these six signs of a controlling person and take immediate action when you spot them.

                      More Tips on How To Deal With a Controlling Person

                      Featured photo credit: Külli Kittus via unsplash.com

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