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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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                      Last Updated on January 15, 2019

                      What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships

                      What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships

                      When I wrote my book Extraordinary PR, Ordinary Budget: A Strategy Guide, I was surprised at the various layers of review and editing necessary to get the book to publication. Before I ever submitted the manuscript, I enlisted a former colleague to read and copy edit my work. Then, I submitted my work to an editor at the publisher’s house, and once she approved it, she sent it to her colleagues and then her company’s editorial board.

                      Upon editorial board approval of my book, my editor sent my work to reviewers in my field, then a developmental editor, then a designer and layout team and, finally, another copy editor. There were a host of personalities with whom I needed to interact along the way.

                      It turns out that getting a publishing contract was just the beginning – a lot happens between developing a concept, writing the book, finding an agent and publisher, and getting the book on bookshelves or on Audible or Kindle. Through every milestone of the publishing process, my ability to interact with others was crucial. This underscored for me that no matter what or how much a person accomplishes, you never do it alone – everyone needs assistance from others.

                      While I conceived of the book and wrote the manuscript, there is no way my book could have hit booksellers’ shelves without the dozens of people who were involved in the publishing process. Further, interpersonal skills can propel or stonewall success.

                      Even as someone who has written hundreds of essays, press releases, pitch notes and other correspondence, writing itself is not a solitary endeavor. Sure, I may write in solitude, but the moment I am finished writing, there are always clients, colleagues, partners, peers and others who review my content.

                      What is more, even as a published author and contributor for this platform, I try to never submit final copy (content) that has not been copy edited. I send everything to my copy editor, whom I pay out of my own pocket, for her review, edits and approval. Once she has reviewed my work, caught unbeknownst-to-me errors, I am much more confident putting my work out in the world.

                      How Interpersonal Skills Affect Relationships

                      It is clearer to me now more than ever before that interpersonal skills are needed in every profession and every trade.

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                      People don’t elect leaders because the leaders are smart. Individuals are motivated to vote when they have a hero and when they feel they have something to lose. If they seriously dislike the other candidate, they are much more likely vote according to a 2000 Ohio State University study:

                      “A disliked candidate is seen as a threat, and that will be motivation to go to the polls. But a threat alone isn’t enough – people need to have a hero to vote for, too, in order to inspire them to turn out on Election Day.”

                      In a work setting, interpersonal skills impact every facet of your development and success. Trainers must collaborate with a design team or the company hiring them to facilitate the training. During the training itself, the facilitators must connect with the audience and establish a rapport that supports vulnerability and openness. If the trainers interact poorly with the trainees, they are unlikely to be invited back. If they are invited back, they may be unlikely to inspire cooperation or growth in their trainees.

                      Solopreneurs interactions with clients and subcontractors, and those interactions will, in part, support or adversely impact their business. If you enjoy a career as an acclaimed surgeon or respected lawyer, your interactions with patients, clients, health insurance agencies and a team of other practitioners – many of whom are shielded from public view – will improve or decimate your practice.

                      As a hiring manager, one of the things I consider when interviewing candidates is their interpersonal skills. I assess the interpersonal skills they display in their content and face-to-face presentation. I ask probing questions to learn how they interact with others, manage conflict and contribute to a team atmosphere.

                      When candidates say things like, “I prefer to work alone” or “I can hit the ground running without assistance,” I bristle. When candidates appear to know everything and everyone, I wonder if they will be receptive to learning or open to feedback. Could these statements be indications that these individuals lack interpersonal skills?

                      It stands to reason, then, that interpersonal skills are among the most valuable and the bedrock of all talents and skills.

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                      What are Interpersonal Skills?

                      Interpersonal skills range from emotional intelligence, empathy, oral and written communication to leadership to collaboration and teamwork.

                      In sum, interpersonal skills are skills that enable you to interact well with others. They include teachability and receptiveness to feedback, active or mindful listening, self-confidence and conflict resolution.

                      From a communications standpoint, interpersonal skills are about understanding how colleagues prefer to communicate and then using the appropriate mediums to meet respective needs. It is about understanding how to communicate in a way to get the most out of different people.

                      For instance, in my career as a public relations practitioner, part of what I am constantly evaluating is which colleagues, clients and members of the media prefer email, text or phone calls. I am assessing how much frill to use with each person depending on what has worked in the past and depending on what I know about the person with whom I am interacting.

                      Making these decisions and being disciplined enough to follow each person’s known preferences helps me better connect with the various individuals in my orbit. Is this tiring at times? Yes. Is it necessary? Absolutely.

                      How to Improve Interpersonal Skills

                      There are tons of resources to teach interpersonal skills. I love books such as Leadership Presence by Belle Linda Halpern and Kathy Lubar, and The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman.

                      There are also a host of books and articles on emotional intelligence, which is the ability to manage one’s emotions and perceive and adapt to others’ emotions. Emotional intelligence is likewise a critical component of positive interpersonal relations. You can learn more about it in this article: What Is Emotional Intelligence and Why It Is Important

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                      Active and mindful listening also support improved interpersonal skills. I recommend you take a look at this piece: Active Listening – A Skill That Everyone Should Master

                      I have further found that humility helps a ton with interpersonal skills. It takes humility to admit you have more to learn and that you can learn from the people around you. In fact, everyone with whom you interact has a lesson to teach you. And employers are increasingly looking for team members who are lifelong learners, meaning they believe there is always room for growth and professional and personal development.

                      Forbes contributor Kevin H. Johnson noted in a July 2018 article,

                      “That’s why, when anyone asks what the next ‘hot’ skill will be, I say it’s the same skill that will serve people today, tomorrow, and far into the future—the ability to learn.”

                      Don’t overlook introspection.

                      While interpersonal skills may seem simple enough, introspection is critical to learning where and in what ways you need to grow.

                      Through introspection and observation, I have learned that my interpersonal skills suffer when I am sleep deprived, because then I am short-tempered and irritable. I’ve observed this connection over a significant period in my life. Unsurprisingly, it is also true of others. Fellow LifeHack contributor, health coach and personal trainer Jamie Logie noted:

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                      When you are chronically sleep deprived, it really does a number on you. A lack of sleep can keep your body in a constant state of stress and over time this can get pretty ugly. Elevated stress hormones can be involved in creating a bunch of pretty nasty conditions including anxiety, headaches and dizziness, weight gain, depression, stroke, hypertension, digestive disorders, immune system dysfunction, irritability.

                      Additionally, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development reported,

                      “Sleep deprivation can noticeably affect people’s performance, including their ability to think clearly, react quickly, and form memories. Sleep deprivation also affects mood, leading to irritability; problems with relationships, especially for children and teenagers; and depression. Sleep deprivation can also increase anxiety.”

                      The point is, even as you are identifying ways to improve interpersonal skills, think about what is getting in the way. While sleep deprivation is a trigger for me, your stumbling block may be different.

                      The Bottom Line

                      You cannot fix what you do not know is broken. Even as you work to understand and apply interpersonal skills, spend some time in mindful meditation to get clear on what is holding you back from developing solid relationships.

                      Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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