Relationship advice is best delivered customized, for
each individual client. But there are some resources (in
books on relationships) on creating relationships that clients may be interested in
checking out, from sites on how to flirt to
sites devoted to the cultural phenomenon of online dating.
(The Internet has certainly been good to our founder, Cameron,
who found employment starting up several Internet companies, has
been found by recruiting headhunters on the Internet -- and met
his sweetheart when she contacted him through the Internet).
In the early 1990s, a scholar named Robert Putnam wrote a
seminal article entitled "Bowling Alone." His thesis was
that whereas in past decades Americans built up relationships
and a sense of community through shared activities such as
church-going, community-interest groups, and, yes, bowling, now
it's all very different. The breakdown of the nuclear
family, the increased distance we live from our home towns and
blood relatives, and our increased busyness with careers have
all served to isolate us as never before. How to try to
remedy that situation?
Meeting People Offline
Meeting People Online
Online Dating Sites
Meeting People Offline
The answer: you need to be more pro-active, more
strategic, and more systematic. First, identify where
other like-minded people are going to be. The bar is
not the only answer. Consider activities that would be
great for you regardless of whether you met anyone who might
turn out to be a friend:
Cultural events and social groups related to cultural
organizations. It's not just that you could watch
a play, or go to a museum, but many cultural institutions
actually have memberships for people who are interested in
supporting the organization, or are single, or both.
And the fees are typically tax-deductible.
Singles Groups. Obviously. Check out your
alternative weekly newspaper, go online, ask around.
Some groups go on outings such as hikes or rafting or short
cruises, which are all more natural ways to meet people
than, say, speed-dating (which does work for some people,
Become an organizer! This is probably the single
most effective way I've met people. It's easy, and
it's fun. I started out by sending impish emails to
colleagues at the Justice Department, inviting them all to a
monthly "bar review". It was a great way to get to
know a certain woman with whom I worked without all the
messiness of making in appropriate passes. First, you
need to get over the notion that everyone is having more fun
than you are, i.e., that they're always going to parties and
events because they're plugged in. They're not.
I remember my surprise when people thanked me for
organizing my first BYOB Sunday brunch. I hadn't
really done a thing, certainly hadn't cooked
anything, and yet they were actually grateful.
They were effusive about it. I realized then an
essential truth: most people not only don't have their
schedules booked solid with fun events, but they're also not
going to take the initiative to plan events themselves.
They really appreciate it when someone else does. Into
this vacuum you should step. Start with an email list
(or eVite) of a few friends or colleagues and "organize" an
event (a wine tour, a happy hour, a hike, etc.) by getting a
few onboard in advance and then contacting the rest to let
them know what's happening. Be sure to tell them to
bring friends. If you want to be explicit about the
event being a singles event, tell them to bring single
Take Classes. Look into your local community
college, or a gourmet store. Learn to cook or speak
Italian or take pictures or do power yoga, and much more.
Common Interest Organizations. These are as varied
as life itself. Join Toastmasters and work on public
speaking as you bond with others. Take some acting
classes and explore a more authentic and comfortable self
with a group of fun people. Join a church, synagogue,
mosque, or meditation center and look for singles groups
Network and Reach Out to People. You already know
people. All you need to do is put a reminder in your
calendar to contact a person a week. Invite the person
to coffee or a movie. Suggest he or she bring a
friend, the more the merrier. Why remain out of sight
and out of mind? The best way to get invited to a
social event is to have recently socialized with someone who
remembers that fact.
Meeting People Online
Go to Online Dating Sites
Four-Part Article: "How to Communicate More Like a
Long-Necked Giraffe (and Less Like a Jackal)
Communication for Healthy Relationships