66 Exciting Ways You Can Meet New People (Maybe Even Your Soulmate)
By Madame Pamita
Meeting new people doesn't have to be scary.
Learning how to meet new people or make new friends can seem challenging, especially after moving to a new city or when an intense relationship ends.
But jumpstarting your social networking career is easy when you know what activities to choose and where to look to meet people out in the world instead of just through a computer.
While online friends can be great, meeting people IRL makes you feel loved and cherished in a way that even a thousand social media "likes" can't compete with.
To understand how to meet new people, you have to be willing to put yourself out into the flow of life and open up multiple opportunities for you to make new friends so that your true love (or new bestie!) can cross paths.
So, what are some ways to meet new people? And where can you meet someone new?
If you think meeting someone new just means going to a bar or club or going online, you haven't even scratched the surface.
Yes, you could do those things if they feel good to you. But if you'd like to try something else, there are a million (okay, sixty-six) places you probably haven't thought of where you can meet people.
One of the easiest ways to make new friends is to start by doing something that interests you.
If you're curious about something and you meet someone while doing that thing, then you already have a shared interest in common.
But what if you don't know what that thing could be?
Meeting someone while doing something fun is a great starting point for you to brainstorm activities that intrigue you and also put you into a social flow.
You don't even have to be super outgoing to try it.
It can sometimes feel overwhelming when you go to do a new social thing. "Do I really have to introduce myself to all these new people?"
The answer is no! If you just make an effort to introduce yourself to the people who organize the groups or events, you are connecting with the key people who can introduce you to others.
Make sure you try out different things, though, not just one.
You don't have to stick with something that isn't working for you. Try out a variety of activities, organizations, and groups and check with yourself to see if they feel good.
Just stick with those activities and people that truly make you happy.
Doing social things that you love will put you in the right place for meeting new people and create the opportunity for your perfect person (maybe even your soulmate) to come to you.
Here are 66 awesome ways you can meet new people while trying out new things:
1. Volunteering: This is a great way to meet people and do something good at the same time.
2. Language school: Take a class to learn a new language. Talking to the other students is encouraged and is a definite plus.
3. Walking/hiking groups: The Sierra Club and other hiking groups help you to get fit, see nature, and meet new people.
4. Voluntourism: (Tourism + volunteering) Go and do good, plus get some travel adventures!
5. Meetups: Go to Meetup.com to find gatherings of like-minded folks; there are so many options and interests.
6. Evening classes: Taking a class at your community college is great because you can always talk about the class, teacher, or the subject you're studying.
7. Conventions: If you have a special interest, there is probably a convention to go along with it, and it's a great way to meet someone into many similar topics.
8. Traditional trade school: It’s a great place to learn new skills and meet like-minded people.
9. Alternative trade school: Check out Trade School, a unique site for unusual classes that you pay for via barter.
10. Improv classes: You will learn to interact with people, and that makes it easy to talk, plus you'll learn something fun.
11. Teach a class: If you have expertise in a skill, teach a class in your community and you’ll meet tons of people.
12. Gyms/pools/tennis courts: There are places to get fit and have fun with others, join a class or a club.
13. Church/temple/mosque/etc.: Religious gatherings are welcoming and a great place to meet people with similar beliefs.
14. Travel: Staying in hostels is a great way to meet other solo travelers. You can also find travel groups and build friendships that way.
15. Run/bike/swim clubs: Running, biking, swimming, trying for a triathlon... There are plenty of outdoor activities you can sign up for.
16. Whiskey/wine/beer tasting events: Meet like-minded enthusiasts of your fave libation.
17. Adult sports leagues: Roller derby, softball, kickball, volleyball, frisbee golf, you name it, there's a place to do it.
18. Yacht and country clubs: Not all are expensive, and they can have extra social activities to join in.
19. Community choir: Join a church or community choir to get in tune with some others.
20. Work happy hour: Bond with coworkers, and they may introduce you to their friends.
21. Dancing: There are a wide variety of dance styles. Take lessons if you are shy about getting on the dance floor.
22. Game stores: If you're interested in board games, card games, D&D, or other RPGs, you can go to events and play together.
23. Bookstores: There are readings, writers' groups, and other events you can join in on.
24. Comic book stores: There are lots of gatherings for those who love comics, manga, and graphic novels.
25. Community garden: Get your own plot or volunteer to help someone else with theirs.
26. Toastmasters: Improve your public speaking in an environment that is both friendly and supportive.
27. Makerspaces: People get together to share tools, a workspace, and ideas in an informal learning setting.
28. Libraries: They often have free classes, book clubs, readings, lectures, concerts, and more.
29. Politics: Get involved with a candidate/cause that you believe in and meet others who do, too.
30. Community service club: Lions, Rotary, Kiwanis, etc. have social activities and do good.
31. Fraternal organizations: Check out lodges like Eagles, Moose, etc. and see the requirements to join.
32. Discount activities: Groupon, LivingSocial, Travelzoo, and Goldstar have events at a discount; check out their group activities pages.
33. Art museums/galleries: Classes, social groups, volunteer/docent programs and openings.
34. Shared living/roommates: Open your home to new people and make new friends.
35. Co-op grocery stores: Volunteer to work at a co-op grocery store to meet new neighbors.
36. Yoga: A class, sport, and spiritual path all in one! It's great for meeting people who are health and spirit-conscious.
37. Martial arts classes: Learn to protect yourself and interact and bond with students at the same time.
38. Dog parks: Take your dog and meet other dog lovers. Go at different times of the day.
39. Alumni associations: You can meet people from your college in whatever city you live.
40. Social media: You can use social media to check out what events your friends are attending and meet them there.
41. Theater groups: Perfect for singers, actors, or artsy-crafty backstage people.
42. Neighborhood social networks: Groups organized around your neighborhood or community, like NextDoor.
43. Hyper-local events: Find a local coffee house, restaurant, or store close to home and become a regular.
44. Get to know your neighbors: Meet the old-fashioned way and interact online to enhance the relationship.
45. Twelve-step meetings: If you have a problem with drugs or alcohol, you can meet people who will support you in your journey.
46. Farmers markets: Farmers markets are much more social than a regular market. Talk to the sellers or other shoppers.
47. Blind dates: Ask people who know you and your likes/dislikes to set you up on a blind date.
48. Sporting events: Football, baseball, tennis, golf, hockey — smaller events are more intimate.
49. Retreats: Find others who are into meditation, yoga, spirituality, writing, or self-help.
50. Restaurants: Eat at restaurants that have community tables so that you can start up a conversation.
51. Birthday/holiday parties: Go to friends’ parties to meet new people and widen your social circle.
52. Car club/shows/races: If you are curious or a motor enthusiast, you can meet others, too.
53. Cultural groups: Say it proud! Support and enjoy your culture and meet others who do, too.
54. Private social groups: Some are expensive but hey, it can be cheaper than a matchmaker.
55. Board of a charity: Give back to the community by joining the board of a charity and meet generous, socially conscious people.
56. Host people at your home: Invite friends to dinner and ask them to bring along other people you don’t know.
57. Class reunions: Reconnect with old friends and meet some you may not have met at school.
58. Dog obedience class: Get a better-behaved puppy and meet other dog lovers at the same time.
59. Dog show/cat show/bird show: Meet other animal enthusiasts or get involved and compete.
60. Public transportation: Take public transportation to work or events to meet new people.
61. Free events: Google "Free things to do in (your town)" and see what comes up.
62. Verlocal: Verlocal has a wide array of fun classes in larger cities.
63. Philanthropy: Get involved in raising money for causes you believe in.
64. Board of directors: Get on the board of directors for a company or organization you like.
65. Architectural tours: All big cities have tours showing off their gems. Google “free walking tours” or look for more professional tours.
66. A side hustle: Pick up or create an extra part-time job where you come in contact with the public.
Whatever you do, if you find something new that brings fun into your life and new people into your circle and you will be in the perfect place to bring in your soulmate.
This article was written by Madame Pamita and was first published on YourTango.