How to Meet New People This Year!
If your answer was no and you truly want to be more deliberate about meeting new people this year, I want to share some pointers I think might help.
You see, it's one thing to want to meet new people, it's another to have a plan to make it happen. And now that things have settled down after the Christmas festivities and it's back to the same ole, same ole, you might find yourself slipping back into your normal routine, which never included a deliberate plan to meet new people. So the question is what are you going to do to meet new people this year? Think about it. And remember going out of your way to meet new people isn't just about finding love, it's also about enriching your life's experiences.
Many people, women in particular, think that they aren't supposed to DO anything to go out of their way to meet new people because it might make them feel and look desperate but the truth is, at the end of the day, you are going to marry just one person so on the journey to meeting that person, there's nothing wrong with meeting other people along the way. It will add value to you as you add value to them.
So what can we do to meet new people?
Attend more events this year
Yeah, you've heard this before. I know. But think about how many times last year you were invited to an event but you didn't go because you just couldn't be bothered. You're a homebody, I know, and quite frankly, you'd rather be home on a Friday night, curled up on the couch, binge watching your favorite shows and chatting with your remaining single friends because the married ones don't have your time anymore. Lol. You've gotten used to that. It's your thing. But you HAVE to get out of that rut...fast. You don't have to attend every single event out there but you must attend more events. And where do you find these events you ask? Everywhere! Pay attention. Follow event listing handles on Instagram, check Facebook for upcoming events and other websites that list events. Take note of the events that interest you and go!
Remember in the podcast I did with Paul C. Brunson, he talked about values. Select events that speak to your values. Be very deliberate about the kinds of events you decide to attend so that they bring you in contact with like-minded people. Sometimes you'll need to be brave and go alone and other times, you'll take a friend along (and friends not being available to attend shouldn't stop you). You might also have to spend some money on some of the events (so have a "going out" budget this year). The point is try to attend at least one or two NEW social events every month - and by the way, Church doesn't count! Lol.
Get involved in Church this year
Speaking of Church. Let this be the year you join a department/unit in Church and get involved because really, unless your Church deliberately creates events for singles to meet (which a lot of people don't even attend), most single people bail after service and very rarely do single guys randomly walk up to single ladies to introduce themselves (who wants to get "isho" after a great service? Lol). But when you get involved, you will meet more people who you might end up dating or who might introduce you to someone you will date or who will do neither but will simply add to your network and help enrich your life's experiences. So get involved! And attend events at other Churches as well! If "see finish" has happened and you don't see any of the brothas or sistas in your Church in a romantic light, then visit other Churches. Remember, with discernment in mind, Church is a great place to meet like-minded people who share similar values with you.
Get more involved ONLINE this year!
Yeah, chat groups can be pretty annoying but be selective and join a few and get involved. Join in on the conversations, make comments, ask questions, be more visible. You just never know who's interest you'll pique. Also, dust off your LinkedIn profile and make more connections - for business connections of course *wink* but who knows what could come of the connections with regards to love (I'm just saying). And knowing the person's professional accomplishments and ambitions is a great way to discern their values as well.
So don't just scroll through Instagram and Facebook and do nothing else online. And speaking of Facebook, when people (of the opposite gender) "add" you on Facebook, check out your mutual friends and if your mutual friends are people you are comfortable with and know pretty well, accept their friend request! Stop shying away from meeting someone online. And guys, don't be afraid of sliding into a lady's DM.
Let's talk about "Sliding Into People's DM" etiquette real quick. Ladies, when a guy slides into your DM, and you've checked out your mutual friends and he gets the all clear and as such is not a creep, respond and be polite. Not everyone is trying to toast you. And if you're not feeling him like that and he persists, politely tell him, in your own way, that you're not interested. And men, when you slide into a woman's DM, please PAY ATTENTION!! If she's not feeling you (and you'll know when she isn't), LET. IT. GO. and don't become a pest. Yes, rejection is awful but dust yourself off and keep it moving!
Plan your own events this year!
So, nothing is happening on the weekend, you're bored, and you want to meet new people, how's about you create your own event? Organize a meet up at a restaurant (or have a house party or game night) and ask friends to bring at least one of their friends that you don't know. Remember, the goal is to meet new people and grow your network and to do so, you have to be intentional in your planning.
I mean, aren't you tired of seeing the same ole facing at pretty much every event you attend? Some events have become so predictable and you know exactly who will be there. Boring! Stay away from those types of events as much as possible this year. Look for more refreshing events with new faces. There are more people in your city, with similar interests as you and they are outside your usual circle, so find them! Let me give you a good example: I run Spanish and French Clubs for individuals in Lagos who speak the languages and want to meet other speakers. If this sounds interesting to you, send an email to TheSocialPrefect@gmail.com and join us! (P.S. I speak Spanish :))
Here's another thing I want to mention. It's one thing to meet new people, it's another thing to connect with them and it's a completely different thing to stay in touch. Let's break it down real quick because I think it's very important to do so:
Meeting New People
We've talked about the "how" to get to where they are and/or bring them to you. Once you've done that, it's also very important to be approachable and/or to approach. Many people attend events and sit with their friends throughout. What's the point of that? I personally think event organizers, depending on the type of event, need to do better with ice breakers and creating ways for people to meet but when those clear cut ways aren't available, you have to break protocol and find a way. If you see someone you know talking to a group of people you don't know (of the opposite gender or not), walk up to them, say hi to your friend, introduce yourself to the group, and try to have a decent chat with at least on person in the group before you walk away. And if the scenario permits, give the person your business card. If there's one thing you've gotta do this year, it's to carry your business card with you when you go out! It'll make the "can I have your number?" situations a lot easier to handle. Ladies, if he's not asking for your number and you are feeling him, please give him your card!! Remember, you are going to marry just one person so get to know others along the way! Away with shyness! And no, it won't make you look desperate :)
Connecting With People
Make it a point to find out what you and the new person you've just met have in common. Ask questions but don't interrogate! Be genuinely interested in people this year - not for what you can get from them but because they are a person with an incredible back story that just might amuse you. You might not connect with everyone but try to. Ask where they grew up, what secondary school/university they attended, where they've lived, what they enjoy doing in their spare time, how they get through Lagos craziness, their favorite cuisine. Have these types of simple but interesting conversations and you might find you have so much in common. Be sure to do this with people of the same and opposite gender. (Oh and try not to ask "so what do you do?" as your first question)
Staying in Touch
Now this is where most people drop the ball. You had a great evening out. You met some interesting people, you exchanged business cards and then...nothing. You don't reach out after that. Tsk, tsk, tsk! Whether it's a person of the same or opposite gender, reach out! Especially if you had a great conversation. Send an email, a text, or even call! Please don't Whatsapp. Don't. At least not as your first method of contact after your first meeting. So many people have let potentially great friendships and even possible relationships go because they didn't stay in touch. For some, it's pride. For others, its shyness.Whatever it is, let it go and reach out! You might not date them but you might gain a new friend and thereby open yourself up to amazing experiences. They might even invite you to their next event where you might meet "The One". I mean, the possibilities are endless!!
There you have it! It's a new start, a clean slate. The onus is now on you to try a different approach if you want a different result.
It was a long read but I hope it helps! Best wishes!
I'd love to hear from you. Tell me, what's the one thing that keeps you from meeting new people? Can you put your finger on it?