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Wellness > Sex + Relationships

10 Ways to Meet Guys That Don’t Involve Bars or Parties

Listen ladies, we know that going to the bar or rushing to every frat party on campus means you’ll meet a lot of guys (and we’ve talked about how guys pick up girls at the bar). But it also comes with its downsides: it’s hard to really make a connection with a guy in a dark room with loud music and an abundance of alcohol (though not impossible). If you’re a quiet girl or just want a change of scene, we’ve got a few ideas to help you find Mr. Right Now (or even Mr. Happily Ever After) in some unexpected places.

1. Dazzle at the sporting goods store

If you’re hoping to meet the next athletic star, why not chance running into him at the local sporting goods store? It’s probably one of the few stores where men don’t feel uncomfortable shopping for longer than ten minutes. Walk up next to one of the guys contemplating which fitness equipment to buy, study one of the items yourself, and ask him if he knows anything about it. Once it’s obvious he’s flirting back, give him your number or ask for his!

2. Leave your number on the receipt at a restaurant

Do you have a favorite restaurant with plenty of good-looking servers? If so, you could score a date! “I met my boyfriend by leaving my number on the receipt at a restaurant,” says Alexa, a senior at James Madison University. “I was out to breakfast with my parents and thought the waiter was really cute.” So the next time you have a handsome server, include your number on the receipt! Just make sure that he’s the one who picks up the check and not someone else. You can do this by attaching your number to the receipt (if you bring Post-Its with you for occasions like this) or by giving him the receipt yourself.

3. Attend a nearby arts festival

Even if you’re not in a big city, your school could host an arts festival or the town nearby will have one available. Breaking away from the familiar will open your chances of meeting someone completely new! Guys from different colleges and with different backgrounds will be there, and you might meet someone new who doesn’t even attend your school! Visiting all of the booths provides the perfect opportunity to start a conversation with a handsome stranger. (“So what do you think this piece means?”) You could ask and easily delve into an intense conversation about a painting. Don’t forget to ask him if he wants to meet for coffee later!

4. Frequent the student center lounge

So maybe you prefer to meet one of the guys on campus. If so, you should hang out where most of them go to study or hang out with their friends between classes: the student center lounge. “Last year, I met a guy in our student center lounge. I was studying and he sat down nearby. I wanted to run to the dining hall to get a snack and asked him if he would mind watching my stuff while I was gone,” says Hannah, an NYU junior. When Hannah returned, the guy started talking to her. Score! Just make sure to exercise caution when asking for small favors like watching your stuff. Another thing you can do is approach one of the guys you recognize from class and mention something about what you’re studying, especially if he’s studying the same thing. Think of it as an impromptu study session!

5. Get your sparkle on at the campus fitness center

No, we don’t mean rolling in glitter. Take advantage of your college’s fitness center! Although your primary purpose should be to workout, there’s nothing wrong with scoping out the football players while they lift weights. Sign up for group co-ed activities with your fitness center or train with a running group for a marathon. This way, you can build camaraderie with like-minded athletes, and a relationship could naturally build out of your time together.

6. Flirt over sweet treats at a bakery, cafe or ice cream shop

The next time you go to the bakery, cafe or ice cream shop, ask the cute guy nearby what flavor he recommends. Kate, a senior at Skidmore College, struck up a conversation with a cute Turkish guy while ordering gelato in France one day. “I ended up asking him what his favorite was, and he ended up asking me out!” she says. “We dated the whole month I was in France.” Not only are you flattering him by asking for his opinion, you’re letting him know that you’re available for conversation. You don’t have to be in France to do this either. Try it the next time you’re in line behind a hottie at Starbucks.

7. Meet a fellow bookworm at the campus library

Few people realize the romantic potential of the library, but just think about it. If you’re in college and care about your grades, you will find yourself in the library on many occasions. It’s the perfect place to meet a studious guy! Try to go during peak library hours, which is usually around lunchtime or after dinner. Find a study buddy among the studious cuties or ask one of the handsome library attendants to help you with your research. You can also use the opportunity to talk to someone near you who might be researching the same topic or something similar.

8. Cheer on your school’s team at a game

Show your school spirit by going to athletic competitions and games. Who says you even have to know what’s going on? While it’s not a good idea to constantly ask the guy next to you for a play-by-play of the game, you can still comment on the game and join in the crowd’s energy. Try to find a guy who isn’t surrounded by a big group of his friends and casually introduce yourself during half-time and intermissions. Ask him questions about himself and dazzle him with your wonderful smile. If you do any of these seven scientifically proven ways to make him fall for you, you’ll have him interested in you before the end of the game!

9. Network at campus job fairs

Campus job fairs and networking events provide the perfect opportunity to chat with the guy you’ve been eyeing, especially if he’s interested in a similar field. Open with a comment about the event. You don’t have to stick to shop talk either. Ask him how his classes are going and what he plans to do for the summer. If he comes to all of the networking events just like you do, you might be able to swap job and event stories. Voila! You’ve made a connection!

10. Join the club

One of the best ways to meet someone new is to participate in clubs and activities on or around campus. You’ll be spending quality time with people on a regular basis, and clubs gets new members all of the time. The best part is how easy it is to start a conversation or to find something to talk about. If he’s a member of the club, whether it’s the chess club or drama club, you already know he’s interested in the same thing as you are. So use it as an icebreaker to introduce yourself. Pair up with one of the hotties for a project and ask him if he wants to hang out outside of the club.


Regardless of how and where you get your flirt on, remember that guys are everywhere. Look your best, be yourself and say hello. Being open to meeting someone will help you actually meet someone. And by opening your market to the places you frequent on a regular basis, you’re increasing the likelihood of getting a date. Good luck, ladies!

Roxanna Coldiron is a recent graduate of Hiram College with a B.A in Communication and is a current master's student at The New School in NYC. She likes to be busy, so she often works several jobs at once and takes an overload of interesting classes. Time management is her specialty! Her goal in life is to tell stories through a variety of media platforms. Follow her on Twitter @roxanna_media!