eeting people nowadays is both harder and yet easier than ever. If you define “meeting someone” as striking up a random conversation at a bar or in a library, then yea, it can be difficult to meet people.
But there are a plethora of other ways to meet people that would perhaps feel more natural and genuine than pretending to care about the cocktail the pretty person at the bar is sipping.
Before we get into the ways to physically (or digitally) meet people, let’s start with some general advice that we think can go a long way.
Being confident is a huge part of a lot of people's successes in meeting new people. Confidence is key - that’s a worn out old phrase but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true.
Now, we don’t want you to overdo it and go completely out of character. If you’re normally a more introverted person, don’t go buy a leather jacket and ripped jeans and pretend that you’re cooler than everyone.
Do start making a concerted effort to uplift yourself though. Recognize how awesome you are and lean into whatever makes you cool and unique. Giving yourself affirmations is a great way to start becoming more confident.
As another little trick, just telling yourself how confident you are on a regular basis will make you more confident. It sounds stupid and straightforward, but we promise it’ll work.
Take The Pressure Off
This may be one of the worst things to tell someone who is nervous, but try to relax.
Maybe this doesn’t apply to you, and whenever you meet new people you’re cool as a cucumber; but we have a feeling that if you’re reading this article, you may be at least a little nervous before talking to a new person.
Part of relaxing in this context means just not taking the situations too seriously. This is looking ahead a little bit, but if you meet someone and it quickly doesn’t seem to be working out, you just move on - no biggie.
No matter the reason for a bad experience meeting someone, always move on and don’t think too much about it. Now that you have some of the basics for what to do when you meet someone, let's move onto the actual methods of meeting someone!
That first interaction that you have with a relatively random person can be awkward to say the least. That’s usually because it’s hard to find a topic that really gets both people excited about the conversation.
Finding a community that you want to be a part of is a great way to solve this problem. Finding these communities can happen in any number of ways, but the easiest is to search online for something that you enjoy.
Usually, it’s easiest to find a community that focuses on a hobby like chess, knitting, or even just reading. Search for local groups that meet in person, or you can just stick to online forums and communities.
Try your best to engage in community posts as that is probably the best way to get noticed in a community and is a great way to encourage others to reach out to you. However, you shouldn’t rely on others to do the heavy lifting - take initiative!
Take a chance and reach out to some of the folks that you meet while engaging in the community. This first interaction will likely be a lot less awkward and forced than a conversation that you’d strike up at a random location with a random person.
These conversations aren’t just easy to start, but they’re usually easy to continue because of the common ground that you already know you have.
As a sidenote - take it slow if you’re getting involved in a community as a way to meet someone romantically. The last thing you want is to be seen as the person who only goes to events and get togethers to try and flirt and get a new significant other.
If this is a community that you really care about, wait a little bit before you ask someone on a date or ask someone to “hang out,” whatever that means.
Online Dating Apps
Tinder, Grindr, Bumble, Hinge, Farmers Only… the list of dating websites and apps goes on and on. Most all dating apps are good for something, but they’re usually not good for everyone. We’ll explain.
When choosing your dating app(s) you should choose them based on what kind of relationship you’re looking for. For example, Tinder and Grindr are usually used for casual hookups and casual relationships whereas Hinge and Match.com are meant for people looking for a more serious relationship.
So before you choose which dating app you want to download, take a few minutes to think about what kind of relationship you want, and what kind of relationship you can handle in your current state.
It's totally okay if you don’t have the time for a serious relationship, and likewise, it’s okay if you are ready and looking for something serious.
This is perhaps the easiest and most low-pressure method of meeting people in your 20s.
This one’s a little old school (if you’re comparing it to online dating apps), but it’s a fun and effective way to meet a lot of people in a short amount of time.
Built into the structure of a speed dating event is the possibility of awkward or even unpleasant encounters. That’s why it’s called speed dating though - you have a very short amount of time to get to know someone, and then you move onto the next person.
Another hidden detail about speed dating is that if you really hit it off with someone, you don’t have to keep switching. No one can physically stop you and the other person from blowing that popsicle stand and going to a bar or a coffee shop to get to know each other better.
We advise you to reserve that strategy for extreme cases where you and the other person are clicking on another level. If you enjoyed your time talking to them, you should keep moving in the rotation of speed daters for a couple reasons.
The first is that you don’t want to be rude to the other people there, and the second is that you could be missing out on conversation with someone who you end up clicking with even more!
Also, if you end up still wanting to connect with that one special person after the speed dating event, that person will be there at the end of the event too waiting just for you!
This is another old school option but it’s something to consider. If a friend or family member tries to set you up with a random person - go for it! Who knows you better than your friends and family? And who wants you to be in a happy relationship more than them?
So why not give them a shot to introduce you to someone new? Exactly. The more we lay out this option, the more it seems like one of the best ways to meet new people in your 20s.
Being on dating sites and apps can be exhausting and even a bit demoralizing, so take any opportunity that you have to meet a person who a friend or family member thinks you would be compatible with.
Before dating sites, this might have ranked really high in the best way to meet people, and honestly we think it still should. There are so many success stories that come from family members and friends setting someone up with a random friend of theirs who they think they’d get along with.
Now that we’ve convinced you to go on that blind date your friends have been begging you to go on, we’ll tell you to go into it pretty blind. Don’t look too hard at their Facebook page and don’t ask for too many details about what they like from whoever set you two up.
Go in completely blind and have faith in whoever set you up that they’ve suggested someone who you’ll at least get along with. Maybe there won’t be a crazy spark that has you falling madly in love and moving to Cordoba together, but chances are you’ll at least have a mildly pleasant time. And what do you have to lose?!
All in all, be confident, don’t overthink it, and take the initiative on meeting new people. Put yourself out there in any of the ways we listed above and don’t forget to have fun while you’re at it!