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Relationship advice is best delivered customized, for each individual client.  But there are some resources (in addition to 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).

 

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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, however).

 

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 friends.

 

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 within them. 

 

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.

 

Go to Meeting People Online

Go to Online Dating Sites

 

Related Articles:

 

Relationship Advice Coaching

Relationship Advice

Four-Part Article:  "How to Communicate More Like a Long-Necked Giraffe (and Less Like a Jackal)

  1 - Communication for Healthy Relationships

  2 - Relationship Tips

  3 - Relationship Problems

  4 - Relationship Help

 

 

 

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