How to Meet and Date People who Live in your Area

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While online dating has expanded the dating pool like never before, one of the drawbacks is not finding enough suitable contacts from your own locality. While prioritizing geographical proximity is one way to reach out to potential dates, here are some other things you can do to meet singles who live in your area.

Get to know your neighbors

Neighbors are one of the best resources on local knowledge; they can not only tell you where the juiciest steaks are to be found but can also let you know where the local singles hang out on weekends. So the next time you see someone collecting mail in the lobby downstairs or washing his car down your street, smile and wish them a good morning. Get chatting with them and ask how their son/daughter away at college has been doing. And Even as you keep your personal safety in mind, don’t be snooty and unresponsive if a neighbor brings over a basket of cookies or a potted plant for you. down the line good neighbors can make all the difference between a regular address and a great place to live. Over time as you get to know the people living around you better, don’t pass up invitations to their pool parties or barbeque evenings. Even though you find the next-door Mrs. Brown rather stuffy, you may hit off well with her handsome young nephew.

TIP: At Match.com you can browse photo profiles and filter by zip code to meet people who stay close to you.

Mingle more

Make an effort to join neighborhood activities which will bring you in contact with a wider variety of people who live in your area. For instance if you know of a neighbor organizing a Christmas cookie party for children, offer to bake batch of the peanut cookies you are famous for or help along with the shopping. This will not force you to open conversation with people from your neighborhood but at the same time, it will help you to be around people so that if you see someone you like, you can approach him or her. Again if the neighborhood kids are planning a fundraiser for the local animal shelter and come to you for help, don’t stop at just a contribution. Try and get involved with their fundraising efforts or at least make an appearance at the event. Even if there are going to be mostly familiar faces, consider the fact that your neighbors might bring along guests and friends; all this could turn a local fundraiser picnic into a good opportunity of meeting new people as well.



Volunteer

A great way of meeting singles who live in your area is to volunteer at neighborhood initiatives – for one this will throw you in contact with the locals but more importantly you will end up helping someone in need and thus leave feeling the better for it. Ideally, choose volunteer work that is tailored according to your interests for instance if you are a book lover, offer your services as a part-time librarian in your community center; on the other hand if you are fond of gardening, you could get involved with maintenance and landscaping of the local park. Even if you are reluctant to commit yourself on a regular basis, you could still come up with other volunteer ideas like taking a batch of home-baked cookies to the local fire station or sheriff’s office or getting involved in the organizing of Christmas fetes, Thanksgiving kids’ parties and fundraisers in your area.

Be a regular at the local hangouts

A small town or village is likely to have just a couple of really popular hangouts – this may be a pub, a bar, the café or in a really small place, several things rolled into one like the post office which also doubles up as the main store and coffee shop. So if you are living in the country or a small farming community, a good idea would be to become a familiar face at these hangouts which will help you spot the singles in your area since inevitably they would troop in here for a drink or a snack. Even if you cannot meet the singles at the first opportunity, get talking to other locals like the store keeper, the barman or the post-mistress who will let on valuable nuggets about who is dating whom and who has just emerged from a breakup  and thus open to mingling again. The advantage of a small community is that people are usually clued in on each other’s personal affairs and so after a few rounds of drinks with the local patrons, it should not be too difficult for you to get all the news about the singles scene in the community.

Drop by your local religious center

You may have never been very active in your church while growing up or even particularly spiritual, don’t discount the power of local religious affiliations in building up a social network. People with whom you share a common religious, linguistic or ethnic background can go a long way in making you feel welcome and loved in a new city; so remember to drop by your church on days of special service, religious occasions or holidays and you are sure to find lots of new faces. For single women especially, the local religious center is one of the safest ways to meet men. Frequenting bars and nightclubs late at night might make for a rocking social life but can leave you exposed to danger in a new city or one which has crime problems.

The local park

Your area may not have many gyms or what they have may not be swanky enough for you. A far better option would be to exercise regularly at the local park. Go for a walk, run or ride your bicycle, all the while keeping your eyes peeled for fellow exercisers. The park is a great place to meet men and women who like the outdoors and fitness; more than that, it offers a laid-back atmosphere to strike up a conversation. If you find a nice-looking guy, try complimenting his dog, sports gear or just start by saying a friendly "hello" to an attractive runner. Before long you may not only have a companion for your early-morning job, but also maybe a great date for the weekend.

Finally, get out of your house since it is difficult to meet people from your area if you keep yourself aloof from the everyday community life. Unless you leave your comfort zone and venture out, you will remain inaccessible to the many eligible singles who may actually exist in your locality. So have your morning cup of coffee at the popular diner where people gather for a hearty breakfast. Or pick up the groceries yourself instead of ordering your supplies over the phone. The more you get involved with the daily life of your community, the greater your chances of meeting new people and finding someone interesting.