Like I’ve said before, the list of places to not go looking for your next boyfriend is endless.
From the gym, to the gourmet supermarket, to your neighbourhood park — each place (and all the ensuing boys who frequent it) needs to be given a wide berth when you are trying to go from zero to Hallmark movie in the romance department.
Is it a depressing world?
Does that mean you need to give up on the idea of finding true love?
See, the list of places to not go looking for your next paramour might be a bottomless pot, but so is the list of places where you can find your next big summer fling — and I’ll tell you something — it doesn’t need to restrict itself to your neighbourhood watering hole or the local gym.
Want to know where you can find your next big (and hopefully, final) happily-ever-after? Here are my top four places to go scouting:
1. Your daily commute
Remember how they say that the journey is more important than the destination?
For most of us, commuting to work can be quite boring — travelling from point A (home) to B (work) can take almost two hours every day, which is time that you’d rather spend lifting weights at the gym, or chugging down shots at the bar.
It’s time to leave those cars at home, cross over to the public transport lane, and make things less taxing, and more relaxing. Whether your eyes sympathetically meet over a co-passenger who’s digging deep into his nose, sigh at the same instant at a delay announced over the train’s disembodied speakers, or bang into each other accidentally (of course) because of your metro’s faulty braking systems, there are potential mates lurking everywhere — and they have an open seat waiting for you right next to them.
Now, how about using your daily commute for something more meaningful — from point A straight to your new ‘B’eau’s heart?
The next time you take the train, or metro or bus to work, look up from your phones. You just might spot your next date. Hold on to the railings (or him, whichever is more convenient), and let your body do the talking. You’ll be taking the last train back (to his arms) in no time.
So are we all aboard?
Side note: If that doesn’t work for you, think about all the fuel (and money) you’ll save taking public transport to work. That’s where your gym memberships and shots at the bar come from.
2. At your work place
Anyone who says business should not be mixed with pleasure has clearly not felt the thirst as they make eye contact with the hot colleague at the water fountain.
They say that falling in love with someone at work might jeopardize your professional ethics, and might potentially make everything awkward — but isn’t everything in life awkward anyway? From tripping on your birthday cake when you turned twenty-three, to having a visible wine stain down your trousers’ front that one time at an office party, life has been one awkward marathon. So why stop there?
Being in a relationship at work only makes you work that much harder — no one likes to be given the cold shoulder by a colleague or a Wednesday morning yelling by the boss in front of someone they share an apartment with. This is not only work, it’s your relationship working out.
And the perks?
You get to carpool every day, spend boring meetings secretly texting each other across the table, and roll your eyes unanimously as your b*tch manager chomps away on his sandwich a little too loudly. It’s everything that makes a Monday morning at work seem like a Saturday night at home.
Plus, any chance you get to make your co-workers jealous is a chance well earned.
Side note: Is steamy ‘after-work hours’ sex in the pantry, a part of your bucket list?
Consider it done. Just beware of the hot coffee.
3. At the bookstore
Yes, bookshops still exist and meet cutes still happen — like they say, if it can happen in the movies, it can happen in real life. Plus, if you like to read books (and boys), it’s always best to go the source. Can you imagine cuddling with a book (and your future soul mate) and a hot cup of coffee all evening long (till the store’s working hours, obviously)?
You obviously can. But how do you meet your book-loving bibliophile for that to happen? Maybe you share a sneak peek at each other as you exchange side-eye glances at Chetan Bhagat’s most obvious plot twists, or gasp out loud together at Agatha Christie’s less obvious ones. Your hands could reach for the same Haruki Murakami masterpiece, or unanimously brush away another one of Jackie Collin’s potboilers. But what’s the best bit?
It doesn’t even matter if you are not on the same page (pun intended), because you clearly are going to be on the same book.
He finally walks over, and asks you whether you would recommend the book you are reading (Erich Segal’s Love Story, from the beginning of this chapter). You smile, and he sits down next to you. And there, as you coo about how you absolutely love the vanilla-like smell of old books, and passionately explain why a real, physical hardcover is always better than a PDF, he’ll nervously ask you out for dinner. How can you be sure?
Because, he obviously will (it’s Erich Segal’s Love Story, after all). What if he doesn’t?
Well, there’s always a discount on the bestseller’s section.
4. At a Volunteering Op
Volunteering can be amazing. For starters, you are giving back to society, and secondly, you are also teaming up with other like-minded individuals, who like you, are clearly the nicest people that make up a mere 1 percent of the world.
Take up a cause that actually matters to you (apart from your sole purpose of shacking up with a saint) so that you have a chance of ending up in Santa Claus’s list even if you don’t end up in someone else’s bed. Teach underprivileged kids. Help out at a community kitchen. Sign up for a pet adoption service. Join a beach cleaning drive.
Maybe as you clean up the shorelines of your city, you can clean up the mess your life is at the moment, by meeting someone who could be the much-needed positive influence on your life. How about giving a chance to the wavy-haired gentleman with the deep tan and deeper dimples who’s picking up the plastic bags?
Sign me up, please. Plus, if you get to rack up some good karma as you build a ‘Habitat For Humanity’ for your heart, what’s there to complain about?