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Remember how it was so easy to meet people when you were in school? So maybe being set up by your Aunt Edie is going to result in you being bored, because Aunt Edie never really understood you.

But if a friend wants to set you up on a date, DO IT.

Every person I’ve ever dated, including the man I married, I met in real life. Even if you know, for a fact, that you will never date any of your coworkers (which is probably a good thing), you never know who they might ask, from outside the office, to tag along. I don’t mean inviting yourself to whatever events aren’t “public,” but if you see that one of your Facebook friends is going to an art exhibit opening or a reading at the local bookstore, RSVP and go.

Whether it was a bar, work (yes, bad idea, I know), or at one of the many media events that I used to frequent back in my social days (I’m exhausted just thinking about it! It's a great way to find out what's going on and to get slightly outside your comfort zone, without having to show up somewhere completely alone. Getting up and going out, especially this time of year, seems like cruel and unusual punishment, but if you’re going to meet someone IRL, you have to venture out into the real world.

Once upon a time, in an age before the Internet, the only way to meet people was to leave your apartment and interact with humanity.

I know it’s a scary thought — leaving your couch, taking off your sweatpants, putting your Netflix binging on pause, and going out to meet people — but that’s just how the world worked.

(But you’ve seen hundreds of rom-coms, so you know that.)Of course, you need to be safe and should never feel harassed— but sometimes, rape culture has made us believe we're always in danger, when in reality, we might actually sometimes enjoy the thrill of talking to a stranger.

Find your favorite cafe, bar, bookstore, restaurant, or place to listen to live music and see how it feels to become a regular.

Two big things happen when you’re alone: You’ll find that you’re more likely to talk to people and people are more likely to talk to you.

Back when I used to drink like every day was my last day on earth, I was one of a dozen regulars at a couple bars, and it was a great way to meet people.

There’s something about being a fixture in someplace you’re comfortable (that isn’t your home) that gives you the confidence to talk to people.

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