Let’s fall in love. So what if we just met?

Lindsay Montgomery

Everybody needs somebody, right? No? Just me?

Whether or not you’re also a relationship person, chances are you’ll go hunting for a mate someday. Are you ready for that? Meeting people and getting them to like you is a pretty basic life skill, so you should follow this column’s advice starting now.

1. Frequent new places.

I’m not telling you to go to a new bar one night and flirt with some guy who’s only in town for the weekend. That might work, but it probably won’t. We’re building relationships, here. Get a job, even for only a few hours a week, or join a club. Put yourself in situations in which you have no choice but to meet others. Be smart about this, and consider your priorities. Volunteering at a nursing home is admirable, but it may not introduce you to a bunch of young hotties. The advantage to this tip is that you’ll likely make at least a couple new friends. Those friends will in turn introduce you to their friends, and the chain continues … or you could end up marrying that guy who also works at the nature trails or the friend you met at PRIDE Club.

2. Stop traveling in packs.

I know, your friends are so great! But they’re ruining every chance you have of finding a significant other. Kind of. You have to get over your self-consciousness and venture out into the wild without friends shielding you from potential interactions. I like to go alone to the same wine tasting every Friday I’m free. Would a perfect stranger have bought me a glass of merlot, the dessert I intended to pay for and another one to go for later if I’d been yapping to a BFF instead of relishing my own good company? No. It’s easier for people to approach you if you’re flying solo — one person is less intimidating; there’s less chance of rejection, and it doesn’t feel as much like interrupting.

3. Keep your head held high.

Don’t be terrified to meet new people. They’re nervous, too. And please, please don’t always wait for the lingering eyes across the room to make the first move. Insisting you must be pursued is … a little lazy, selfish and/or cowardly. No, you shouldn’t have to do all the work, but you should meet your potential lover halfway. Plus, confidence is incredibly sexy. You don’t have to be too forward, just avoid the bashfulness. Approach people you find interesting as if you’re just going to be friends, not get married. There’s no sense in getting your hopes up while you barely know them, and it will hopefully ease your nerves to see things that way. Remember: Your future spouse should think you’re the greatest, even at your most getting-to-know-each-other self-conscious.

4. Forget about rejection.

It doesn’t matter. You’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. If you are, stop reading this, and TELL US YOUR SECRETS. Keep in mind that everyone deals with rejection — thanks for the character-building, senior I asked to Sadie’s my sophomore year of high school. It’s embarrassing, and you’ll probably blush or cry or eat too many hot wings after it happens. It wears off, though. The more you interact with new people, the easier it will be, and the less you’ll care about those who don’t care for you. I have a weird knack for getting to know new people, but I went through an awkward stage in which I had bad skin and no fashion sense — AKA middle school. My point is that there’s always room to progress.

Get out there and snag yourself some brand new arm candy. You’ll at least make friends. You know, shooting for the moon, landing among the stars — completely true in this case.

Go get ‘em, tiger.

Email Ellie M. at [email protected]