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Club hopping is great for listening to new music and mingling with fresh faces, but if you spend enough time shaking booties and bumping uglies, you wonder if the nightlife offers anything substantial. Finding someone in a “meet” market is easy. Finding a guy with long-term potential in the night life circuit is a harder prospect altogether. The atmosphere of densely packed, alcohol-fueled bars, clubs and lounges promote superficial connections between people. The music is loud so verbal communication is kept to a minimum. Men jockey and posture to be seen many women. Ladies strut, bounce and flip hair to get noticed by guys, hoping that someone is her “type.” Not that you would necessarily know if he was.

In a club, everyone becomes a music video version of themselves making it nearly impossible to have an authentic connection. Mix in a few cocktails to lower your inhibitions (sometimes a good thing) — then comes the deteriorated reasoning capability, so you just end up feeling good about the bad decisions you’re making.

Don’t get me wrong — it’s a good time but not if you’re ending in the same tired ol’ scene for lack of a better option. The nightlife circuit emphasizes quantity over quality. But the latter is what you really want: Someone who understands you. A man intrigued by your mind and excited by your personal brand of cool. Someone worthy of your time and commitment and willing to share his own.Finding that kind of quality in a relationship is as much about who you are, and what you project, as it is about someone else. When you’re happy, confident and secure in who you are as an individual, you’re more likely to attract a man who matches your outlook and energy.

So pass on bars, clubs and lounges as a place to meet Mr. someone special and take that little light of yours and shine it in these special ways to find someone unique. Alcohol is optional.

Pursuing a Hobby

If you don’t have a hobby, stop wasting your time and get one. Reality shows do not count (unless you’re in one). Responsibilities also do not count. This is why they make kids take electives in college–in the hopes that you will pursue casual interests and possibly become a more interesting person. What does this have to do with meeting a unique guy? Hobbies are pursuits of passion. You invest time and money in something that moves or soothes your soul. Your authentic self shines through. Men drawn to that light, be it weird or quirky, are likely to be more passionate about you.

Go to a Gallery Opening

Museums display good looking men as well as they display art. White walls and bright lights let you see exactly who you’re dealing with. Beauty surrounds you, the atmosphere is serene and intriguing conversation sits around every corner. Gallery openings tend to include wine and dedicated mingling time. Schedule the next opening on your calendar, appreciate some art and discover men you appreciate as well.

Volunteer

Anyone will unthinkingly slip a dollar to a person on the street, but people have a vested interest where he or she volunteers. There are hundreds of causes to support, so you can donate precious time to those that you care about. What better place to meet someone who shares similar values and has a compassionate heart?

Get Fit

When keeping your body in tip top shape is something you spend grueling, sweat-inducing hours at, you deserve someone who’s idea of keeping fit involves more than picking up a case of light beer. Be open to meeting your match at the gym, on the race track or in the fitness studio.

Take a Class

Unlike what you remember in undergrad, continuing education courses are filled with like-minded adults who just happen to be nerdy about the same things you are. Whether it’s a salsa class or blogging workshop, enroll in an academic or creative course you’ve been wanting to use to expand your horizons — and you are likely to find eligible bachelors who are doing the same.

Go to the Park

If you’re the type that appreciates the outdoors, then you don’t have to go much further than a nice park to get your fix of nature. It’s also a hot spot for the fun-loving, laid back, athletic guy fix your heart’s been craving.

House Parties

I’m a big fan of house parties. The drinks are well priced there’s always some kind of food to snack on. Most importantly, there’s a better selection of friends and lovers in the room. This tip the odds in your favor with a little “guy-cycling.” Get each of your girlfriends to bring a great (and single!) guy friend. You know, the one’s that are a great catch, but for whatever reason, are not a match for them. Someone’s bound to hit it off. Hopefully you. There are many other ways to expand your dating horizons, as long as you stay open and creative — and out of the club!

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