I have a problem. I can’t meet anyone in this city. I have lived in Broad Ripple for almost three years. I moved here not really knowing anyone. I have a few friends now but we really don’t hang out anymore. I’m looking for love in all the wrong places. I have had maybe five dates in the last three years and really none of them turned out to be anything special. I’m not sure what to do. I want to meet someone but I’m not sure where to look. I have tried the bar scene, dating sites and phone personals. I think I’m a good looking, decent guy; I’m a little shy and can’t think of the right thing to say if I do meet someone. I’m a nice guy and in this city nice guys always seem to finish last. I wonder are there any single groups out there? I’m 23 and I’m tired of being single. I know that she is out there somewhere but for right now I feel hopeless and lonely in this city. What’s a nice guy to do?
Dear Anonymous Nice Guy,
Oh kiddo, I’m so sorry you’re having a tough summer. I hate hearing good people go through lonely times, but despair not. There are things you can do to swing the odds of meeting someone special in your favor. Just add, don’t subtract. Conventional wisdom tends to eschew bars and personals because they’re thought to attract only casual relationships or purely sexual encounters, but I don’t agree. Sure, you’ll have that element to deal with, but that’s just true of people in general, regardless of where you meet them. Every night you go out is a new night, a new opportunity. I live in Broad Ripple, too, and I think the strip is much more fun when Butler students start coming back. But you know there are tons of other things to do in our little burg, so don’t forget to mix it up.
Speaking of which, here’s a couple ideas to consider when filling your social calendar. Try volunteering. Nice people tend to do nice things, so your chances of meeting someone who isn’t interested in hooking up with a jerk are pretty good. Lots of singles get out and meet new people this way, not to mention you’ll obviously be improving your community and helping others. Pick something fairly physical, which will be likely to attract a younger, more active crowd. Habitat for Humanity has a local chapter and is a perfect example of what I’m talking about (www.indyhabitat.org). Another organization you might want to investigate is Indianapolis Ambassadors (www.indyambassadors.org), which provides its members with a variety of volunteer opportunities as well as holding their own social events. You could also join a church with a singles group if you’re so inclined. Or speed date. If you have a favorite sport, join a league. Smell what I’m cookin’ here? I know you said you’re shy. Just don’t make your first priority finding a date, but instead to just have fun. There is no pressure, and no failure if you aren’t married off by the end of the year. If you get busy doing things you enjoy, you’ll meet someone eventually. That’s virtually a guarantee. The trick is to have a fun and full life in the meantime. Good luck!"""