Matthew Hussey is a relationship coach known for the New York Times bestseller Get the Guy, as well as a popular dating advice blog and YouTube channel of the same name. He is less known for Ryan Seacrest’s endorsement on his website, so I would market that more if I were him.
When it comes to the inside of the male psyche, however, I defer to Hussey. I interviewed him for a story about modern matchmaking — I wanted his opinion as to whether or not he thought it was a “good” way to meet someone — but ended up saving his advice on how to meet people in real life. (What a concept?) It was so specific, and so why-didn’t-I-think-of-that obvious, that it warranted its own story. Below, his quick and easy advice for how to meet your summer fling. It does not involve Tinder, and it certainly does not involve a matchmaker.
1. Accept that you must make time to meet someone.
I tell Hussey that a common thread I’ve heard across my various matchmaking interviews was lack of time: I’m too busy to go to bars to meet someone. I’m too busy for bad dates — I’d rather stay at home. It’s a frequent excuse among my friends, and I’ve said it, too.
“I’m not against [alternative] ways to meet someone,” says Hussey. “I’m not afraid of paying a matchmaker, I’m not afraid of apps, it’s all fine. The problem is when those [tools] become a crutch because you ‘don’t have time to meet someone.’” As he explains, if you don’t have enough time to look for someone, how are you going to have time to date someone? You have to make time if you’re serious about fitting someone in your life.
I know. Eye roll. I used to go to a gym that had a sign up that read, “You don’t find time to work out, you make time.” It made me mad. And it made sense.
2.You also have to accept that you have to actually, er, meet people to meet people, you know?
I bring up another common dating lament: I’m not good at meeting people in person. I’m afraid to meet people in person.
“If you’re using an app or matchmaker because you don’t think you’re ‘good’ at meeting people in person, what are you going to do on your first date when you actually meet that person? How are you going to be charismatic when you’re so afraid?” he asks in response.
Hussey does acknowledge that this is sometimes easier said than done. Like no shit, meeting people would be easier if you were good at it. Acceptance is step one. “I am going to have to actually come face to face with this person eventually.” Okay. Done. But how do you “get good” at the meeting part? Practice. That mother-effing practice thing again.
Which brings us to logistics. How do you physically MEET someone?
3. Use Cracks of Time
You’re busy, no matter how much time you’re willing to make for the right person. To actually find him or her, Hussey suggests you “use the cracks of time.” Look for people to meet while you’re going to get coffee, while you’re grocery shopping, while you’re at the gym. “I see those activities as things you’re doing anyway. No one can claim he or she doesn’t have time to meet someone because everyone has two minutes [to say hi to someone] in line at a coffee shop.” When you use the cracks of time, he explains, you’re increasing your chances.
4. Get Creative About Your Leisure Time
Hussey explains that there are things that you want to do — for example, I want to learn to rollerblade this summer and take parallel-parking lessons — but sometimes, to meet someone, you have to ask yourself what you’re willing to do. Make a list of things you are willing to do in order to meet someone. Example: “I am willing to go to X kind of event to meet people with qualities I’m looking for in a mate.” Less specific: “My workout class is filled with X kind of people who are in no way, shape or form my type, but I notice that the 8 p.m. class across the street is filled to the brim with potential summer flings. I am willing to try it.”
This doesn’t have to be something you hate, he clarifies. The point is that you’re doing it to meet someone, not to find your next hobby. (It’s the Bachelor/Bachelorette mentality: Go for the right reasons!!)
5. Do More Sociable Versions of Things You Do Anyway
Do you normally take a painting class in the evenings after work and keep your headphones in? Try taking your headphones out. And unlike The Bachelor/Bachelorette, you should be there to make friends, too. “It’s just as important to make new friends,” says Hussey. “A new single friend means a new partner in crime, someone who can go out with you and introduce you to new people.” Part of the reason we don’t meet new people is because we literally do not meet new people. We stick to the same small circles.
And with that, I encourage you all to make a new friend down in the comments section, then tell me every single thing about your summer 2017 fling.
P.S. If you prefer to be single or are newly single and are trying to get used to it, read this.