Estimated reading time: 5-6 minutes
Dating is difficult. But if Rihanna can find love in a hopeless place, you can find love in the Beehive state, a place that isn’t hopeless at all. Sure, she’s got the whole billionaire superstar thing going for herself, but you’ve got a lot of goodness too.
The question is, where can you let those qualities shine and meet like-minded singles in Utah? Here are a few places you might be able to meet people with similar values, goals, and hobbies — who are willing to put up with your uncle’s political rants over Thanksgiving dinner.
Let’s start with the inevitable: the often frustrating but necessary dating apps.
In terms of dating pool size, the big apps (Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, etc.) are hard to beat. But while more people to choose from can mean more dates, it can also mean a lower chance of compatibility, especially when online profiles are reduced to a few pictures and a short written description. Add to that the fact that chemistry can be hard to gauge virtually, and it’s easy to see why online matches don’t always translate to real matches.
That being said, many have found what they were looking for through dating apps. To increase your chances of success, there are a few steps you can take to appeal to the audience that appeals to you. First, you want to be on the right app(s) – not all are created equal. Some are more specialized and may give you a better chance of finding someone to join (like Mutual for Latter-day Saints or Our Time for seniors). You also want to show off your profile: include flattering yet authentic photos and a concise description that shows more of who you are.
Groups and clubs
The best way to find someone who likes the same things you do is to join a group or club designed for people who are passionate about those things.
Are you into photography? Sign up for an upcoming event or class hosted by Pictureline. Do you like exploring the mountains? Join a local hiking group. (In addition to the social benefit, it’s also safer — and more motivating — to hike with others.) Looking to get into pottery? Check out adult education courses at the local university or community college.
One of the best options for finding groups covering virtually any hobby or interest you can think of is Meetup.com. You can even find groups and events aimed at singles.
The best part of being part of a club is that you’ll do fulfilling things and make friends even if it doesn’t lead to romantic encounters. In fact, that should be your mentality: join these groups to do activities you love, and if something more comes out of it, it’ll just be a bonus.
Exercising competitively is great for a lot of things, but can make for tough mix-ups because, you know, you’re trying to win. Plus, the prospect of intense competition just isn’t fun for many.
Enter Beehive Sports, a club that organizes mixed sports leagues focused more on socializing than destroying the opposition. (To clarify this point, league levels are described as “social” and “super social.”) From softball to soccer and cornhole, Beehive has something for everyone. Also, if none of your friends are interested in joining a kickball league this fall, you can sign up as a free agent and be placed on an existing team. Besides, your friends are jerks. Kickball is extremely fun.
The fun doesn’t stop at sportsball either with Beehive. Several bars, including Campfire Lounge, Gracie’s and Twist, sponsor the club and offer player discounts on game days, making them perfect post-game hangouts.
Yes… the bar
The bar scene is a bit cliché when it comes to meeting people, but that’s for a reason. Many single people who go out to bars on weekends to socialize will be looser than normal and open to conversation with strangers. One caveat is that some bars can get quite loud, but usually you can at least strike up a conversation there. Even if you don’t drink, just being around other people can be a great time, and almost every bar offers non-alcoholic drinks.
Note: Not everyone who goes out to a bar is in the mood to meet new people. It shouldn’t need to be said, but if someone doesn’t show interest in talking to you, don’t insist. Or take it personally. Some people just want to have a good time with their friends.
If you want to let loose and dance to some tunes, there are several places around the Wasatch Front that you can try. The Westerner in Salt Lake is a great option if you want to get your cowboy boots out and dance to the best country hits. For those in the Utah County area, the Grove resort in Pleasant Grove offers country dancing on Tuesday nights.
If country isn’t your thing, you can spice things up with salsa dancing in Provo. Admission will entitle you to a free lesson – and you don’t need to bring a partner! Come alone or with friends and meet new people.
The most important thing
The most important thing when trying to meet new people is to be yourself, specifically the best version of yourself. Look sharp, be confident and show others what’s great about you. But always stay authentic. Pretending to love rock climbing or having a posh British accent can only lead to disastrous results.