So you've noticed as of late that your friends of friends circle has become concentrically smaller. And what used to be a fun night out with your single, horny, drunk, rambunctious buddies has turned into an evening of one glass of wine drinking, I can get sex whenever I want it couples looking to hit the hay early.
It's not pretty out there. And as singles of any age can attest, it's tough to find people to date. Much less marry. So, if friends aren't setting you up and you're tired of sitting at home watching The Biggest Loser, then it's time to start getting creative—and shameless—in your dating methods. Because, as they say, desperate people call for desperate measures.
1) Place a "Missed Connections" Craigslist post that's vague enough to entice just about anyone. "Brunette, 30s, tall but not short, reading the paper on the F line at rush hour. I saw you. You saw me. But you got off before I could get your number." If anyone writes back, you're stoked. They're as date-starved as you are and you'll be canoodling in no time. If no one writes back, consider yourself lucky. You were this close to being dismembered by a nutcase.
2) Take your friend's dog, Spike, to the Central Park. Make sure Spike is the big energy, maniacal sort. The kind that likes to frisk people's crotches as soon as they step foot into the house. At park, allow Spike to run off leash and ask attractive doggie-loving stranger to help you retrieve Spike. While attractive stranger is off catching said pooch, write down potential date's number off dog's collar and follow up with a call and thank you bone.
3) Go to NYU Law or Columbia Business School. Even if you don't care about business or law. Meet others as smart as yourself. Join clubs. Women graduate with MRS. Degree, men graduate with arm candy. In legalese, this arrangement is known as "Quid pro quo." If this transaction doesn't transpire, you have a graduate degree which is equivalent to a grade "A" on the blind date ladder. People you've met standing on line at the movies will want to set you up with their cousin's niece or son's best friend.
4) While driving, intentionally dent the bumper of an expensive car—though not a Volvo as this is the car of married people. Apologize profusely and find out if the owner of the damaged vehicle has a spouse. If not, then exchange personal information, including telephone number and/or email. Follow up, have insurance deal with it and then suggest you also take them to dinner to make up for the accident. This date will cost money in the short term but pay itself off in the long run if you end up together. And it will be a great "cute meet" story at your wedding.
5) Go to AA meetings. They're full of people who are sober and have a lot of time on their hands. And cigarettes. And since you'll already be drinking coffee together and learning about the most intimate details of their personal lives, you're off to a good start. Then there's no place to go from there except out on a date. Just not to a bar.
6) Facebook-stalk your friends of friends. Make a top ten list of the ones listed "single." When locked in on one, and for expedience, let's call this person "Sam," constantly check Sam's status page. When it says Sam is going to "such and such party on the 18th," go to such and such party on the 18th. Circle Sam like the prey that he/she is, then when Sam is alone—and vulnerable—walk up to Sam and lie and say you met at so and so's party last year (the Facebook friend of a friend). If Sam likes you, Sam will lie and say Sam vaguely remembers this incident and you've got yourself a date. If Sam doesn't remember, go back and repeat step one with the next object of projection on your list.
7) Take long, cross country plane rides in hopes of sitting next to a single person. If they are attractive—or at least don't smell like they slept in a box of kitty litter—strike up a conversation. When the stewardess comes around, order wine and the cheese and crackers and this could potentially be the best five hour date of your life. Or worst. Either way, you'll be accumulating miles.
8) When getting out of a cab and someone without a wedding band is about to get in, leave your cell phone on the seat in plain view. If this is a solid person, the kind you want to date, they'll track you down and return it to you. And you can then thank them by buying them a beer. This is a date. If they don't return your phone, you're out a hundred dollars and stuck with Verizon for another two years. But, then again, you could end up together on the family plan. The choice is up to you.
9) Send an email to everyone on your email list (include exes, your United Air booking agent and the Nigerian chain-mail guy looking for money) stating your intention to sublet your apartment—even though you're not subletting your apartment. People show up and check out your pad and you have a chance to chat, probably with a few single people. If someone loves your Bob Marley Rising poster or has a soft spot for your cacti, this means you might have something in common. Enough for a date. Follow up and say you've had to sublet to your friend who unexpectedly needed a place—and even though your room isn't available, you are.
10) Bring latest Malcom Gladwell book with you wherever you go. Most likely someone urbane, up on culture who enjoys reading New Yorker articles stretched out in order to be sold in book form, will be reading it, too. Make eyes at person. Strike up conversation. Date to a Gladwell reading could very possibly ensue. If not, you know now how Tipping Points start and you begin a trend in which date-starved New Yorkers meet in alternate ways, which then leads to dates and eventual marital bliss.