Come Together
Some of Our Favorite Ways to Meet People, Compiled From Previous "Got Plans?" Discussions

By the Going Out Gurus
washingtonpost.com Staff Writers
Friday, January 27, 2006; 5:16 PM

Washington, D.C.: Know of anything going on for all the singletons of the world on Valentine's Day? Not looking for a place to do a big dinner ... just somewhere a little hip to have fun cocktails and a lite bite with other friends that are flying solo. Do not want to hide in the house and wallow ... want to have fun!

Fritz: Good for you. I'd say the best thing you can do is avoid all the pre-packaged restaurant parties and hit a fun bar, like Helix, Rouge, Gazuza -- maybe the old-school rock party at Cafe Saint-Ex ... Singletons, where are you spending the 14th? (February 10, 2005)

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Washington, D.C.: I'm new to the city, recently graduated, and don't really know anyone in town. Do you know of any good spots to meet people in the Mount Pleasant/Adams Morgan area? I'm thinking low-key, very chill places...nothing too in your face.

Fritz: Go to Tonic or the Raven at happy hour (not on weekend nights) and you won't be a stranger very long. In Adams Morgan, go early in the week and try Bedrock, Ventnor Sports Cafe, the Reef or Tryst. (October 6, 2005)

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Downtown, Washington, D.C.: So I am newly single and trying to meet new people. My friends and I enjoy going out after work, but no matter where we go we cannot seem to find the right niche. We are a group of mid-20s girls looking to meet guys in the same age range, but everywhere we go it's either college kids or older people. Please please please give us some suggestions where to meet guys our age or I will seriously have to move!

Erin: Wow, I can't believe that the situation is that desperate. You must just be targeting bars in the wrong places...around local campuses, perhaps? Well, I usually find that most happy hours are rife with 20-somethings just getting off work. 18th Street Lounge is a great scene, as are The Reef and Cafe Saint-Ex for attracting good crowds. During the week, if I were you, I'd head to Capitol Hill area to meet young professionals getting off work. Places like Hawk and Dove , Finn Mac Cool's and Capitol Lounge could hold your future beau. (May 5, 2005)

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Washington, D.C.: Guys, This summer I am going to be a newly single intern in D.C. Where can a guy feeling a bit down after a tough relationship go to meet college-age girls in D.C.? I have no dance skills to speak of and would rather a social bar atmosphere to a club. Danke.

The Going Out Gurus: If you're looking to meet fellow interns like yourself, happy hour is your best bet. The income-less crowd heads to Rock Bottom (Ballston) on Wednesdays for cheap beer, Front Page for [3 for $1] tacos and buckets of Coronas on Thursday nights, and XIIXIII on Fridays for the all-you-can drink [$20] happy hour. There you'll find plenty of college students looking to unwind after a hard day at the office. -- The Intern, Ali (May 1, 2003)

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Washington D.C.: I am relatively new to town, living with three guys on the hill. I'm 23 and single and want to meet fun, interesting people. The only places, bar's I've seen were the one's with the best happy hours (my roomate's suggestion's of course). Can you suggest places on the weekend where are new, single girl can meet people?

Rhome: Um... anywhere the music is good and fits your style/tastes. What are you into? I always answer questions like these by telling people to wander about areas (like Adams Morgan) that have a lot going on and poke your head into anywhere the vibe reaches out to you. Be adventurous! Try just going out without a plan and seeing where the evening takes you. Off the top I can tell you to try out Aroma, it's quite the mingle-fest with nice tunes, great libations and no pick-up sleaze, even though folks are trying to meet people. Just my opinion of the place, I'm not a lady though so I haven't been hit on.(November 21, 2002)

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Columbia Heights, DC: Can you tell us where intellectuals in their late 20's and 30's hang out? We are two females who've been spending too much time amongst drooling sleazeballs and cooler-than-thou hipsters in Adams Morgan/Dupont and we want to meet some nice, smart men.

Joe: Hello smarty pants, this is Joe. Let's see, I don't have much experience with intellectuals, but you could probably lurk in front of the Brookings Institution or wander about the Library of Congress in search of big brained boys. But beware of self-identified intellectuals. Smart alecs are probably more fun.

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Jonesing for Men at the Library of Congress: LOL! Don't forget to troll the Metro Center for businessy bigwigs. I agree; trust me, when you finally meet your "intellectual," you won't be able to get back to Adams Morgan fast enough!

The Going Out Gurus: More information for the smart-searcher. (March 27, 2003)

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Washington, D.C.: Going out with a buddy after work Friday night in Georgetown. Both of us are 22 and have only recently been reintroduced into single life. Ideas on a good bar to meet girls in the same age range?

Fritz: In Georgetown? Third Edition or the dance party downstairs at the Guards ought to do the trick; you guys are a little young for McFadden's. (June 12, 2003)

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Washington, D.C.: Hey guys, I almost feel geeky asking this, but here goes. I just moved to a great apartment in AM and have lived in D.C. for the past year. It seems as if all my friends are too busy coupling up and it's beginning to get a little lonely. I am a 24-year-old female who is outgoing, friendly, smart, etc. I'm looking for activities/ideas on how to meet new people/make new friends in the city, both men and women. I don't make a ton of money, so something too pricey probably isn't the best idea. But how do you all meet people out here? Any ideas on good yoga/pilates, classes, cooking classes, clubs, religious stuff etc. I'm open to anything. I know this town is full of people who grew-up elsewhere. How are they meeting people?

Erin: I know that it's rough to get out there. I'm considering starting a whole blog with ideas for social singles. In the meantime, Things to Do and Pros in the City put together lots of activities. While I'm not sure that I'd condone their dating events, they offer classes, discounted tickets to sporting events and parties at embassies and other neat locales. Taste DC also has some food-based events (with a name like that, go figure!). I meandered by Flow, an interesting yoga studio next to the Logan Circle Whole Foods, a few weeks back. In all honesty, walk up to people and introduce yourself. Go to pay-what-you-can previews, Millennium Stage events and museums. (June 9, 2005)

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Washington, D.C.: I have a friend -- no, really!-- who would like to find a service organization or cultural organization where she can meet people close to her age (40s, 50s). I saw a great article about cultural groups for younger singles in The Post a while back, but there was nothing for older singles. Any ideas?

Maura: Not all members groups are that age specific, but your friend might join institutions at a higher member level like the Corcoran's Friends group. Often they skew a little older. (January 30, 2003)

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Gaithersburg, MD: I'm freshly broken up from a verbally abusive ex and need some advice on where I can go to meet others who can help me remember how fabulous I am...I love cooking classes and poetry...I'm 30...Any tips to help?

Jen: Well, we think you're fabulous, Gaithersburg. I have two suggestions for you, both in Bethesda (so not too far away). L'Academie de Cuisine offers cooking classes; some are a little on the expensive side but they're lots of fun and might be a good place to meet people. On the poetry side, The Writer's Center in Bethesda offers classes of all kinds, including some in poetry. And they also have open-mike nights -- at least, I think they still do -- where writers can stand up and read their prose and poetry to the group. Even if you don't meet anyone in the process, perhaps you'll become Maryland's next poet laureate. And then you'll be too busy composing heart-breaking verse to care about relationships. Hope that helps. (March 17, 2005)

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Woodbridge, Va.: As a 38-year-old, I find it hard to meet other singles in my age range. Based on your column last week, I checked out Professionals in the City's Web site. One thing I discovered is that they have a separate group for people age 35 and up. Just email them and ask to be put on their separate 35-plus list. I went to their 35-plus dance last weekend, and it was great! There were about 200 35-plus people there! They have another 35-plus mixer this Saturday night at Finemondo. Keep up the good work! And don't forget about us "mature" folks!

Maura: We wouldn't forget you Woodbridge. Fritz and Rhome included that very Findemondo event in This Week in Nightlife. (April 7, 2005)

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Enrichment classes?: I just moved into town and I'm looking for some fun enrichment classes - cooking, wine tasting, painting, etc. Are there any places in the city or northern Va. where I could learn about something fun and meet other 20-somethings?

Erin: ThingstodoDC and TasteDC offer classes and events for meeting people. You can also do adult education classes at Arlington Public Schools in Clarendon. Who out there has had some enriching experiences to share? (October 13, 2005)

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Washington, D.C.: Where can cool, successful professional women in the late 20s/early 30s go to meet normal, successfully, professional single men in the same age group? Adams Morgan and Georgetown appear for the most part to be filled with college kids and young 20-somethings. Thanks!

Fritz: I've never seen any college kids at Blue Gin, Degrees or Mie N Yu, but maybe I'm not looking hard enough. (Then again, you have to be 25 to get into BG.) (Jan. 27, 2005)

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Georgetown, Washington, D.C.: I'm 22, new to the area, and am looking to meet some people. I'm not outgoing enough to meet new people at a bar. Can you suggest any 20-something classes, such as a cooking or art class? (I'm not skilled at either, but it's worth a shot).

Rhome: This one combines a lot of things I know users have come through on in the past. Before I open it up to you all, off the top I remember Torpedo Factory in Alexandria for art classes. Maura just reminded me that the Smithsonian offers a lot of classes. You can get your pottery on too at several places, one in Adams Morgan. Alexa mentions the Art League. You can google about for specifics on that one. I also know that our own dear Kimmie O'Donnel has taught cooking classes at Fresh Fields. Isn't the point of taking classes to get skilled at something that you might not initially be proficient at? Get out there and make it happen! The rest of my advice for shy folks still applies - Don't go looking for people, go to things/places that are in line with your personal interests. The people part will naturally follow. (Feb. 27, 2003)

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Singlehood, Washington, D.C: Can we talk about social/networking groups in DC for the under 35 year old crowd? I know there is the D.C. young professional society, Corcoran's 1869, I think the Smithsonian has something too. But I don't think they have much in the way of regular events or cool people for that matter. Out of frustrating with the dating scene in Washington, I'm looking for more opportunities to meet young professionals. Why aren't there more? GOGs - any suggestions?

Maura: Singlehood, I think if you attend these outings or events solely for dating opportunities, you'll be disappointed. Why not sign up for classes or lectures (the Smithsonian Associates is a good start) -- something you'll enjoy regardless. Or how about Single Volunteers? Find something you think is cool to do, and you're bound to meet people you find the same. It's frustrating, yes, but not rocket science (there are some really dumb couples out there, no?) (Oct. 14, 2004)

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Washington, D.C.: Where can guys go out to avoid 'muffin tops' (women with bare stomachs that spill over their jeans)? Places here are just full of them! I know big bottom girls make the rockin world go round, but I think it is a bit out of control here! Help!!

Rhome: Wow...

Just wow.

Where's Robin Givhan when you need her? My personal preferences notwithstanding, I think I can address this with some advice that is universal: Every outfit isn't made for everybody... and every body. Dig? Play your position and wear what's most flattering to your individual set of attributes. Heal DC, make it a better place. You're not going to see The Kid (yours truly) rocking one of those stretch-blend extra smedium muscle t-shirts. Why? Because I have a Bird Chest. (Dec. 1, 2005)

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Washington, D.C.: Gurus: Help a single guy out-- where do the Canadian women hang out? I find them attractive, friendly and cool. Thanks

Rhome: Canuck alert! Who can answer the call?

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Columbia, Md.: I found a great place to meet Canadian women: Toronto. With a little looking, you're sure to find a bar filled with Canadian women there.

Rhome: Word to the T-dot. Good times... (October 6, 2005)

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Washington, D.C.: Where are the hotties going to be tonight? We are some late-20's looking for areas that won't be crowded with the college kids who are on break.

Fritz: Hey, hotties, where you gonna be tonight?

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Re: Hotties: Home!;

Rhome: Score! (Dec. 23 2004)

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Washington, D.C.: Rhome- Are you single? Straight? If so, what do I have to do to get a date?

The Going Out Gurus: "Can you pay my biiiills? Can you pay my telephone biiills? Can you pay my automo-biiills?" It's all about the loot in the 2K2, better ask somebody bay-baaay!!!! (Aug. 1, 2002)

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Alexandria: Yay for women feeling okay to go out alone. I do it often and love it. I always end up meeting people. The worst thing that's ever happened to me is that I've felt a little uncomfortable, finished my drink and left. Plus, we (women) get the added bonus of being able to say ANYTHING to a guy to start a conversation. It's amazing. Try this one -- "Hey."

The Going Out Gurus: Thanks, Alexandria. We (guys and girls) wholeheartedly agree that we love to see single women enjoying themselves. (Aug. 1, 2002)

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Wash, DC: I have a bit of a "thing" for the protestor boys, but don't really want to join the melee this weekend. Can you suggest any bars where they're likely to hang out afterwards?

Joe: Hi DC, this is Joe. I'm not sure "protestor boys" will be eager to meet someone who can't even commit to the protest. Why don't you tap into your bank account and get some bail money ready? Nothing more romantic than springing a future beau from the big house. (Jan. 16, 2003)

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Springfield, VA: I am dull and boring and tend to be stuck in a rut - dinners out, cooking in, the occasional movie. I've lived in the D.C. area about a year and still don't feel like I've done much in the city. I'm a mid-20s single female who likes to drink pretty drinks and have stimulating conversation and occasionally shake my rump to something where I can sing along (usually badly). Can you recommend a beginner's course in how to have fun here?

Rhome: It's more a philosophy than the sum of many details. It's all quite simple.

1. Commit to going out and being social. I know this seems too elementary but it's the first step and a lot of folks get stuck on it. If you don't leave your house, all you have is the Internet.

2. There are many resources, like us, newspapers, craigslist, friends, co-workers, networking events, etc. Use them! Have you seen the Express weekend pull-out entertainment section lately? It's quite the fun seekers' bonanza.

3. Find your "niche". A regular pickup basketball game, a favorite bartender, a band you really like, a yoga/crafting/cooking/dance clas, etc. These are your go-to options, where there will always be people you like and you can form networks that will lead you to more fun.

4. Once you master 1 through 3, you should get adventurous. When you're engaged in #2, take note of the things you've never tried and/or know nothing about, then go DO THOSE THINGS. (Mar. 10, 2005)

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