Hi, Atlanta. Katie O’Hara here.
I have some advice for all you who are looking to add someone special to your lives and have found it rather daunting in the dating world lately. Let’s face it: online dating is akin to a dumpster fire at times and no one does speed dating anymore. Finding your next date at a dance club? No. The nearest hookah bar that hires models as servers? Good luck with that. What about the people you work with? Better talk with HR first.
My advice? Don’t date. Just have fun and make more friends. I know, that doesn’t make sense. Not dating is the opposite of actually dating. Or IS it?
The top two issues of trying to find a person to date are “Where do I meet such a person?” and “How do I meet them?” The answer to both questions are found by asking yourself, “What do I like to do for fun?” (Surprisingly, that can be a deeply profound question for some of us, so take your time!) The surefire way to meet someone is to join a sports or social club geared towards your interests and happiness. But where are these mythical organizations and how do we join them?
Atlanta Sports and Social Club is the largest provider of adult recreational leagues, teams, social events, and adult sports tournaments in town. ASSC is a year-round operation, specializing in “traditional sports like soccer and softball, as well as fun social sports like kickball and cornhole.” Schedules of events and teams are easy to navigate and there activities beyond sports, such as wine and beer festivals or crawls.
Zog Sports is another intramural social sports community in the Atlanta area. Zog Sports offers traditional sports like softball, dodgeball, and basketball, but offers corporate team options–maybe that’s a good way to chat up Kevin from the accounting department. Zog has easy-to-access drop down menus to find a team or league near you OR your job.
Not into the straight crowd? Don’t worry, LGBTQ fam. The National Flag Football Association is a gay-friendly league. There is also Hotlanta Volleyball Association, Front Runners Atlanta, Atlanta Bucks Rugby, and Hotlanta Softball League.
If you are not an exercise enthusiast or a gamer and want to find a more sophisticated crowd, perhaps you should try out Lunchtime Culture at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Lunchtime Culture is a free, monthly event curated by the ABG and other organizations, like The Bremen Museum and the Center For Puppetry Arts, to highlight performances, conversations, and tours in various Midtown venues, giving attendants “a fresh perspective” of Atlanta. November’s meetup is at the Alliance Theater for “Puppetry & Acting: Bringing Characters to Life.”
If you can’t make the midday event at ABG, take a look at Fernbank After Dark’s recurring monthly lineup of fabulous live music, tapas, full bars, live science demonstrations and hands-on activities. Each month, Fernbank rolls out a themed event night that highlights the science of the season and the beautiful Georgian landscape. November’s event is “Science of Our Senses.”
Combine both nature, sports and exercise by checking out Atlanta Outdoor Club. This organization has DAILY meetups for hiking around the metro area’s parks and landscapes. Membership is FREE, too!
Besides sports and nature, where else could you go to meet your next date? Volunteerism is another way to meet people. Hands on Atlanta, Trees Atlanta, and PAWS Atlanta are always in need of help! Do you like classical music? The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra has volunteers act as ushers, ticket handlers and answer general questions–the payoff is free entrance to the symphony! The High Museum of Art is now accepting volunteers to help with upcoming exhibits, as well.
My point is: Happiness and joy start with you! Find out what activities fulfill you with joy and start looking when you’re in that environment. It’s the perfect strategy for when you don’t want to waste your time and you can meet other people on a platonic level with your shared interests, as well.
Keep dating, Atlanta!