Modern Day Matchmaker: 9 Proven Ways to Meet Someone New

Modern Day Matchmaker: 9 Proven Ways to Meet Someone New
ESSENCE.COM May, 21, 2012

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I’m not asking you to tryout for Jay Z’s Brooklyn Nets. I’m simply suggesting you get active in an organized way. Tip: don’t join a team in your city — participate in a neighboring town so you can network with people you don’t know.

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If you walk around with a frown or distant eyes, people are less likely to approach you and be receptive to your friendship. No mean muggin’!

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There’s an interesting article in Harvard Business Review called “How to Build Your Network.” It describes a very innovative process I currently use: After you identify your key contacts, think about how you first met them. In the center column of the work sheet, write the name of the person who introduced you to your contact (if you met the person yourself, write “me”). This column will reveal the brokers in your network and help you see the networking practices you used to connect with them. These are the people you already know who are clearly able and willing to help you branch out. They should be the first people you call and where you invest a disproportionate amount of your time and energy.

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You strengthen your position within your own network when you become what is called a “superconnector.”

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This is one of the best ways to meet people of all backgrounds and ages. The more challenging the project, typically the stronger the bond you will build with your fellow volunteers.

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I learned this through a very interesting book called The Start-Up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career." The authors suggest we create an “interesting people fund” to which you automatically funnel a certain percentage of your paycheck. Use it to pay for coffees and the occasional plane ticket to meet new people and shore up existing relationships.

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I believe this is the single best social media platform to platonically expand your social circles. Test out my theory and go try it.

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You can join a sports team, volunteer, or go to church but you still won’t make new friends if you don’t actually talk to them. Don’t be shy, people don’t bite…well, some of us do but unless you’re talking to Mike Tyson, you’re probably safe. Don’t be too picky. Most conversations will be a dead-end of sorts, when you may never talk to that person again, or you just remain acquaintances—but once in a while you’ll actually make a friend.

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Now, I’m not talking about your girl that double-crossed you and stole your boyfriend four years ago. I’m talking about actual good friends that for one reason or another you lost touch with over the years. In a great book titled Dormant Ties: The Value of Reconnecting, the authors argue that getting back in touch with people is the most overlooked and underutilized source of building social capital.

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Need more dating advice? I’m here for you. Find me on Twitter or Facebook any time.

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I’m not asking you to tryout for Jay Z’s Brooklyn Nets. I’m simply suggesting you get active in an organized way. Tip: don’t join a team in your city — participate in a neighboring town so you can network with people you don’t know.

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