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Where to Flirt:
Great Places to Meet the Opposite Sex

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1. THE LOCAL DOG PARK

Ever notice how young, and more importantly, single most people are at the dog park? Do you see how sexy Judy always conveniently wears her summer dresses despite her woodchip and dog-infested surroundings? Or how muscular Matt maintains his wife-beater status despite the drop in temperature? It's true; dog parks are crawling with as many eager singles as they are with pups. Not only is the dog park a great place for your doggie to get some exercise, it's also a prime opportunity for you to develop your social skills (a.k.a. flirting techniques). While at the park look for someone who seems approachable, you'll be amazed at how social people are at the dog park.

Once you've struck a conversation about how adorable each other's canines are, try to shift the conversation to more personal topics. Like, single or taken? Again, singles will be very eager to share common knowledge with someone whom they might be interested in. If you get that far, chances are a possible date or perhaps a friendship is in the forecast.

2. THE BEACH

Actually, any waterfront location will do. The truth is, this precious location has been the center of social gatherings for centuries; starting with the primitive water hole. People naturally flock towards water, (namely the coastal beaches, rivers, lakes, etc.) during the hot summer months. In the winter time the festivities might slow a bit, but that's why timing is everything. If you've worked hard all year on getting back that "beach body" then there's no better time than now to show it off. It's human nature to "people watch", and when you're looking good others will take notice. What's more, the beach is regularly packed with people looking to have some fun in the sun, sometimes tallying thousands upon thousands of vacationers and natives during the holiday weekends. So, if you're a beach native be prepared to show a prospect around your quaint little beach town. If you're the vacationer, fear not, there are plenty of single natives ready and willing to be your tour guide. Just remember sunscreen!

3. THE BOOKSTORE

It's always important to find someone with whom you have common interests. What better way to start things off than by snagging someone who happens to love the same literature or music that you do? Bookstores are great places for you to shop leisurely for that perfect book or that new CD that you were considering purchasing. Those extra benches and headphone displays aren't there by accident; the store doesn't want you to feel pressured into buying something. They would rather you take your time, and mingle. So do just that. Pay attention to prospects shopping in the same sections you're akin to. Chances are you have a favorite author or book in common. What easier conversation starter could you ask for?

4. ONLINE CHAT ROOMS AND DATING SERVICES

If you're too shy to throw yourself out into the wacky world of dating, or just too timid to make the first move, then cyberspace might be the place for you. With so many chat rooms available these days its the perfect place for the lonely single to socialize in the privacy and security of their own home. Just be sure to take extra precautions when dealing with information; it is most often viewable by all members of the chat room, unless you have moved to a private screen. Moreover, whether you are a first time user, or if it is your first encounter with someone new, always be careful! It's better to be safe than sorry. Chances are if they're interested, they will be willing to wait for the more intimate, personal details later.

If chat rooms don't sound appealing, there are always online dating services. Organizations like 'eHarmony.com' provide free profiles where, after you download a photo and provide personal information, the company will match you with a series of "potential candidates." Most often there is a technique to their matching process and your potentials are usually evaluated on a multiple level of diagnostics. In fact, since the beginning of the new millennium, thousands of people have turned to online dating services to help them find a partner, simply because their hectic schedule doesn't allow them time to mingle. Moreover, most of these services have confidentiality agreements, so at least there that heightened level of security.

5. THE GYM

If you're a gym buff and love breaking a sweat, head to the nearest gym where you can flex your muscles and your flirting power. There are always tons of singles present at the gym (ever notice how couples tend to let themselves go over time?). And they are working hard to look their best for the next Mr./Mrs. Right. At the very least, it's an opportunity to improve your health while still scoping out the prospects.

TIP: If you're a female who's caught the eye of an attractive male, ask him to spot you, even if you know what you're doing; play dumb. This is a great conversation starter and promises immediate body contact. Not to mention it's a huge ego boost for the male. Likewise, if you're a male who's just staked out the cutie across the room, ask her if she would like any assistance. If she's interested, chances are you'll get a positive response, whether she needs the help or not.

6. THE MALL

Normally seen as the social hangout for teenagers, malls now play host to multiple big-name department stores; i.e. stores that unemployed teenagers can't afford to shop in, thus attracting an entirely different crowd. While the mall will still be packed with hormone-driven youngsters, you can also find a slew of businesswomen and men spending their lunch break at the food court, or possibly shopping for a few last minute necessities in their favorite department store. Now, more than ever, malls are packed with people looking for a new date and the perfect outfit for such an occasion. So if you think you can withstand the occasional screaming child or air-headed teen, head to the mall and check out your luck with the older crowd.

7. MOM AND POP SHOPS

Be it a grocery store, a flower shop, a bakery, or a confectionary, these smaller local shops have been the gathering place for many singles with the disposition to appreciate the mom-and-pop atmosphere. Whereas the big chains are usually host to married couples, many singles like to quickly slip in and out of their local grocer after purchasing their needed goods and giving a quick hello to familiar faces. Slow them down by starting a conversation. Chances are they will be more than willing to converse; it's usually a subconscious motive for most of their visits anyways. These people are looking for recognition and distinction from the supermarket masses, your conversation being the perfect solution to such intentions.

8. CHILDREN'S SPORTING EVENTS

For those of you who are single moms or dads, this is the ideal place to pick up on the equally vulnerable member of the opposite sex. Many single parents place their kids in social functions, to provide their kids with ample social opportunities. But there's a couple of advantages for the single parent; not only will there be a lot of you congregating in the same vicinity, you now have the down-time away from the constant baby-sitting to go and mingle. Like the dog park, your kid(s) get(s) to have fun, and you get to take your eye off of them long enough to stare in the direction of a potential date. Better yet, chances are that person has a kid, too, so there's no need to feel awkward about your single parent status.

9. THE LIBRARY

Think you're the only person still in school, or nerdy enough to enjoy leisure reading? Think again. There are thousands of people like you, and en equally good percentage that are still single. In fact, most singletons have the time to read the occasional Jane Austen novel or explore the cooking section for the latest book of up-to-date recipes, spending lengthy periods of time in the library. Whereas, the coupled person is more likely to rush in and out of the library grabbing only what they need in their allotted fifteen minute visit, the singles will be much more likely to hang out; yup, just like in the book store. So keep an eye out for the slackers who seem to be enjoying themselves in the comfy sofa next to the window, or in aisle 5 where, gasp, they've picked up one of you're favorites !

10. THE BAR

Yes, the bar. The dreaded drunken, rowdy, all too college-esque social scene of the bar is, well, perfect! Most people won't go to the bars alone, make that most women, but chances are if they're single they've come in with a member of the same sex. That's right, the group of girls sitting in the back booth, or the gang of buddies occupying the bar stools up front are more often than not- single friends on a mission. Sure there's likely to be a wingman/woman or two, but there's also bound to be an available singleton waiting to be snagged. So girls, strap on your best shoes and guys, grab that lucky baseball cap, and head out to the local bar that is "all the buzz" where you can buy your prospective hottie a drink. It's a great conversation starter, shows independence, and proves that you're intentions, for the time being, aren't about their money.

LAST MINUTE TIP

It all goes back to common interests and traffic flow. The best places to meet members of the opposite sex and flirt are those that include an ample amount of people with common interest; more than likely it will be a social place tailored to the personalities present. So if you see yourself fitting in at a local club, organization, restaurant, bar, etc, start showing your face regularly and see what happens.

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