Tired of being the (2n-1)th wheel all the time.
September 30, 2010 4:37 PM   Subscribe

I live in Philly, and it's increasingly bad for my mental health that I don't have any single friends. Help me fix this.

My problem: As I get past a breakup, it's increasingly clear that my friends are not enough: Every single one of the people I see regularly is now married, engaged, or very seriously involved. The breakup was hard enough on its own, without their clumsy attempts at sympathy and the fact that when I'm with them, I feel like a huge loser because "everyone" except me is attached. Plus, getting them to do anything on a Friday or Saturday night is basically impossible, so my weekends are more boring than my weekdays. Backwards!

What I need: I need to meet single people. They don't even have to be women I might date - I just need to know some people I can spend time with who I don't feel weird about being single around, who I can socialize with without constantly feeling like the odd-numbered wheel. And who themselves might have some single friends, who I might meet, who might be available - my entire social circle being paired off is not doing great things for my dating life. But it's the "I need to not be unusual because of this" factor I need the most. It's been years since i had to intentionally Meet New People, and I'm totally clueless about how to go about it.

What I don't need: Random unstructured socialization where some people happen to be single. "Try this bar" does me no good; I freeze up without some kind of introductory in. I'm looking more for some kind of structure - clubs, groups, classes, that sort of thing. And I'm ideally looking for specific suggestions.

Who I am: Male, late 20s, probably a good fit for some version of Average Young City-Dwelling Mefite. I like games and geeky things, technological or otherwise. Non-student.

Two key restrictions: Athletics are not an option; I have a minor disability that's generally invisible, but disqualifies anything halfway sporty. Think "has a limp." Also, I'm very non-religious - "a church singles group" is not an option.

Cheap is good, but not mandatory; getting away from a high-maintenance ex has freed up plenty of cash.

Where I am: Center City Philadelphia.

Why this is anon: I don't even think my ex knows my username, but she does know I read mefi, and I have a small-but-real concern about stalking behavior.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (19 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Pub quiz! Check out Craigslist for activity groups like book clubs, game nights, etc. Take a evening class in something.
posted by smirkette at 4:43 PM on September 30, 2010

How about board games or RPGs? http://pagegaming.com/
posted by fings at 4:44 PM on September 30, 2010

Get into the local music scene. Worst case scenario: you get to listen to music and optionally get drunk. Not so bad.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:47 PM on September 30, 2010 [4 favorites]

Meetup.com was my savior. If you don't see anything you like, ponder for a bit and create your own meetup--the meetups that I created are getting two to four people each meetup (after the first couple meetups) in center city. Mine meet each week. I'm in a relationship, but I don't have a lot of friends, and it keeps me sane.
posted by zeek321 at 4:50 PM on September 30, 2010 [2 favorites]

Look for a dining club. Chicago has a couple; although some are marketed as singles-dating event, others are not. They all have a "meet other single people" vibe, however, and because every event is explicitly a group activity, it's much lower pressure than a speed dating thing or something like that.
posted by crush-onastick at 4:54 PM on September 30, 2010

Salsa class dude....the dancers are usually in great shape, single, friendly, and the fact that you have to go to parties to socialize only means that you'll meet more people with the qualities described above.....
posted by The1andonly at 4:57 PM on September 30, 2010

Find a couple of "happening" bars and restaurants that you like. Follow them on Twitter and Facebook. Show up at stuff. Microbrews here are always having special nights and new batch release parties, etc.

Also: Ignite. See if you can volunteer at the next one. If not, buy a ticket and show up. You'll meet people. Ignite is awesome. It is cheap. You will meet smart creative people, some of whom are single. Good luck!
posted by cyndigo at 5:21 PM on September 30, 2010

I live in Brooklyn, so can't suggest a specific group, but a while back, I found a book club on meetup for exactly this purpose and it worked like gangbusters.
posted by Ragged Richard at 6:49 PM on September 30, 2010

I lived in Philly for a long time, and Philly pub trivia (Quizzo!) is super-popular. I would just start showing up and asking people if they need additional teammates.

Philly's such a big sports town, too, if you pick a bar to regularly watch the Phillies/Eagles at, I'll bet you will meet people.
posted by theflash at 7:13 PM on September 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'm going to put in a plug for our Philly Meetups. A whole lot of us have SOs who are not on Metafilter, and thus for the purposes of Meetups are on our own.

(I was the single one with coupled friends for a loooong time before I met my SO -- I feel your pain.)
posted by desuetude at 7:39 PM on September 30, 2010

I'd get an OkCupid account and look there. :) Best thing that ever happened to me.

Also, as important as it is to have friends around to support you when you're in need of comfort and guidance, it's also important to know how to self soothe. If being around friends who are attached is bad for your mental health, it's because you keep affirming to yourself that it sucks to be single in a group of couples. You are in control here. You alone hold the key to changing your attitude and your perspective about who and where you are in life. I applaud you for taking the initiative to find other people to hang out with, but how much of your pain is coming from you just feeling bad about yourself?

To that end, have you come right out and told some of your friends, "Hey, I'm in a bad way because of my breakup. Let's go out this weekend and do something. I'd appreciate getting my mind off being single."? And then, consider all the good things that come from being single, even with all your friends attached. You have time to continue finding things out about yourself, you can volunteer, you can do so much. And volunteering is another great way to meet people -- especially like-minded girls.

This may come off as insensitive, but one of the best things I ever did for myself is reprogram the way I view being single and being around people who are already with someone else. I hope you are able to find some peace of mind and that the right girl is en route to you asap. :)
posted by patronuscharms at 7:43 PM on September 30, 2010

Another one for start a group. Don't look around to find something, start something. (And when you do, please post an update)
posted by xm at 7:57 PM on September 30, 2010

Metafilter meetups!
posted by ocherdraco at 8:10 PM on September 30, 2010

No idea what the proportion of single people is here: http://thehacktory.org/
posted by sepviva at 10:16 PM on September 30, 2010

Geek boy, huh? Like stats? You could see if the Philly Roller Girls are looking for stat team/non-skating-official/bout day volunteers at the moment. Derby people are a riot.

(note: do not approach this as a way to meet girls.)
posted by corvine at 3:53 AM on October 1, 2010

running clubs, especially the hash house harriers.
posted by bananafish at 11:51 AM on October 1, 2010

BookCrossing meetup in your area? Bound to be one (go to the site and search or go on the forums). More women than men in the UK ones, and I know a good few couples, but also you will meet nice, quirky people.
posted by LyzzyBee at 12:17 PM on October 1, 2010

Depending on your actual interests, maybe one of the classes at Fleisher Art Memorial or The Clay Studio?

I actually do salsa dancing but I think you only really meet people by regularly going to class at one of the studios (eg Estilo, and there are several weekly parties easily accessible to center city.

If you like animals, PAWS, one of the animal rescue places needs volunteers. I don't know of any puzzle or game oriented public groups though.
posted by tangaroo at 1:47 PM on October 1, 2010

I live in Philadelphia. I am not attached to anyone. And I will be your friend. I go to graduate school and am always looking for new friends who are not in my program, for a sane perspective on life. MeMail me. For serious. If you want.
posted by millipede at 8:41 PM on October 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

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