Where to meet interesting 30-somethings in Boston?
April 26, 2011 8:14 PM   Subscribe

Where to meet interesting 30-somethings in Boston?

I am a woman in my early 30s and have been living in Boston (Cambridge) for over three years. I have a wonderful group of friends, actually, but on average they are about 10 years older than me, and we travel in large packs so when we're out socializing we swarm amongst each other and I'm not meeting new people. I'd like to diversify my social circle, and meet some folks closer to my age in particular. My other motive is to meet men for dating.

I fancy myself a pretty cool person - not a hipster in the classical definition, but very kind, good social skills, a sense of humor, smart, and with good taste in music and people. Where can I meet other cool people in Boston, doing my solo female thing? I'd like to try a MeetUp or something similarly intentional, where it's a bit explicit that people are there to make connections, but would like to know which ones the interesting folks are going to. I love to dance and am curious about contra, would try swing and salsa, too. I like to hike and do other outdoorsy stuff (have tried the AMC, but found the people pretty nerdy). Varied other interests as well, and would consider something new and zany.
posted by AlmondEyes to Human Relations (12 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I am pretty sure people are going to suggest okcupid...get that out of the way.

Other than that it seems like you already have good ideas. Join dance groups or clubs and other activites that interest you. some activities, as well as people, are liable to "stick". As far as finding the activities, just check the local free alternative paper, or ask friends, etc. go to cool coffeeshops and look at the bulletin boards.

I think it's just a matter of making socializing a priority, and you will soon find what you're after. good luck!
posted by bearette at 8:43 PM on April 26, 2011

I don't have any experience with this organization, but I hear ads on the radio for Events and Adventures, which sounds like it meets your criteria for meeting single folks through activities. It looks like they have a pretty large variety of activities too, including outdoorsy stuff. Maybe someone else can chime in about what the typical age range is for this group or what their experience has been.
posted by summit at 8:57 PM on April 26, 2011

Re: Events and Adventure, I looked into joining (in a different state) a couple of times but never signed up - it appears to me to be a scam that preys on the lonely.
Huge upfront fees (which are not specified until after the sales pitch) with no way to try it out first or sample the quality of the events and participants before paying the full $$$$ (four-figures if memory serves) in advance for membership. Blanket expensive advertising everywhere, suggesting that not much of your money actually goes into organising good events, and no shortage of critical reviews online suggesting the events were organised badly and cheaply. (This makes me kind of mad because it would be such a great thing if done right, but I don't see an obvious way to successfully compete against their marketing juggernaut so as to be able to do it right)

My guess (I repeat - I have not been a member, the following is speculation) is that the demographic is probably a mix of well-off people who can easily pay the fee without caring whether it's any good, and people who are lonely enough to go to extremes, paid the fees, and doggedly try to get their money's worth.

It may also be the case that this is a franchise sort of thing, and the quality may differ drastically in area to area, depending on who is behind it where. There is an argument to be made that charging massive fees and spending them on massive advertising (instead of on delivering a quality product to the fee-paying members) is actually good because it gets the word out more which can attract more people to crappy events, and then there's not much of them to do but talk to you, but when I compared experiences of free okcupid vs $$$ dating sites, my impression is that this approach still delivers less, it just costs more, and lines the pockets of others.

So I'd suggest looking for reviews of it online that are local to your area. (And I'd love to be wrong about this organisation - as Summit says; it'd be great if people with more experience could chime in)
posted by -harlequin- at 9:52 PM on April 26, 2011

Actually, the fees are probably cheaper for women. That may be another reason why they're cagey about what it costs.
posted by -harlequin- at 9:53 PM on April 26, 2011

Not sure if we can get you dates, but MeFi meetups around here are really fun and low-key.
posted by Metroid Baby at 4:06 AM on April 27, 2011

The people who play Ultimate Frisbee in BUDA are pretty friendly, and many of them are in their 30's. There is a signup soon for the summer hat league, which you could certainly play in if you are moderately athletic.
posted by Aizkolari at 5:51 AM on April 27, 2011

A couple of friends of mine (in Boston, but it could work anywhere) used to basically invite everyone they met out to a happy hour at a different bar every week. It was great because it was so low-commitment that they could invite people they'd just met who maybe they would feel awkward about inviting to a movie or coffee or whatever, and they encouraged everyone who came to bring their own friends. It was kind of a lot of work for them to organize, I think, and they did get stuck with other people's unpaid tabs a few times, but they both met long-term boyfriends (possibly now husbands? I've lost touch) and lots of other friends (and I always had fun!).

Also, I agree, AMC can be pretty dorky, but I have found the people on the last-minute hikes to be somewhat more socialized (there's a google group or something - I've moved out of the area and I don't remember the details).

And you might want to consider Boston Ski and Sports Club. I don't have any personal experience with them but I know people who've participated (both in one-day things and leagues) and they seemed like they enjoyed it, and it seems to attract a somewhat "cooler" demographic than AMC.
posted by mskyle at 6:29 AM on April 27, 2011

I have no advice to offer because I'm in the EXACT same boat as you...30-something professional female, yadda yadda. I've just been trying to get out more, but have my moments of strongly being solo versus lonely. MeMail me if you would like.
posted by floweredfish at 7:34 AM on April 27, 2011

There is an active swing dance community in Boston. Check out havetodance.com for a dance calendar.

Cambridge adult ed (ccae.org) - sign up for a cooking or language class, etc that might attract the demographic you're looking for.

If you're into classical music, take an adult-ed class at NEC or Longy or audition for one of the amateur ensembles. There are a ton of 20-30 something musicians in Boston and Cambridge.
posted by klao at 8:57 AM on April 27, 2011

You already said you were curious, but I'd definitely recommend contra. Boston has one of the biggest contra communities around, it's hugely fun, and it pretty much couldn't be better designed for social interaction/meeting new people. Just don't be shy about walking up to anyone you like, saying "I'm new to this, want to dance?" and you'll do great.
posted by transient at 9:49 AM on April 27, 2011

For swing dancing try Swing Central in Charlestown (five minute drive from Inman Sq). I take both beginners and advanced beginners classes there every week, and try to go for the dance on Friday. Another lovely dance night is Thursday night at Blues Union in Union Square in Somerville.

I've started to find myself decidedly too old for most of Boston early twenties scene. We should do a Cambridge meet up somewhere quiet and cozy...
posted by Shusha at 12:40 PM on April 27, 2011

I was thinking it would be a good idea to start a MeFi pub trivia team. There are a lot of places in Cambridge to play.
posted by ifandonlyif at 6:24 PM on April 27, 2011

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