Dating is hard. That’s why there are so many movies and songs and New Yorker cartoons about it. But contrary to popular belief, you can meet new people “in real life” if you’ve got a little time on your hands and a can-do attitude. Here’s how.

Carry an Umbrella

When you see someone without an umbrella, say, “I noticed you don’t have an umbrella, would you like to use this extra umbrella I have?” If they take it, say, “Oh, I forgot, it isn’t extra, it’s my only umbrella. I guess we’ll have to walk under the umbrella together.” (Note: this works much better when it’s raining.)

Apply to Grad School

Couples are always meeting in grad school. There is, however, a significant downside, which is going to grad school.

Discover a New Type of  Bug

When you’re talking about the bug on National Geographic, make a joke about how you’re single (“now if only I could find the love bug!” or something like that), then sit back while the DMs come pouring in.

Tom Sawyer Yourself

Anyone who comes to your funeral will probably be down to meet for a drink after.

Reach Out to a Humor Writer Whose Work Speaks to You

I am five-seven and Jewish, BTW.

Ask an Attractive Stranger If You Can Walk Under Their Umbrella

Explain that you recently lent yours to someone you ultimately didn’t click with, and that you let them keep it because you’re polite and generous and have other desirable qualities.


Specifically, to Rome, to wish for a date on a coin and toss it into the Trevi fountain. Then climb into the fountain, crying out, “Oh no! My coin! It was a priceless heirloom!” in every language you know until someone offers to help you find it. Or until the Italian police drag you out. Then you can meet someone in jail.

Move Back Home

Did you hear Tom Sawyer is single? Turns out he’s not dead, just a rascal.

Print This Out and Hand It to Your Crush

Hello, crush! Do you want to date with the person who just handed you this?

Circle one: YES — NO — MAYBE

(If you’re still reading, I guess that didn’t work. Sorry.)

Realize Love Has Been There All Along

Your best friend might be obsessed with discovering a new type of bug, but once you realize they’re just trying to impress you, it all makes sense: this is who you’re meant to be with.

Go to Church

I assume (see previous note about being Jewish [but open to dating gentiles, FYI]).

Open an Umbrella Store

Someone nice is bound to walk in eventually. When you think about it, an umbrella is like a relationship: it doesn’t solve all your problems, and you can get along without it, but if you have one, it keeps you safer, more comfortable, and happier than you’d otherwise be. You can use this excellent metaphor on your store’s website if you want, I don’t mind.

Install Yourself as a Sculpture in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s American Wing

Keep very still all day, then after the museum closes, “come to life” and strike up a supernatural romance with the night guard or janitor.

Get Back Together with Your Ex

Not saying it’s a good idea, just saying it’s easy.

A Softball Team

You probably should have tried this already. This is the number one cliche single-person activity. If you haven’t at least looked into your local rec league, maybe you’re not serious about dating. Do you think you’ll magically meet your soulmate sitting in your apartment watching TV and playing Wordle? Hanging out with the same three friends every night and complaining about being alone is just… why would anyone date somebody who puts in that little effort? Yes, first dates are uncomfortable. Yes, relationships are risky, and vulnerable. You might get bored. You might get hurt. But that’s what it means to be alive. Love is tough but worth it, so stop making excuses and put yourself out there!

Kickball Works Too