The Bar – Wander to the nearest dimly-lit bar, pepper spray in tow. Take a seat at the bar and scroll through your Instagram feed, looking up every so often to find the gaze of a potential suitor. Lock eyes with a stranger across a bar for a brief moment. Change your Bumble settings to “less than 1 mile away,” and swipe furiously until finding him.
The Bookstore – Take a stroll to a charming secondhand bookstore. Spot a cutie through the stacks, and wander over to their section. Pick up the nearest book and ask if they've read it. They will say they don't love “reading printed text” as a medium, and prefer film or podcasts as means to absorb information. Push that to the back of your brain for as long as you possibly can.
A Wedding – Attend a wedding of your two college friends of whom you're not at all jealous. During the ceremony, do a sneaky deep dive into every social media profile of the wedding party members; assess the single members so you're ready to pounce at the reception. Then, using the Instagram photos you have accessed, simply pick your poison: “does improv,” “romantic photos with sibling,” or “talks a lot about sneakers.”
A Concert – Go to a concert to see a local band you've been following for months. Maybe you've been eyeing that cute drummer? After the show, head over to corner of the venue where the band is hanging out with a post-show drink. A bouncer will tell you that this section is only for verified Twitter users. Tell him that's “totally fine and understandable,” then give him your number to pass along to the drummer. He won't, but you'll feel like you're “doing this dating thing right, for once.”
A Plane – Choose a middle seat on a long-haul flight to double the chances and time of connecting with an attractive stranger. Strike up a conversation about your trip. At least one seatmate will say they studied abroad there and are just going back to see if the city's changed since the “good old days.” They will tell you about their three week “life-changing adventure” of drinking with people who they call “fascinating,” but in reality just had accents. Sit silently for the duration as your row-mates fall asleep to Succession playing on various screens. When you land, call a Lyft exactly when they do to increase chances of sharing a ride home. Repeat the above, subbing “Lyft” for “plane.”
Your Hometown – Move back home for a minute because the job stuff isn't working out the way you thought. Read your new poetry anthology at a vine-adorned cafe. If someone sits next to you, ask if they went to your high school. They will have gone to your high school, since no one leaves that stupid town. Marry them and never look back.