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Friends you haven’t met: Professionals in the City

24 Oct

Professionals in the City is a great way to not only get out of the house, but to meet people and network. According to their website, the organization has 200,000 DC members and hosts more than 1,000 events each year. Some of their regular events include cooking classes, gallery tours, Spanish instruction, wine tastings and attending sports games. And there’s seasonal events like New Year’s Eve parties.

They also do A LOT of speed dating events, which they categorize in amazingly specific ways. There’s “Twenties and Thirties”, “Thirties and Forties”, “Women Ages 40-50; Men Ages 45-55”, “Asian & Indian Professionals and Those Who Want to Meet Them”, “Singles with Post Graduate or Professional Degrees”, “Generation Y”, “Bi-Sexual and Lesbian Women”, “Active and Fit Professionals”, “Asian 40 Plus”, “Christian”, “Jewish”, “Graduates of Top Colleges and Universities and Those Who Want to Meet Them”, “Travel Lovers”, “Interracial” and the list goes on. My hot dentist went to one of their speed dating events; he liked it alright but he didn’t get any dates out of it. This really surprised me because, like I said, he’s hot. Apparently how it works is that you write down the names of people you would be interested in seeing again and give the name to the organizers, and if anyone that you liked also liked you, the organizers let you know.

Professionals in the City also plans a lot of international trips. My hot dentist went on a trip to Iceland with them and had a good time.

If you’re interested, you can join the Professionals in the City email list. There’s also a DC Young Professionals email list (ages 21 – 29) and a Seasoned Professionals email list (35+).

Friends you haven’t met: Meetup.com

12 Oct

I love, love, love Meetup.com. It’s a worldwide website, but I’d venture to say it’s especially popular in the DC area. Basically it’s a way to find groups of people who like doing the things you like to do. Say, for example, you’re a runner and you’re looking for other people to run with. Well then, you could join the I Run, You Run group, the DC Capital Striders Running group, the Rockville 20s & 30s Running/Hiking group, the Georgetown Running group, the Running with your Dog group, the Baby Boomer Runners Rule group, the Barefoot Runners of Northern Virginia and DC group … you get the idea. So yeah, pretty much if you can think of a group you’d like to join, you can find it. And in the off-chance you can’t, then you can start your own group for a small monthly fee (which you can recoup via membership dues if you want).

Joining a Meetup.com group is easy. You can search for a type of activity you’re interested in or just browse groups near where you live. Then you click “Join Us” – sometimes you have to write a little bit about yourself and then the organizer has to accept you. The organizers of your group will post upcoming meetings and you rsvp.

I personally recommend joining groups where there is an actual activity besides just meeting other people. I went to a 20s & 30s girls dinner one time, and it was a disaster. There were supposed to be like 20 people there and only THREE of us showed up. It was awkward and the other girls weren’t very nice. I’ve had much better luck with a kayaking group, a writing group and a book club group. If you are doing an activity, than even if you don’t connect with people in the group, you’ve still spent time doing something you enjoy. But that’s not to say that you won’t meet great people through Meetup.com, I certainly have–that one dinner excluded. And if your first Meetup.com event is a dud, don’t let that discourage you. There’s so many people on Meetup and so many groups, that if you try a few more I’m sure you’ll be glad you gave it another shot.

Friends you haven’t met: Single Volunteers of DC

15 Sep

My ex-roommate and dear friend Susan met her now husband during a Single Volunteers of DC event. I think this organization is such a great idea because even if you don’t find your future spouse, your time was still well spent. Some of the events are by age, which prevents the potential awkwardness of mingling with people half or twice your age. I only wish they had more events—the schedule, at least right now—looks a bit thin. But definitely worth checking out. They also have a Facebook page.

Friends You Haven’t Met: Kickball

10 Sep

I’m not particularly known for my optimism, but nevertheless, one of my favorite quotes is “Strangers are just friends you haven’t met yet.” I think that needs to be any new DC resident’s mantra. And the good news is that DC has plenty of other people in the same boat as you.

One surefire way to make new friends is to join WAKA Kickball. Tons of people are on a WAKA team–for most people it’s just an excuse to meet people and go to bars afterward–though I’ve been told there are a few teams that do take it more seriously. There’s also Happy Hour Kickball (as well as Happy Hour Dodgeball and Happy Hour Bowling) and NAKID Kickball & Social Club (NAKID stands for No, Adult Kickball Isn’t Dumb).

And there’s other options too, thanks to United Social Sports, which has leagues for skeeball, bocce, bar-skee and cornhole. The DC Bocce League is also pretty popular.

If sports really just aren’t your thing, there’s FART in DC, aka Faux Athletic Recreational Tournaments. They organize games of Connect Four, shufflepuck, four square, hide and seek, cornhole and mini golf. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like they’ve had any events for awhile, so I’m not sure what’s going on, but hopefully they’ll start up again soon.