One common early stumbling block for men trying to improve their dating lives is figuring out the best ways to meet women who actually excite them.

If the problem isn’t “I have no idea how to talk to new women,” it’s instead “I’m so frustrated with not being able to find women I’m interested in.  Where are all the good ones? Where do I GO?”

This can be a deep well to go down as a whole topic, because there are seemingly endless options at your disposal for places to meet women.  And I know that you might not even like the phrasing I’m using — if a friend asked you why you’re going to a certain meetup or event, I’m sure most of you would never say it’s TO MEET WOMEN, BECAUSE I’M LONELY.

The simple answer to this question is “socialize with purpose” – the purpose of finding the best women to match you, that is.  Most guys go to bars and clubs, even though they hate it, and expect to one day find the girl of their dreams.

Here’s a thought: if you don’t want to date the type of person who goes to bars and clubs all the time, why would you look for your dream girl in these places?!

It’s kind of idiotic.  I don’t mean to make fun of you (okay, maybe a little only because you’re being so SILLY) but if this is news to you, here we go.

I’m going to continue writing about this topic because there are a few facets to it, but right now let’s talk about one specific way I like to meet new women.

I call it the Cascade of Opportunity.

A long buildup can equal a big payoff

A lot of the opportunities I get to meet new people come from things I acted on in the past.  Let me explain through the story of one evening of mine that happened recently.

The two-sentence summary goes like this: A female friend of mine — let’s call her Alice — invited me to play board games with a group of new friends of hers, and I accepted. There ended up being 8 fun people there who were all young professionals like myself!

But now, here’s the background that led up to it:

I’d been trying to set up board games with my small group of friends for weeks, including Alice in the plans.  But it never worked with enough people’s schedules.  So when she heard that some other people were getting together for games, she asked if I was free.

When I showed up, it turned out by chance that the host was an old college friend of mine! We had happened to be in a college club together for years, but we fell out of contact when he moved away for work.

Also, I still live in the city where I went to college, so this kind of thing does happen on rare occasions.  But I actually love that.  Sometimes it’s hilarious and it always makes me smile.

The rest of the people who showed up either worked fairly close by or were graduate students at the college.  All of them were fun, intelligent, and interesting to talk to.  Apart from Alice, three were women.

Do you see how this situation culminated from events in my far and recent past building up?  There are a million ways this kind of thing can happen.  You don’t have to live in one place for years to create it, either.

I like to think of the image of setting up dominoes, then getting to satisfyingly knock them all down when the chance strikes.

NOTICE THIS: when it came down to it, all I had to do was say yes to one invitation, and then the rest unfolded.

The day of this meetup, I even had a bad day.  I almost cancelled because I just wanted to stay home and watch Netflix.  But I decided to keep the commitment I made the night before and I went. I’m so glad I did!

How to get started

I know, it sounds overwhelming and impossible to actively create a situation like the one I described.  Actually, trying to create it would probably never work.  Unless you’re some kind of Danny Ocean mastermind, then in that case go for it.

You just have to start somewhere.

You can start by considering the groups of people you already surround yourself with. Which people in your life seem like they might have a connection or two to some new people you would like?

For example, let’s say you’ve been spending a lot of time with 3 guys you really have fun with in your free time.  Maybe one of them has a girlfriend who you’re pretty friendly with because she likes to hang out with the group sometimes.

Well, that’s an opportunity — that girlfriend has her own group of friends.  She probably spends time with them for good reasons, so this could be a chance to meet some awesome new people.

That means that if she ever invites you to some small party or gathering with her motley crew, you should say yes!  You never know what could happen.

I’ve gotten lots of great dates this way, and made dozens of good friends (male AND female) as well.

Smallest action step: think of one friend you like, and consider whether that person could have friends you haven’t met before (the answer is prooobably yes 😉 ).

Awesome second step: invite this person to lunch, and mention that they should bring another friend along!

The more plans you initiate on your own, of course, the more chances you’ll create to branch out.

If you have success with this, I want to hear about it! I read every email.