Practically everyone gets married, lives with their partner, or pairs off semi-permanently at some point in their life. But when you’re single, it can seem impossible to find someone who will hang out with you and have sex with you and call you some pet name that would be incredibly embarrassing and ridiculous if anyone else on earth said it and so on. You walk up to someone of the gender(s) you’re attracted to and say something like “Hey I really like you I think or something wow I feel actually sort of weird about this hold on PUKES EVERYWHERE” only you actually puke, then feel really bad about yourself and the world and so on. Then you see a couple and they’re really happy and walking down the street and you just don’t know what they have that you don’t and you go home and take a shower that goes on a long time and Jesus, it’s like, when is anything good going to happen to me, you know?
Anyway, we asked strangers what the secret to successful dating is.
Daniela, student: Well, in terms of, like, dating, like, having a relationship with someone, I’d say the secret would be to date someone that you genuinely can relate to and, like, like, and can be friends with as well. If you’re just dating someone to fuck around, there’s bound to be problems down the road. I know from experience.
What’s the best way to meet someone you actually like?
I’d say it happens when you go to shows, or when you go to venues, or when you go places that you’re going for yourself because you genuinely like going to the place, and talk to someone who’s also there. That usually means they have the same interests as you do and you can connect with them on a personal level and not just, like, you know, “You’re really hot and I’d like to have sex with you.”
Peggy, looking for work: The secret is honesty.
Has that worked for you?
No. [laughs] Well, no, it has.
Are you married?
Yes. Twenty years.
How did you court your spouse?
He pursued me. I didn’t know he was in love with me.
All you had to do was be charming?
Do you have any advice about how to be charming?
Just be yourself. Be open. Be optimistic.
What if that doesn’t work?
I don’t know how to be anything but honest. Be positive. Be open with yourself. Enjoy yourself. Get into mischief. Lust is a big thing. That’s all I can think of.
Fred, fundraiser for a public outreach organization: You’re asking the wrong person. I don’t date. I don’t know how to do it successfully.
Do you know people who know how to date successfully?
I don’t know anyone who dates. People go out and stuff, but dating is a thing of the past, I guess. Do people really date? It’s sounds so formal to me. People hang out. I hang out with people.
What’s the secret to successfully hanging out?
As long as it’s not something that’s difficult, I guess it works pretty easily. You can’t really force it.
Andrew, photographer: Be open and honest with yourself first. You’ll find the right person eventually.
Where’s the best place to meet people?
I wouldn’t say the club. Probably somewhere like school or the library or church. Somewhere where people are someone decent. Don’t go to bars and clubs.
Decent people don’t go to bars and clubs?
They’re not looking for a relationship at that point. Go to church.
Marlon, blogger: Don’t live in New York City. Everybody’s so into themselves and figuring out what they need to be doing that they don’t really have time to focus on a relationship and something that they have to collaborate with another person on.
Where is the best place in America to date?
Dhvani, community manager at a startup: Don’t date online. There are freaks online that masquerade as people you could actually like in another parallel universe.
But what about all those dating site commercials featuring people who met on the site and got married?
Will they stay married is the question.
Where do you meet people if you don’t meet them on the internet?
I wait for them to meet me.