I had a dream last night. It’s all hazy, and I don’t really remember the premise, but its characters stuck. Now, I usually don’t dream, so any night that I do, it is often uncomfortable and I wake up exhausted. On top of that, I had my back bandaged by my gay physiotherapist. I didn’t know – that she is gay or that these bandages would become such a nuisance. It was one heck of a start.

Anyway. After a half-hearted attempt to sleep after Nouman left for work, I decided to watch a movie. It was going to be another Christmas special on Netflix. But instead, I ended up watching a Spanish film, Soltera Codiciada. It’s women centric, romcom, has a blogging tangent and Spanish. If you haven’t seen any Spanish series or movies (though I really doubt it – Money Heist is Spanish), you really must. It is 10 times better than what Hollywood produces, and much closer to our culture and lifestyle. Spanish people rock!

So the movie. A heartbroken ad copywriter living in Lima, Peru, is inspired to write a blog about life as a single woman and is surprised by her website’s success. Most girls will be able to relate to the drama surrounding Fe’s life, and it got me thinking how difficult it is for a woman a day above 28 to find a man worthy of her love, and who is then willing to commit when the time comes.

I know this for a fact because I happen to have a handful of successful single friends, and I often hear their dismal dating stories. Just today, at a wedding, an aunty told one of my friends that she should get married. Being the trooper that she is, she responded ‘ap kerwa dein‘. The woman had the audacity to say that she’s too educated, and that is why she isn’t married. Matlab, seriously, kuch bhi!

I married young. I was 24, going on 25. In all honesty, I didn’t think much about it. I was with a wonderful man, had been dating for two years, and when he popped the question, I said yes. My life revolved around my career, and I didn’t really think that shaadi was that big a deal anyway. I was such a child.

Anyway. Back to the main topic – finding love in 2019. For the sole purpose of this post, I am assuming that I am single, looking to meet a ‘normal’ man and listing avenues that could make it possible. It may come in handy for my single lad and ladies out there; also, summer romances are the cutest.

Workplace

I have mixed sentiments about office romances – I have seen what happens when they go wrong (dreadful) but I met N at work, so I am all for it . The secret is to not date someone you directly work or are in the same department with. Cross department coupling is the key.

Jamat Khaane

Or churches, mosques and temples. A place of worship also doubles up as lucrative socialising grounds, and you can be sure to meet someone who has similar religious inclinations. It can be an important factor for some. A friend of mine met her fiancé at church and they are set to marry in summer 2019. 

Gym

I see a couple of people every time I go to the gym (which is not very often). They could be worth exploring, and we could become more than gym buddies should chemistry get into play. A shy smile across treadmill can lead to a hello the next time, and it can only develop further. Even better are group classes.

Food tasting

I love food and would have a great deal in common with someone who is equally devoted to the culinary art. I could go on to Groupon (or any similar website), checkout vouchers for group food or wine tasting, and keep my fingers crossed. 

Group travels

Escape bitter winters with a weekend trip to Malta, organised by an online tour operator. Group travel means that I am likely to spend a couple of days with absolute strangers, and one of them might tickle my fancy. And take great photos while he’s trying to schmooz his way in.

House parties

If your friend has a good friend, who is single and eligible, she would have tried to play cupid already. This is why house parties are a better route to tap into her network. Friends of friends are also under her roof, and you can meet people who might have slipped off her radar.

Meetups

Another love story, which led to marriage, courtesy a meetup. As an expat, events  are a great way to meet like-minded people. N met a Tunisian girl at one his meetup events, and thought to introduce her to his colleague, who is also from Tunisia, at one of the game nights at our place. They hit it off, and as of today, are married for three months.

Facebook Groups

Nothing brings like minded-people together the way Facebook Groups do. Find local groups based on your interest and things are bound to get interesting – for example, Sage Street and Bookay for residents of Pakistan.

Hobby class (painting, dancing, book clubs, etc)

There’s no better time than now to pick up that hobby or life skill that you have been meaning to pursue for a very long time, but never got around to. I could enroll in a swimming or bicycle riding class (though I’d be embarrassing myself everyday, and making an awful first impressions. But, it would be a gold mine for stories about how we met).

Conferences

There are always networking lunches, coffees and dinners, with at least (and hopefully) a handful of eligible bachelors. As backdrop is the same for everyone in attendance, striking and keeping up a conversation should be easy.

Volunteer groups

Much less pressure than workplace, with much more room for chatting over copy machine. Also, the choice of cause can tell a lot about a person, making it easier to gauge compatibility – e.g. how they feel about education for all, children, transgender, etc.

On a plane

A friend of mine had her very first kiss on a flight to Heathrow from Karachi. If the person next to you does tickle your fancy, keep away your headphones and magazines to allow for conversation. Smile if your eyes meet. Bring on your best flirting game, because it is just the two of you for a long time, in the sky.

School reunions

Another two edged sword but one worth fidgeting around with. Maybe your high school sweetheart has a baby and belly now, but there were many other boys who could be worthy of a chance as men.

Weddings

If some aunty hasn’t already found a not-so-suitable match for you at a wedding, are you even real? On a serious note, it’s not so much the wedding but pre-wedding functions that serve the best meat (sorry, I really couldn’t resist). Dance practices, beach parties, and all the shenanigans that I have been witnessing on Instagram sure look as promising mating grounds.

Relocate

It’s true – sometimes, a city does become too small. I sure felt so, at one point in time. If you are a financially independent person, who can afford to relocate for work (or pursue Ph.D), then do consider it. Love, after all, is worth travelling for.