If you are interested in expanding your social circle or want to meet potential romantic partners, it helps to take a proactive approach to connecting with others. Consider the following fun and effective ways to bond with new people.

1) Look for clubs that are focused on your interests:
No matter what your hobbies or passions may be, there will be a club that is designed to help you meet other people who share those interests. For example, with a little online research, you can easily find local clubs that are focused on amateur photography, dancing, reading exciting new fiction, or improving your singing skills. Even if you are shy, clubs encourage you to strike up conversation because you already know that you are in the presence of like-minded individuals. Once you have attended a club meeting once or twice, you should have noticed at least a couple of interesting people that might be interested in meeting for dinner or drinks.

2) Volunteer your time to a good cause:
Your main motivation for volunteering should be a desire to contribute something to your local community. However, it is also worth noting that volunteer work can help to spark new friendships and relationships. Given that volunteering usually involves dealing with emotionally charged experiences (such as connecting with the homeless or helping those in crisis), it is often easy form bonds with fellow workers who share these experiences. In addition, many people who volunteer tend to be empathetic and sociable, which makes them easier to approach and befriend.

3) Get involved in fitness activities:
There are few different ways in which a commitment to fitness can end up helping to boost your social life. Firstly, if you join a gym then you will have the opportunity to attend classes that focus on everything from aerobics to learning how to play tennis. In addition, if you are already good at a particular sport then you can make lots of new friends by joining a team.

4) Start a new course:
If you have some free time on certain evenings or can spare a few hours during the weekends, consider signing up for a course that focuses on a subject you have always wanted to know more about. For example, if you would love to know more about how our society evolved, sign up for a history class or take a sociology course. Alternatively, if your academic interests are more creative in nature, find out where you can attend a writing course or look for a class that will help you to hone your drawing skills. As is the case in high school and college, all these types of classes encourage people to bond over shared interests and will create easy opportunities for social connection.

5) Add a dog to your household:
When you are out walking, you probably notice that dog walkers can often be found chatting with random people that they have met along the way. People with dogs regularly attract animal lovers who want to talk about their pets or compare notes, and these chance encounters can form the basis for meaningful social connections. In addition, you can make friends and meet potential romantic partners at dog training classes. However, it is important that you only choose to get a dog if you genuinely want to share your life with it; all pets require constant love and care.

6) Use the internet to your advantage:
Online dating sites can provide you with the ability to match yourself to suitable friends and partners from afar. Some even use complex algorithms to assess your personality and values, maximizing your chances of meeting someone who suits you. Sign up for one of these sites, create an honest and unique profile, then start sending messages to people who seem appealing.

7) Ask your existing friends to help out:
Finally, consider that your current friends will also have other friends who would make an excellent addition to your social life. Ask around and find out if anyone you are close to can think of other people that would be a good match for you (either platonically or romantically), then try to arrange a group event where you can be introduced.

by  Dr. E. C. Gordon