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- Shop your friends' friends.
Combine your love of online shopping with the best way to meet great guys — through friends, suggests Rachel Greenwald, author of Why He Didn't Call You Back: 1,000 Guys Reveal What They REALLY Thought About You After Your Date. Scroll through your friends' friends on Facebook and play a game Greenwald calls "I Spy a Cute Guy."
See someone intriguing who's also single (check with your mutual friend if his profile is private)? Ask to be introduced. "Because Facebook isn't an official online dating site, the pressure is off," she says. "You can get to know each other first as friends and go from there."
- Brush up on the news.
Here's a news flash: It's a good idea to make info-gathering an everyday part of your life — and not to impress guys (even though it's a fact that they like smart, witty girls), but for your own enrichment and confidence. Make CNN or MSNBC your Internet home page, subscribe to smart-girl secret weapon The Week — a cool magazine that boils down each week's news stories into fascinating talking points. Here's the bonus — you'll be able to strike up a conversation with just about anyone
- Send a love-sparking tweet
Twitter can be good for more than getting the play-by-play of your friends' lives. Send a tweet on Friday afternoon that you're meeting friends at your favorite pub for a spontaneous happy hour, suggests Greenwald. "Tell your 'followers' to bring their friends. You're bound to meet new people, and even if they're not single, they might know someone to fix you up with later."
- Spend some quality time alone.
Sure, it can feel weird to catch a movie by yourself or sit solo at a sushi bar, but many happily attached women know that spending some time by yourself is a surefire way to meet someone great, says Karrine Steffans, author of The Vixen Manual. The reason? "Not only can men be put off by a pack of women — or even two or three — but when they see a woman who seems happy and content by herself, she's so much more approachable and inviting." So relax at a Starbucks with your laptop and a latte, take your dog for a leisurely walk or treat yourself to lunch at an outdoor café — solo!
- Just say "yes".
It can be tempting to cancel on a party invite if you're feeling run-down or dying to catch the new episode of your favorite show, but accepting an invite or two each month that you'd otherwise turn down can work wonders for your love life, says Brenda Della Casa, author of Cinderella Was a Liar: The Real Reason You Cannot Find (or Keep) a Prince.
- Recycle the single guys you know.
Everyone knows interesting guys who aren't right for them (think your single cousin, coworker or a former date who's now a friend) but who might be right for someone else. Spread the wealth by guy-cycling, suggests Greenwald. Host a low-key get-together and recycle those great-but-not-for-you guys by inviting single women to come. Set a one-single-guy minimum, encouraging female guests to bring at least one guy they'd recommend to other girls. Then watch the sparks fly!
- Get sweaty!
"I met my fabulous boyfriend by joining a kickball team," says Meg Watterson, 23, from Atlanta. Local sports leagues let you get in shape and sweat out your stress by playing kickball, softball or any other sport you enjoy, and they're full of athletic, fun-loving guys. "I have a lot of friends who have met great guys this way," says Watterson. "Playing on the same team guarantees lively first-date conversations, weekly run-ins and a built-in group of people to go out with."
- Hit offbeat dating sites.
If you're tired of seeing the same disappointing profiles, don't give up on online dating all together, suggests Greenwald. Instead, try a smaller site with a unique twist, like gk2gk.com ("geek to geek": think Bill Gates), intellectconnect.com (for intellectual singles) and datemypet.com (for pet lovers). Find more by entering "online dating" + your favorite hobby into a search engine.
- Learn how his stomach thinks.
"The best place to meet guys is at a Chipotle restaurant at lunch," says Lisa Holden, 23, from San Francisco. "When my female coworkers and I make it out of the office for lunch, there is always a line of cute guys around the corner. Guys probably like Chipotle because it's a filling meal, but the line is the perfect place to strike up a conversation." We couldn't agree more!
- Make more female friends
The next time you walk into a party, don't scan the room for handsome men, but rather seek out the most social, outgoing woman you can find, suggests Greenwald. Get to know her and invite her for coffee. Chances are, if you were drawn to her, she'll have a lot of other friends — including male ones — who were drawn to the same qualities as you. "Women are natural matchmakers, and ultimately coffee with an outgoing girl can be a fabulous gateway to a great guy," says Greenwald.
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