The 6 Best Ways To Meet People (Don't Work As Advertised)

I moved to New York City from Washington, D.C., recently with a backpack and a dream. The dream was to move to New York City and, ideally, stop living out of a fucking backpack. I know some people up here, so I didn't arrive friendless. However, I also broke up with my girlfriend to move here. It took me a month and a half to settle in somewhere and become a rent-paying adult, but I'm settled in with at least three backpacks worth of stuff now. As a result, I've decided to get back in the dating game, because I don't want to die alone.

Hey, you want to hear a fun story? I drank an entire bottle of wine one night and cried over gay Harry Potter fan-fiction, so the chances of me dying alone are very real, especially since writing that sentence made me want to throw myself in front of a train.

Siri Stafford/DigitalVision/Getty
Alcoholism is my favorite kind of magic.

Anyway! Not dying alone. Meeting someone new is hard, especially in a city full of a million people all trying their hardest to ignore each other. To make things easier on myself, instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, I relied on a few familiar tricks. Here's how it went:

#6. Going To A Bar

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Bars are a great place to meet people. Alcohol will give you the courage to chat with a stranger, because you are hot shit and can do no wrong. I know women can be scary to hit on in groups, so I went to a bar alone and looked sad, hoping that that was the way to reel in emotionally healthy potential suitors. Instead, the man next to me offered to buy me a shot of tequila.

igorr1/iStock/Getty Images
As a 21-year-old white girl, it's physically impossible for me to say no to a shot of tequila,
often to my own detriment.

So, I took the shot, and then another, and then a Tecate, and then a shot, before I realized that the man who was buying all of this, whom I'd been conversing with for the better part of an hour, was a drug dealer. For someone that doesn't really do drugs, I've dated a fair amount of drug dealers in my very young day, so I don't know why I didn't catch on sooner when people were interrupting our conversation every five minutes and a very obvious deal was going down before me.

"Oh, shit! You're a drug dealer," I said to drinks guy.

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"Phew! I was afraid you were a cop for a second!"

Weirdly, he did not look enthused by me blurting out his illegal trade loudly at a bar. But I'm pretty, so he kept buying me shots. Then he asked if I wanted to go to a diner around the corner for food. As a fucking living human being, I love food, especially when I'm drunk at 3 a.m. Of course I want to go around the corner to get food.

At the diner, I learned he was 33 years old and his name was Long. Also, the server would barely talk to us and left us alone very blatantly, as though she was frightened. As a drunk person, I decided eating free cake and home fries was more important than my general safety.

Then Long walked me home. Or, more accurately, he walked me to the bodega near my house and then I made him walk away before I went to my house because motherfuckers don't need to know where I live. I don't care if you bought me cake or the whole fucking moon, you don't need to know my apartment building.

I woke up the next morning, disoriented as all hell and with a taste like alcoholic dirt in my mouth, to three text messages from Long about the tikka masala date I don't remember making with him.

#5. Going To A Gay Bar

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"Token queer friend" has never been a stereotype that I've dealt with, because, like most queer people who have the opportunity, I'd rather surround myself with other queer people. My best friend here is gay, and when we go out, we mostly go to gay bars. Shockingly, gay bars mostly cater to gay men, so I don't really get a whole lot of action there, but at least no one hits on me in a gross way.

One night, my best friend gallantly took me to Cubbyhole, the only lesbian bar I've ever fucking seen in my life. On the one hand, Cubbyhole is cool as fuck and I want to live, breathe, and die there. On the other hand, I work in the service industry, so my weekend is actually Monday through Tuesday or Wednesday. By this I mean that the Cubbyhole wasn't packed, nor was it full of women I wanted to show my vagina to.

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But you're always there, aren't you, drinks?

In fact, the only person who talked to me was a woman who would probably be friends with my mom, both age and humor-wise.

I don't see myself having a Friday or Saturday night off ever, so unless I meet someone on the next Tuesday I'm there (which, trust me, I'll be there), I don't see the Cubbyhole working out for me.

OK, so the whole "strangers at a bar" thing wasn't working out. I guess I'll try Tinder?

#4. Tinder


I've had Tinder for a few years and never once have I felt like it was anything other than a fun game to play while I wait for my train. However, one night, I was "lonely" and "craving human touch after weeks of masturbating with my own tears," so I decided to try Tinder for real.

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Because since when has anything tinder-related ever ended in disaster?

Lo and behold, there was Drew.

Drew was cute, lived close-ish to me, and was down to meet that night. Drew said he was subletting and new to the city, so why didn't I come over and just chill at his place for a drink?

That is pretty much a universal invitation to fuck, even without it being Tinder. However, I'm a lonely idiot and went anyway. He had instructed me to text him when I was outside and he'd come get me, which didn't strike me as weird until he popped out of an alleyway next to the apartment and invited me upstairs.

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After making small talk for long enough to send my friends his address, full name, and Tinder profile in case I was about to get murdered, I politely put my phone down and inquired about why the fuck his living situation included an alley entrance.

Turns out, Drew was subletting in the Airbnb sense and was definitely not supposed to have anyone in this apartment. Also, fun fact -- there were two other living, breathing humans with functioning senses also living in the apartment, so he snuck me up through the alley. I suddenly felt very 17 again, in the grossest way possible, especially when he licked my mouth. Like, my closed mouth.

He was telling me about how he just started working for BlackBerry and suddenly he was licking my mouth.

Gently excusing myself, I left through the alleyway and walked home.

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Alice Jane Axness

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