Love Letters

How to get dates after college

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Q. I’m a 23-year-old man and have a question about “real world dating.”

I broke up with my girlfriend after college. It took some time, but I’ve moved on from her.

Problem is, I have no idea how I’m supposed to meet women outside the school setting. I work in landscaping, so much of what I do involves only being around guys, and it just seems like everyone else in the world moves on from one relationship to the next with ease.

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I think I’m a dateable person; there are certainly more attractive and charming gentlemen out there, but I believe I have things to offer. What am I doing wrong that I can’t seem to meet new women (short of the bar/online scene)? Thanks and happy holidays!

Single with No Clue

How to Mingle

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A. Listen, if you remove bars and the entire Internet from the dating equation, it’s going to be difficult to meet someone. It won’t be impossible — people do meet in the real world – but it will be a much slower process.

You should think about why you’ve dismissed online dating, and possibly reconsider. Apps are a great way to find a lot of women at once. They’re designed for people with jobs like yours; no matter where you are, you can connect to others with your phone.

Also, I wouldn’t equate the experience of dating on apps to the bar scene. At a bar, there are no profiles, no statements about intentions. On apps, you get a lot of information up front.

As for meeting people in real life, I would tell friends — even those co-workers — that you’re looking to date. Acquaintances aren’t always great at thinking about set-ups, but it helps to have people keep you in mind.

Meredith

READERS RESPOND:

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Women just drop out of the sky ... you just have to get the inside scoop on where each nightly drop will be happening. It’s really just magic. FSMITH95112

This question always gets asked and it’s always like, oh-ho, this is the time when Meredith is gonna spill the beans about the Relationship Store opening in Assembly Row where you can just pick up the perfect spouse for a reasonable price of $99.99! You meet people like everyone else in the world. Go out and do things that you enjoy and talk to people you meet while doing them. Check out your friend’s friends’ holiday party. Smile at a cute girl in the grocery store (but don’t be a creep if she looks at you like “what, I’m shopping here”). And yes, talk to people at bars and — download a dating app just to try it. Yes, it takes time, but it’s not rocket science, and there’s no secret. ELLLEEM

Whoa! That’s a deal. Assembly Row you say?

JIM-IN-LITTLETON

The “online scene” is not the same thing as bars; it has become the standard way that people meet nowadays, and believe me, many of the women on there are as nervous as you are to try it. Read articles on the Internet about how to write a good profile, and get a good portrait photo taken to put up along with a casual one. You will build your confidence as you do things like invite someone out or meet them for coffee. Don’t rely just on online, however. Develop some interests outside of work where you can go to groups and make new acquaintances, including women. Good luck.

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JIVEDIVA

If you don’t like the bars or online apps, use a dating service. 42GIANTS

Several of my friends met their SO at their place of worship. I know a guy who attended multiple churches at the same time. He walked up to every single female and told them that he was seeking a wife. Surprisingly, I heard he got married about 6 months after he started looking. WYNRYROCKBELL

Go volunteer with a dog rescue. Completely serious. Women way outnumber men among the volunteers, and you’ll already look like a good guy who cares about animals. Can’t lose.

SPAMSANDWICH

Letter writer: Call me. MHOUSTON

Column and comments are edited and reprinted from boston.com/loveletters. Send letters to meredith.goldstein@globe.com.