I think almost everyone would agree that Los Angeles is a tough city for dating. Everyone is so busy, and the people you meet at bars and clubs may not exactly be what you would consider “quality”.
But, there are actually plenty of single people in the same boat who don’t necessarily want to do the club/bar scene. Here are the top ways I’ve discovered to meet quality single people in L.A.
It’s hard to think of a place where you’d meet a better type of person than at a volunteer event. There are tons of great young single people who sacrifice their nights and even weekends to volunteer. Here are some organizations to volunteer with:
- Hope for LA: Has a calendar where you can sign up for volunteer opportunities around L.A.
- The Compton Initiative: This is a HUGE event that happens every few months. The goal is to beautify parts of the Compton community.
- Heal the Bay: Has volunteer cleanup events.
- The Sierra Club Los Angeles: Volunteer to help the environment in Los Angeles.
- Orange County Sierra Singles: For singles in O.C.
- Habitat for Humanity: Build houses for the poor.
- Much Love Animal Rescue: Guys, there are tons of women who volunteer for animal rescue organizations. This is just one of them. They show rescued animals on Main Street in Santa Monica every Sunday.
- The People Concern: Volunteer to serve meals to the homeless on the West Side
- Tree People: Caring for trees and nature in Los Angeles.
Of course, there are many, many more volunteer organizations, ranging from political, environmental, animal rescue and so forth. Just Google what you’re interested in and you’re bound to find a cause that interests you in L.A.
I’ve been impressed at how many young single women are at these volunteer events. At many volunteer events I’ve been to, it’s been mostly single women there. Guys, time to step it up! Not only will you be doing something good for the world, but you could meet someone special.
2. Attend Church / Religious Gatherings
If you think that only your grandma and old people go to church in L.A., think again. Many of today’s churches cater to young people and feel more like rock concerts than church. Here are some churches in L.A. with lots of young people:
- Vintage Church: This is a church that meets in Santa Monica and the West Side with lots of young professionals. I know lots of single people who go here and they love it. For their events, check out their community Facebook page.
- Mosaic: Worship in the heart of Hollywood that resembles a rock concert, but with solid preaching. Much of the congregation consists of young singles with a lot of artistic types.
- Reality LA: Also in Hollywood with lots of young single folks.
- Pacific Crossroads Church: Highly educated congregation of professionals of all ages. Meets at the Santa Monica High School theater on Sunday mornings.
- Bel Air Presbyterian Church: Used to have a legendary singles group called The Foundry for singles in their 20s and 30s. That is no more but the church is still there.
- The Loft LA: Small church in mid-Wilshire consisting of almost all 20’s and 30’s singles. Unconventional services with audience surrounding the preacher.
- Saddleback Church: Mega-church in Orange County led by Rick Warren. All ages, with a variety of services including one that has modern music.
- St. Monica Catholic Community: If you’re Catholic, many people have told me that this church in Santa Monica has great events for singles.
- Renew Church LA: Young, culturally diverse (Asian, African-American, white) congregation meeting at West Los Angeles College in Culver City. Solid teaching and music.
- Tapestry LA: This hip young church has a mostly Asian-American crowd and is located in a former warehouse in Downtown L.A.
- Venice Church: Good vibe with modern worship music and practical sermons.
- Zoe Church: The home church of such celebrities as Chris Pratt, Justin Bieber, Hailey Baldwin, Selena Gomez, and Ashley Benson.
Please note that it is hard to meet people by simply going to church on Sundays and leaving afterward. There are just too many people and Sunday service is not conducive to meeting them. Your best bet for meeting people is to join a smaller church group that meets outside of church.
There are also wonderful people at synagogues, mosques, and places where people of other religious beliefs meet.
3. Learn Swing, Salsa, Ballroom, or Country Line Dancing
Imagine a room full of single people, and all you have to do is walk up to someone and ask them to dance – no drama or creepiness involved. That’s partner dancing, where people want to ask you to dance, and want to be asked to dance. It’s one of the best ways I’ve found to meet single people of all ages.
Granted, you’ll have to invest some time taking lessons, but actually that’s where you can meet a lot of single people, perhaps easier than actually going dancing at a nightclub!
The salsa scene is huge in LA. For more information, check out Vida Salsera. There is also a decent Tango scene in Los Angeles.
I’m personally into Swing dancing; I’ve met tons of wonderful people because of it. The best resource for swing dancing in Los Angeles and Orange County is swingdance.la by yours truly. It has a complete calendar of swing dance events. For lessons, go here. If you embark on this journey, I guarantee you’ll meet lots of single people. Here’s more info on why Swing dancing is a great way to meet single people.
West Coast Swing is a variation of Swing dancing that is danced to more modern music (blues, pop). Check out SoCalSwingDance.com.
This might sound crazy, but don’t rule out country line dancing (yes, it exists in L.A.) The most famous place that I know of is Cowboy Country Saloon in Long Beach. There are single people of all ages there and free lessons before the band goes on. It’s pretty fun if you don’t take yourself too seriously – I enjoyed it. In the Valley, there’s Cowboy Palace Saloon. A friend of mine also recommends Montana’s Country Nightclub in San Dimas.
4. Join DOG PPL / Bark Social
DOG PPL in Santa Monica is basically a singles club masquerading as a membership-only dog park. Imagine a dog park that serves food and drinks, provides Wi-Fi, and has events featuring DJs, dancing, Yoga, real snow in the winter, trivia nights, and costume parties… On Yelp there are folks who say they drive in regularly from places like Studio City because this is the only dog club of its kind in Los Angeles. I can’t imagine an easier way to meet other single people.
Membership is required and they will evaluate your dog’s behavior. There are “Rufferees” on the premises to make sure dogs don’t get into trouble, so you can devote your attention to other humans there.
Detractors say it’s basically a meat market catering to good-looking single people. That’s probably totally true, and even more evidence that this is basically a singles club. Memberships are currently $120/month.
If you live further south toward Long Beach, Bark Social, a very similar concept, is coming to San Pedro in 2024!
5. Attend Fundraisers and Galas
It would be hard to find a higher percentage of successful professional (and often attractive) people than at fundraising galas and events, many of whom are single. These are especially good places to meet single people in their 30s and up.
Galas are usually held in ballrooms or cool locations like museums, and everyone is dressed to the nines looking amazing. But, there are also informal fundraising events held in swanky mansions in Beverly Hills, Brentwood, and so on. Oh, and these fundraisers always have incredible food.
I’ve found that it’s really easy to meet new people at these events since you all have something in common (i.e., whatever the cause is of the organization that is holding the fundraiser).
Some examples of organizations on the West Side that have fundraising galas and events are The People Concern (homelessness), Harvest Home (pregnant homeless women), and Claris Health (pregnancy counseling). Find organizations in your area that are fighting for causes that you believe in and they will almost certainly have fundraising events with like-minded people.
Of course, you should donate generously if you attend one of these events!
6. Attend Outdoor Food Events, Food Truck Nights
Outdoor food events such as food truck nights tend to attract masses of hungry young single people. A prime example is Smorgasburg in the Arts District near Downtown L.A. First Fridays in Venice used to be another example that is slowly building back after the pandemic.
With the fun atmosphere, it wouldn’t be too hard to meet people at these types of events given a little courage and charm.
7. Attend Meetup / Instagram / Facebook Events
If you’re not doing Meetup.com groups, you’re missing one of the easiest ways to meet single people. Sure, sometimes the events are lame, and maybe the folks that show up are not exactly your cup of tea, but stick with it and find a Meetup that fits your demographic. Just sign up for a group that matches your interest (hiking or photography or whatever), or go straight to these Meetup groups which have a very high percentage of singles:
- Los Angeles Downtown LA Social Group
This group focuses on fun indoor and outdoor activities like hiking, mixers, game nights and even travel events, mainly aimed at singles.
- New York / LA Mingle Meetup
This is an active, post-COVID social group on Meetup.com that features happy hours at hip bars, often in Santa Monica.
- Los Angeles Single Professionals & Friends
- Mix Professionals with Fun Events
- No Flake Singles and Friends LA
- Los Angeles Free Concerts
Even if you don’t meet someone special, these groups often meet in cool venues (hip restaurants and bars) that are fun to discover and experience.
One of the hottest in-person events group for singles is actually on Instagram. The Los Angeles Social Club occasionally hosts meetup-type events at restaurants or for hikes. Follow them on Instagram!
Here’s a Facebook group with real-life events in L.A. for folks interested in meeting friends from around the world and speaking different languages:
What I’d like to emphasize with these groups is to give them a chance. You might go once or even twice and think a group is lame, but stick with it at least a few times. Good people do show up to these but sometimes it takes time.
8. Try Online Dating
Online really is where people who want to date are these days – especially busy people who don’t have time (or don’t enjoy) the bar/club scene.
The downside of online dating is that you will be judged in less than three seconds on your profile photo. If you are not photogenic or your photo isn’t good, you won’t get good results. On the other hand, I know so many people who’ve met their significant others online!
Here are some dating sites that I am familiar with and recommend:
- Probably the biggest dating site in terms of number of members is Match.com, which is one of the reasons I recommend it. There are a wide variety of folks on this site, and it does work if you invest the time in good photos and a good profile. Out of all the dating sites, I personally have gotten the most dates from match.com. As I previously said, I like the in-person mixers they put on in Los Angeles and Orange County.
- eHarmony goes with the philosophy of “quality over quantity”, giving you a small number of matches that are supposed to be a better fit. I have friends who have done well here and even met their significant others on eHarmony:
- ChristianCafe is a Christian-owned dating service. If you’re looking for a Christian, check this out!
- Coffee Meets Bagel is a mobile app that requires a Facebook account. You get a group of free profiles every day at noon, and you can pay to contact more people. There are a lot of solid high-quality professionals here who want to find someone to date seriously. Coffee Meets Bagel does work! I have lots of friends who have gone on dates using this app.
- Bumble is another mobile dating app with a similar interface to Tinder, where you swipe left to skip and right to approve. I will say that your physical appearance is very important on Bumble. A very high percentage of the women on there are models, actresses, yoga/Pilates instructors, fitness coaches, and so forth. Others are successful business owners/leaders. My female friends say similar things about the guys on there. You’ll definitely have to step up your game (and profile photo) if you want to get any responses.
Disclosure: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. I test or research each service before endorsing it. I own this site and the opinions expressed here are mine.
9. Try In-Person Dating Events
If you’re not a huge fan of online dating and prefer to meet other single people in person, Match.com offers members just that opportunity with their Match.com Events. These are real-life events that you can attend for a reasonable fee on top of your regular membership. The events range from low-cost mixers at a bar to weekend ski trips.
Everyone in these events is there to meet someone, so you won’t feel out of place striking up a conversation with someone. I highly recommend Match.com events for singles in L.A.
10. Walk a Dog
If you live in a neighborhood that has a decent concentration of young single people (i.e., beach cities, downtown LA, and hip neighborhoods like Silverlake or Atwater Village), walking the streets with a cute dog can be a great way to meet people! I just got a very cute dog and can say that you will meet new people when you go out and walk it.
Dogs are great ice-breakers and give you something to talk about. If you don’t have a dog, I’m sure you have friends who’d love to let you walk theirs!
11. Sign Up for Hiking Clubs, Sports Teams, Pickleball
Want to meet single people who are in good shape? Join a sports team or club! Here are some ideas:
- Pickleball: This is the hot sport of the moment. Pickleball is easy to learn and social in nature, so it’s great for meeting new people. You can go by yourself and join a game, no partner needed, according to a friend of mine. Find a league near you.
- Volleyball: I joined a volleyball class at Santa Monica College, and it was filled with young single people. Even better would be to join a beach volleyball team.
- Kickball: I didn’t even know they had kickball for adults, but a friend of mine is on a team and she loves it.
- Hiking: Somehow there are always significantly more women than men on group hikes that I go on. Check out the Los Angeles Hiking Group Meetup.
- Running: Check out the LA Running Club or many clubs like this.
- Biking: Bike shops usually run beginner-intermediate bike rides for free. Check one near you.
- 5K Races: Even if you’re not in great shape, you can run a 5K with a little training. There are plenty of “couch-to-5K” programs out there. These races always have lots of young, fit professionals.
- Kickboxing, martial arts, karate, Krav Maga. Usually more men than women.
- Yoga: Tons more women than men.
Search on Google for more information on sports that you are interested in.
I’ve never believed that the gym was a great place to meet single people (and you can actually get kicked out if folks complain about you if you do), but I recently went to a gym class that required a partner. A lot of people showed up alone and they just paired up with other singles. I thought this might be the one good way to meet single people at the gym. Note, there were significantly more women than men in the class, so guys, check this out!
For the women, reader Jeremy says below in the comments that you should check out any major chain gym at 8:30 PM or later where there are tons of single guys.
12. Shop at Flea Markets
Flea markets are full of hip young single people looking for cool stuff and bargains. My favorite flea markets are the Melrose Trading Post on Sundays at Fairfax High School and the Rose Bowl Flea Market. Check your area for other flea markets closer to you.
13. Shop at High-End Grocery Stores: Erewhon, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods
It really is a thing! Young single people who are financially well-off and who are concerned with keeping fit tend to do their grocery shopping at high-end, health-conscious, supermarkets like Erewhon, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Sprouts. These stores have tons of single people shopping around dinner time on weeknights.
The New York Times says Erewhon is “L.A.’s Hottest Hangout” and “the unofficial hangout for the young, beautiful and bored”. Visit one after work and see for yourself.
Check out this story in the Los Angeles Times that says Ehrewhon is better than Tinder (tip: it was helpful that the woman wore a conversation piece, i.e., the Dodgers cap, to help jump-start the conversation).
Granted, approaching someone at a grocery store out of the blue takes some cajones, shall we say, but I know folks who’ve done it successfully. You might try asking for advice on something, or give your advice if someone looks like they’re having trouble deciding.
14. Sign Up for Continuing Education Classes
If you want to meet people interested in the same hobbies or topics as you are, try taking a class. Community colleges have really inexpensive classes. Just be sure to take a class that is truly useful or interesting to you though, as there may or may not be single people there, depending on what topic you choose.
- Santa Monica College Community Education: The intro photography class there had lots of young single folks. I’ve also taken volleyball and kickboxing classes there. Check with your local community or state college for continuing education classes.
- Language classes: I’ve taken classes at the Santa Monica Language Academy. Lots of young single folks take classes there. Check out language classes near you. (Note, these have gone virtual-only after COVID).
- Cooking classes.
- Art classes: Check out these “paint and wine” classes.
15. Try Matchmaking Services
If you’re too busy to go out and meet people organically, or just not into that, a matchmaking service can get you results faster.
One service in Los Angeles is Matchmakers in the City. I’ve met them and they are super nice and legit!
If you’re looking for a Christian, check out ChristianMatchmakingLA.com.
16. Strike up a Conversation at a Book Store
If you’re more of a bookstore person than a bar person, and if you have some cajones, you might be able to strike up a conversation with a cute girl/guy at your local independent bookstore. There’s an old meme where a girl says she’d rather have a guy buy her a book than a drink, so maybe there’s something to this!
Bookstores are becoming fewer and farther between, so you’ll know that anyone you meet at one will be really into books.
I think you’ll have better luck at smaller independent bookstores rather than Barnes and Noble or an Amazon store. My recommendation is Village Well in Culver City because they’re also a coffeehouse and they have lots of young single people!
The seating is very communal, so it’s easy to strike up a conversation with the person next to you.
Other recommended bookstores include Pulp Fiction Comics in Culver City, Alias Books East in Atwater Village, Book Alley in Pasadena, Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena, and of course, The Last Bookstore in Downtown LA!
17. Talk to People in Line
The next time you’re stuck in line anywhere, why not strike up a conversation with the person in front or behind you? At the very least, you’ll get practice talking to strangers. Check out this young, attractive woman on Nextdoor who had a great conversation with a man in line behind her at NY Bagels on Wilshire:
Just don’t make the mistake they made; get the person’s contact info if you had a great conversation!
18. Tap Into Your Network of Friends
One of the best ways to meet people is through your existing friends. Why? Because the hard work is done – you’re pre-approved as part of the “group” and you’ll get much more consideration than a stranger would.
When you get an invitation, go even if you don’t want to, or especially if you don’t want to. You know that birthday party that someone invited you to, but you don’t know anyone else there? Well, go to that party. Same with that wedding, where you only know the bride or groom and no one else. Go to that wedding. You know those annoying Facebook events that people keep inviting you to and that you keep deleting? Go to those Facebook events. Utilize your network of friends to meet new ones.
I know it’s difficult and awkward to go to a party when you only know one person, so here are some tips to meet people at parties where you don’t know anyone.
But when you go, make it your first priority to have fun, not necessarily to meet someone. A person having fun is attractive, and worst case, you’ll have a good time and some good practice for the next event!
Bonus Idea: Become a Social Connector
So far, I’ve listed places and events to find single people at. But why not create your own fun? Hosting a party is a great way to meet new people if you can encourage your friends to bring their friends. It also makes you look really good because as the host, you have high social proof.
I get the best results in terms of fun and participation when I pick a theme for my party. When you have a timeframe in mind, Google that date to see what that date is famous for. For example, once I planned a party that happened to land on National Milkshake Day, so it had a 50’s theme and we served burgers and milkshakes. It was a huge hit!
It almost doesn’t matter what the theme is: it could be Chinese New Year, Peruvian independence day, national Salami day, or whatever. The important thing is to pick a theme! It makes it so much more fun and guides you on how to decorate and what food to serve. And, you’ll get a lot more interest than if you just a have generic party.
Other Places to Meet Single People
What do you think of these ideas? Any other good places to meet quality single people in Los Angeles that you know of? Here’s a list of hot spots in Santa Monica and Venice for singles. Here are some tips for meeting more single people when you go out. – Brian