Even though there are millions of single people in Los Angeles, it can be a tough and lonely place for a single person. Making new friends can be difficult, much less meeting quality people to date. Most people don’t even know the names of their neighbors or fellow apartment-dwellers. COVID has made our isolation even worse.
Yet, there are many perfectly happy single people in Los Angeles. And, there are plenty of married folks and people with partners who are utterly miserable. Many would trade places with you as a single person in a millisecond!
If you’re single, you should use your freedom to your advantage. Here are some things that content single people do:
1. Find Community
Human beings are social creatures; we need personal relationships. When you’re single, community is critical, and it won’t just fall on your lap!
In a big city like Los Angeles, it can take a lot of effort to find community. But it is definitely out there… perhaps not in the traditional sense of hanging out with people in your neighborhood or apartment complex (although that is great too if you can make it happen), but rather community based on interests or beliefs.
Let me give you a few examples. In L.A. there are really strong communities based on partner dances such as Salsa, Swing, Tango, and Ballroom dance. As someone who Swing dances regularly, I could go to a Swing dance event by myself and know almost everyone there, dance with them, and have an amazing time! The Salsa scene is even bigger. The community in the partner dance scene is really special, and Los Angeles has a huge partner dance scene.
Although Los Angeles is not known for being a religious city in any sense, there are still tons of churches in L.A., many of which cater to young single people. You can find great community in churches, synagogues, and other religious groups if you look for the right one. I’ve met many of my friends at church, not to mention business connections and my wife!
Those are the two main L.A. communities that I’ve enjoyed being part of, but there are many others that I probably have never even heard of.
There are also some great hiking, biking, and running groups in Los Angeles.
What are you interested in? In a big city like Los Angeles, there are probably lots of other people interested in that as well. Join that community by being a regular attender of their events! If you’re looking for a starting point, check out a Meetup group.
2. Cultivate Single Friends
Forming friendships in adulthood definitely takes effort; it’s not as easy as when you were in high school or college.
As adults, we still need friends. For single people, friends are even more important for companionship, networking, and as wingmen or wingwomen when going out.
In my early years after college, it took me a while to learn this lesson. I didn’t put any effort in making new friends. I’d sometimes go out alone to a bar or club, not talk to anyone, and leave alone. Don’t do that!
When you go out with friends, you are guaranteed a minimum amount of fun, even if you don’t meet anyone new. But on top of that, being with friends can put you in a great mood that makes you more attractive, more adventurous, and more likely to meet people when you go out.
Friends motivate you to do new things: maybe to talk to a stranger, or go on a vacation together, or try a new restaurant.
Friends also give you access to a real social network (i.e., their other friends) which is another great way to meet people.
One way to find friends is when you go out, don’t just look for people you’re interested in dating; look for people to be your friends and wingmen/wingwomen!
Here’s a whole L.A. Times article with case studies on how adults have found friends in Los Angeles.
Okay, travel is an obvious recommendation for single people, but it really is a good one if you’re looking for some excitement and fun. Don’t wait to find a partner or spouse to go on your dream vacation.
In many European countries, taking a whole summer (or even a year) off to travel (alone if necessary) is normal and not frowned upon like it is in the U.S. You’ll meet many single young Europeans traveling alone when you travel to foreign countries, even in countries like Mexico right next door!
So, traveling is not only a great way to find new adventures, but it can be a great way to meet new people.
If you’re hesitant about traveling alone for safety reasons, I would recommend an REI Adventure. These are group trips that are fully planned and led by a professional guide. If you want to meet more single people, I’d recommend the more strenuous outdoor adventures. Just note, since COVID these are domestic-only trips (no international for now).
There are also cruises for singles, and even summer camps for single people!
Bottom line: take advantage of the freedom you have as a single person by traveling! There are many married people who can’t because “their spouse hates to travel”!
4. Work on Your Passion Projects
Use your time and freedom as a single person to work on a project or a cause that is important to you. You might find greater purpose in helping orphans, or fostering pets, or cleaning up the environment, or helping to preserve nature.
If you’re not into causes, is there a side business you’re interested in? The best time to do it is when you’re SINGLE! I could become your next full-time job, or maybe not. But at least you can say you tried, and you’ll have some great experiences along the way. You might even meet someone special in the process.
5. Learn Something New
I view learning as a life-long activity. Successful people are always curious and learning new things. As a single person, you can use your time and freedom to really dive deep into a subject (and maybe get a degree), or just take some classes for fun. Either way, you’ll benefit.
Here are some ideas for light, fun classes where you might meet other single people:
- Foreign language
- Partner dance (no partner needed for most classes; show up alone and they’ll pair you up!)
- Photography (I took photography classes at Santa Monica College and there were many single people there)
- Acting / Screenwriting / Comedy
- Music composition (I took this at UCLA extension)
- Yoga (there are tons of women in these classes)
- Martial arts (there are tons of guys in these classes)
- Other sports (Santa Monica College had a volleyball class that had tons of young single people in it)
Check out your local college or community college for other in-person classes!
6. Keep Doing What You Love (alone if necessary)
As a single person, you are blessed with FREEDOM. You can do whatever you want without having to check with someone else. Utilize that freedom while you have it! Don’t let being single stop you from doing things you love.
Are you a foodie? Go to that great restaurant you’re dying to try! You do NOT need a date to go!
Is there a museum exhibit you want to see that none of your friends are interested in? Go and see it!
Love to hike? Do it yourself! (But do a well-trafficked trail like Griffith Park for safety reasons).
There are some things that I would not advise women to do alone, like going to Coachella alone or something like that. But, anyone can vacation safely with established groups like REI as I said before.
Here’s a tip: if your social calendar is looking barren, fill it with events that you do by yourself! For example, Friday night: have dinner at the new restaurant in town. Saturday: go to the new exhibit at LACMA, and so on.
One time when I did this, there was a great side benefit. I planned to see an exhibit at LACMA by myself the coming weekend. Then, I ran into someone who I was interested in. I was able to very naturally work into the conversation that I was going to see this exhibit at LACMA during the coming weekend. I asked her if she wanted to come along and she accepted!
For some reason, having the activity already on my calendar made it so much more natural and easy to ask her to join!
And any time I meet a woman who is not afraid to do activities on her own, I really admire her independence and initiative; it makes her more attractive.
7. Work on Your Physical Appearance
Let’s face it: Los Angeles is a city more obsessed with physical appearances than almost any other city in the United States.
It’s weird, but when I moved to the East Coast, I would sometimes see a really attractive woman with a dorky-looking guy, or vice versa. In L.A., you would never see that. Looks are so important here, for better or worse.
So, if you want to meet people when you’re single, your appearance is important. That means being in shape, eating right, and exercising.
It also means dressing well. You don’t necessarily need expensive clothes, but you do need clothes that fit you well.
If you want to take things to the next level, ask a trusted friend for advice about your clothes, hair, appearance, and so on. This is probably natural for women but hard for men to do. But, it can be invaluable to pinpoint your weak spots!
When you look better, you feel better and are more confident!
8. Talk to Everyone
If you are introverted like I am, you might be missing out on meeting a lot of people in your daily life.
Before I knew any better, I thought that chatting with strangers was a complete waste of time. Then, when I did want to talk to someone I was interested in, of course, I would freeze up and have nothing to say.
The solution is to talk to everyone you meet. Strike up a conversation with your Uber driver. Talk to your dry cleaner or Trader Joe’s cashier. Ask how your mailman is doing. It doesn’t matter what you talk about.
It also doesn’t matter if they are attractive or not. They could be 90 years old, male or female. Talk to everyone.
Of course, don’t be annoying about it… Simple small talk is fine!
This will do three things. First, it will put you in a great mood so that talking to someone you ARE interested in will be much easier. Second, it will make YOU more attractive and welcoming for others to talk to you! Third, studies have shown that talking to strangers makes you happier!
This was a real effort for me, but I highly recommend it if it is something you’re not used to. Go outside your comfort zone!
9. Shake Things Up
Sometimes when things aren’t working in business, executives will “shake things up” by replacing the leader or making some other big change to the team. It doesn’t always make sense, but sometimes it actually works.
If you’re frustrated with your life in Los Angeles, maybe you need a shakeup. Maybe finally taking the plunge and changing jobs is just what you need to raise your spirits and improve every part of your life, including your social life.
Maybe moving to a different part of town can give you a fresh perspective and new attitude, not to mention new local hangouts to explore.
Maybe L.A. just isn’t working for you at all. I’ve met many people who’ve moved out of Los Angeles and are much happier now. In particular, I knew one kind of overweight dorky guy, who was very frustrated with making friends and relationships in L.A. He moved back to North Carolina and was happily married in a year.
Sometimes bold action is required. If things aren’t working, doing the same thing over and over won’t change that. Maybe you need to shake things up a bit!
I hope these ideas are helpful to you! Let me know what you think in the comments. What else are happy single people doing? – Brian