By Laura Snyder
You sweep into the club, belly up to the bar, and are immediately encircled by a swarm of admiring ladies (models, maybe?). There's a short fight for your phone number, and you happily escort the hottest one home.
And then you wake up.
The biggest challenge in dating is meeting the right potential matches (without looking like an oily Lothario at the bar). Where to look?
Love Locale #1: The Park
No matter your interest, you'll find a like-minded potential mate (okay, unless you'd rather be at home, in front of the tube). Beg, borrow, or steal a puppy for an instant conversation starter. Or "accidentally" bean a sexy sunbather with your Frisbee. Meet likeminded runners on the trail. Swap advice on improving your backhand at the tennis courts. Ask that bookworm on the bench what she's reading, or borrow a section of her newspaper.
Love Locale #2: Your Friends
Your friends are your friends for a reason, which means you'll probably get along with most of their friends. Let them set you up, introduce you to their old college buddies, and invite you to all of their huge parties. You may meet that someone special...and they'll already have gotten a good reference check!
Love Locale #3: Online
Even if you're still reluctant to dip your toes in the online dating pool, there are hundreds of other sites where you can meet folks in a less formal way. Social networking sites are a great tool to meet like-minded individuals or friends-of-friends. Some websites go the extra distance by having "recycling" programs for their great-person-but-not-for-me exes.
Love Locale #4: Class
Find a new hobby - but pick one that's likely to have a good gender balance (that carpentry class you were eyeing? Not so much). Look for seminars in cooking, wine tasting, homebrewing, or the martial arts - anything that overlaps your interests as well as the kind of person you're looking for. And even if you don't make a love connection, at least you learned something new.